The Martian by Andy Weir

Synopsis:

18401393Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars.

Now, he’s sure he’ll be the first person to die there.

After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive.

Chances are, though, he won’t have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain-old “human error” are much more likely to kill him first.

But Mark isn’t ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?

Review:

The movie is coming to Japan in February, four months after it opened in the US. Living on the other side of the world can suck sometimes, but at least it gave me time to read the book.

And it’s a good book! Weir manages all kinds of geekery – good for getting astronaut Mark Watney home but tedious to read at times. When my particular freak flag was flying high I loved it (NASA history, woo!) but when it came down to reducing liquid for the hydrogen I checked out.

While most everything is explained to this mad level of detail I still had questions. The biggest – what the heck was he doing about dust? The Apollo astronauts tracked tons of it into the LEM and it turned out to be nasty stuff to accidentally inhale. And here’s Mark, traipsing around in his EVA suit, taking it into the Hab and the rover and back again without so much as shaking it out. Mars has dust storms, it must be a problem. I could be missing something obvious but man, it bothered me.

Anywho, good book! Everyone who wrote that before me was right on. ~nodnod~

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