20 March 2015

Geek Out: A Review of The Martian, Andy Weir

Having slammed the door in February's cold face, it is time to welcome with open arms, March the month of breaks, the month we need the most even though we all think it's July. July, what a flashy hussy. Drowning in deadlines, heatless rooms, burst water pipes, doldrums of wintery skies, this family was in need of one bad. What will be tossed in the suitcase continues to mystify me as I wrestle with the appropriateness of my reading choices. 

Having already returned, inadvertently altering this post from a contemplative reading travel essay to "look who's back", I acquiesce
 my accomplishments were little to nothing beyond a killer tan and an unhealthy relationship with KUWTK; brain functionality is not a provision for this girl's vacay. When you read so much, reading nothing can be pretty darn awesome. 

While the resident geek may have slipped into a vacation coma, there were others who did read and read well. The hubby, a voracious internet addict, unplugged, sat in the sun, and opened up The Martian by Andy Weir. We, his adoring family barely saw him; this girl has never been more proud. 

2014 had two IT books, The Martian by Andy Weir and Ancillary Justice by Anne LeckieHome with palm tree deficiency syndrome, I am soothing my broken tanned soul with Weir's no nonsense science fiction tale. Mindful that I have used this reference numerous times, it rings true once again. What book is better labeled SF than a plot about an astronaut stranded on Mars. With the recent bad ass pictures of Buzz Aldrin promoting missions to Mars while touristing Stonehenge, this novel seems extremely close to our very near future. The Martian is thankfully martian-less; you won't find any vomit zombies, sentient planets or ingeniously improbable time travelling worm holes. The abrupt, at times crude means by which it is written is a compatible fit to the toils that the protagonist endures. Weir has spent most of his life geeking out, creating orbital software, envisioning Martian missions and the consequence that such a flight would have on it's astronauts. Eventually his little hobby became a book and here I am contemplating why journal entry prose wind up being some of my favourite good time reads. I am a sucker for the first person narrative. 

Even though The Martian negates the typical fantastical science fiction plot lines that I have been addicted to as of late, it dances within the confines of hard science. Like Mark Watney, the science is as laid back as the protagonist, allowing the reader to feel almost as smart as an engineering botanist, the first pioneer of Mars, almost.