Type Book
Date 2011
Pages 369
Tags Mars, science fiction, robinsonade

The Martian

A castaway story, sort of like Robinson Crusoe on Mars. Or maybe Robinson Crusoe on Mars?

In short, the astronaut Mark Watney is stranded on Mars, initially thought dead, and must struggle to survive with limited resources until the next Mars mission arrives. The first problem: he has enough food for several months, but not nearly enough to last four years, until the next Mars mission is scheduled to arrive. A smaller problem: his entertainment is mostly limited to disco and seventies sitcoms.

As I read this, I was struck by how much it felt like I was reading a web novel. Perhaps, I thought, the style of novels has just changed that much--I haven't read many published in the last decade. After I finished, though, I found the truth: the thing was self-published as a free story on the web before it was put together as a book. I had no idea, but it seems my sense of style is well-adjusted!

The book was fun. Mostly just that--fun. It's an adventure story, basically. It doesn't use Mars as a metaphor for examining any deep truths, but it doesn't pretend to, either. An easy but worthwhile read.

Name Role
Andy Weir Author