Sunday, September 18, 2016
Book Review: The Martian
The Martian by Andy Weir tells the story of an astronaugt standed on the red plannet when the rest of his crew have to abandon him during a dust storm. He survives the sortm but has to then find a way to live until he can be rescued in a couple of years time.
I saw the film earlier this year and it's very enjoyable. Grown up sci-fi with little in the way of whizzes and bangs. Spotting the book in my local library, I wondered how different it would be.
Well, the main changes are that the book has the space to do detail. The main character, Mark Watney, is a botanist and engineer. He has to improvise to survice and while the film has to skip over a lot of this, on the page we get all the details. You can follow progress and understand exactly what is going on, both successes and failures - things do go wrong!
It's fascinating and well written, especially for those of us who enjoy bodging away in a workshop. Watney has to do the same on Mars whether that be improvising somewhere to live or re-righting a rover when it tips over.
Apparently the science is pretty accurate and many of the ideas are based on real NASA plans for missions. None of them assume you need to grow potatoes nor that you'll use an atomic reactor to heat up the bath water!
If you can tear yourself away from the workbench, a recomended read.
Buy The Martian from Amazon