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  The Martian (novel by Andy Weir)

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Author Topic:   The Martian (novel by Andy Weir)
Gilbert
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Posts: 1036
From: Carrollton, GA USA
Registered: Jan 2003

posted 03-01-2014 10:58 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Gilbert   Click Here to Email Gilbert     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Has anyone read the fantastic novel The Martian by Andy Weir? It was just published officially but was self-published a while back. Utterly convincing.
Six 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.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 30976
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 03-01-2014 11:10 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I haven't read it yet, but Space.com has the first chapter online.

cspg
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Posts: 4864
From: Geneva, Switzerland
Registered: May 2006

posted 03-01-2014 11:17 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Six 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.
Oh. He dies there? That seems the most obvious outcome. The other one being that he meets the Martians (and a Martianette...) and he will return to Earth to save us all (or kick our butts).

Yeehaah. Hollywood here I come!

garymilgrom
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Posts: 1808
From: Atlanta, GA, USA
Registered: Feb 2007

posted 03-01-2014 01:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for garymilgrom   Click Here to Email garymilgrom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It's had some very good reviews, including Col. Chris Hadfield. Here's a link to the Kindle edition.

p51
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From: Olympia, WA, USA
Registered: Sep 2011

posted 03-01-2014 10:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for p51   Click Here to Email p51     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A pal of mine at JSC said he heard some astronauts talking about the book and how impressed they were with it.

A second pal of mine who used to teach survival classes for the USAF (and a failed applicant for the astronaut program) finished this book recently and said I HAD to read it. Got it on order from Amazon right now.

Lots of good reviews on Amazon, and when you read the bad reviews you'll find they're mostly from readers who expected a different kind of book.

p51
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Posts: 1146
From: Olympia, WA, USA
Registered: Sep 2011

posted 04-01-2014 02:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for p51   Click Here to Email p51     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
POTENTIAL LIGHT SPOILER ALERT!

I'm reading it right now. It starts out as a log in real time by the astronaut stranded on Mars. Then, it goes into novel mode with the NASA people once they figure out he didn't die there already. I'm about 1/3 into it now.

Darned good book!

Gilbert
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Posts: 1036
From: Carrollton, GA USA
Registered: Jan 2003

posted 04-02-2014 12:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Gilbert   Click Here to Email Gilbert     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It's been a month since I finished the book and the images reading it generated are still powerful. I remember the story almost as if I'd seen a movie rather than read a book. It is a very good book.

lspooz
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Posts: 193
From: Greensboro, NC USA
Registered: Aug 2012

posted 04-02-2014 06:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for lspooz   Click Here to Email lspooz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Once again I've blown more money on space items because of learning about them on collectSPACE (cf. Winco presentations, obscure Alan Bean prints, and of course the 'For Sale' section).

This is a gripping and engaging hard-science story, and quite a debut novel — I've already bought ten copies (mostly gifts, one to keep...).

The author's Facebook page is worth a look too.

freshspot
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Posts: 301
From: Lexington, MA, USA
Registered: Dec 2005

posted 04-03-2014 08:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for freshspot   Click Here to Email freshspot     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I loved "The Martian" -- it combines so many things of interest to me including (obviously) space, but also great writing and a good thriller. Highly recommended.

p51
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Posts: 1146
From: Olympia, WA, USA
Registered: Sep 2011

posted 04-04-2014 03:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for p51   Click Here to Email p51     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I finished it today at lunch. Man, what a nail biter once it gets going and it never lets up. It’s the kind of book where you really don’t know what's going to happen until the very end.

It’s been optioned for a movie and I sure hope they make it. Nobody's made a, "People go to Mars" movie yet that comes close to this book.

garymilgrom
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Posts: 1808
From: Atlanta, GA, USA
Registered: Feb 2007

posted 05-19-2014 08:20 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for garymilgrom   Click Here to Email garymilgrom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Book review - Kindle edition

The Martian is an unusual book about an astronaut who is thought dead by his crewmates and is then left behind when they travel back to Earth. The remaining astronaut faces a grim task to survive or to even contact another member of the human race. The book paints an interesting picture, and is somewhat of a page-turner but is let down by being filled with the science of the astronauts trials and tribulations.

At the start it's interesting to think of X amount of food being equal to Y amount of calories, and Z amount of time in which to consume said calories against A percent of carbon dioxide building up before B percent of oxygen runs out causing C amount of water to .... well you get the picture. These calculations run throughout the book, and get in the way of us coming to know the astronaut or his inner thoughts and feelings.

The book is also filled with cuss words and not suitable for younger readers. I don't think I'm a prude but at one point I started keeping track and found one or more swear words on every page. Every rocket in the book is a big-ass rocket, every song from the 70's (a theme in the book) is a piece of **** , etc. There is just no need for this, no matter how exasperated the character, his opinions or the situation in which he finds himself.

And that's really too bad, because this is an excellent idea for a story. Perhaps we'll see part two, with more fleshed out characters and less cussing. That would be a real treat.

My overall thought - an interesting and unique story that needs some polishing and depth.

p51
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Posts: 1146
From: Olympia, WA, USA
Registered: Sep 2011

posted 05-19-2014 12:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for p51   Click Here to Email p51     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The cursing is a little off, especially from the NASA staff back in Earth. That part seemed a little strained to me that cubicle dwellers at Houston and DC would drop 'F bombs' that often. But the cursing from the surface of Mars made sense to me...

I've suggested this book to several people and the more sensitive of them got a warning on language from me.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 30976
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 05-23-2014 12:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hollywood Reporter broke the news that Ridley Scott is in negotiations to direct Matt Damon in the feature film adaptation of "The Martian," being made by 20th Century Fox.

According to the Herald Sun, Scott is now in Sydney, Australia, looking for suitable locations that might resemble a Mars landscape.

p51
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Posts: 1146
From: Olympia, WA, USA
Registered: Sep 2011

posted 05-23-2014 02:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for p51   Click Here to Email p51     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Wow. I could actually see Matt Damon in that role. And I think Ridley Scott would do a great job, if he stays true to the book!

"Last Days on Mars" used the country of Jordan as a location, and it looked decent.

Lunar Module 5
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Posts: 293
From: Wales, UK
Registered: Dec 2004

posted 05-29-2014 12:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Lunar Module 5   Click Here to Email Lunar Module 5     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Having bought "The Martian" (and am thoroughly enjoying it) I was wondering if cS members had other book ideas for reading, specifically books that are close to current or past space technology.

The one I remember from way back in the 80s is "Storming Intrepid" by Payne Harrison. I also remember reading one of Buzz Aldrin's books which described a shuttle abort at the beginning.

Any other recommendations?

p51
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Posts: 1146
From: Olympia, WA, USA
Registered: Sep 2011

posted 05-29-2014 01:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for p51   Click Here to Email p51     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This has a good discussion on plausible books of this type.

jiffyq58
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Posts: 178
From: Durham, NC, USA
Registered: Jun 2011

posted 05-29-2014 01:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for jiffyq58   Click Here to Email jiffyq58     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Kim Stanley Robinson Mars trilogy (Red Mars, Green Mars, Blue Mars) is good science fiction that is heavily rooted in real science. He wrote this in the 90s when it looked like we might send humans to Mars sooner than we are likely to do, so his dates are a little (or perhaps more than a little) off.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 30976
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 08-30-2014 06:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I just finished reading "The Martian." It is excellent, one of the best fictional tales of space exploration I have ever read.

I picked up a copy of the book Thursday night. I cracked it open on Friday (staying up late reading) and I couldn't put it down today until I finished.

The book comes to a satisfying stopping point, but I could have easily continued reading.

The story Weir tells is intense, with the right blend of humor, thrill and drama. What really made it for me though, was Weir's research into the engineering and science challenges presented by the plot. This book delivered something I've always wanted: a near future tale that relies on the real challenges that Mars presents, rather than fantasy or far future concepts, to create drama.

I am greatly looking forward to seeing what Ridley Scott does with this on screen.

One thing I'll add, without spoiling: there is a small detail added as part of the story that is near to the theme of this site. It brought such a smile to my face reading that one part that I knew instantly I would enjoy the remainder (and I was right).

Kite
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Posts: 355
From: Northampton UK
Registered: Nov 2009

posted 10-01-2014 02:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kite     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What an excellent novel, thoroughly enjoyed it. I agree with you Robert that I could have read more but very satisfied with whole of story. Andy Weir obviously did his research very thoroughly as everything seems quite feasible. I enjoyed it even more than Ben Bova's 'Mars' and 'Return To Mars' which were also good.

I can imagine it as a great film if they stick to the book.

Gilbert
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Posts: 1036
From: Carrollton, GA USA
Registered: Jan 2003

posted 10-02-2014 03:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Gilbert   Click Here to Email Gilbert     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A friend of mine just finished the novel yesterday. Today he could not stop talking about how much he enjoyed it and was looking forward to the movie.

fredtrav
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Posts: 1163
From: Birmingham AL USA
Registered: Aug 2010

posted 10-02-2014 04:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for fredtrav   Click Here to Email fredtrav     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If anyone wants a signed copy, here is a post from Andy Weir about how to get one.

It is a little expensive having to use UPS, but it is what it is.

crash
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Posts: 233
From: West Sussex, England
Registered: Jan 2011

posted 10-20-2014 09:44 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for crash   Click Here to Email crash     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Excellent book from start to finish. Very funny in parts but with heaps of technical stuff to keep us interested. It'll be a great movie if, and when, it gets made.

Don't delay, grab a copy and read it. You will not be disappointed.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 30976
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 10-21-2014 08:54 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
Hollywood Reporter broke the news that Ridley Scott is in negotiations to direct Matt Damon in the feature film adaptation of "The Martian," being made by 20th Century Fox.
Casting has progressed beyond Matt Damon as "Mark Watney" and now includes Jessica Chastain, Jeff Daniels, Kate Mara, Michael Pena, Kristen Wiig and Sean Bean.

Davestory
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From: United Kingdom
Registered: May 2013

posted 11-15-2014 06:08 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Davestory   Click Here to Email Davestory     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Great book, loved it.

Ronpur
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Posts: 584
From: Brandon, Fl
Registered: May 2012

posted 11-18-2014 09:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ronpur   Click Here to Email Ronpur     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I picked it up on Sunday and read the first half Sunday night, then finished it Monday night. I don't think I have read a book that excited me so much since I read Stephen Baxter's Voyage. I can't wait to see what they do with the movie.

JPSastro
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Posts: 146
From: Tucson, Arizona
Registered: Jan 2009

posted 11-18-2014 09:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for JPSastro   Click Here to Email JPSastro     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The book, as others have already stated, was terrific.

I also have it on Audible and that is even a better experience. Made my chemo sessions a bit more tolerable.

Just hoping Hollywood doesn't screw it up.

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