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235 of 254 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Who needs nail clippers?, January 7, 2013
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This review is from: The Martian (Kindle Edition)
"I'm stranded on Mars. I have no way to communicate with Hermes or Earth. Everyone thinks I'm dead. I'm in a Hab designed to last 31 days. If the Oxygenator breaks down, I'll suffocate. If the Water Reclaimer breaks down, I'll die of thirst. If the Hab breaches, I'll just kind of explode. If none of those things happen, I'll eventually run out of food and starve to death. So yeah. I'm f----d." - Mark Watney

As the two-hundred thirty-fourth reader to review THE MARTIAN by Andy Weir, I have no illusion that I can add anything substantive to the plaudits already heaped on this intelligent work of space sci-fi. Simply put, it's a nail-biter that'll trim your finger nail plates down even with the nail beds.

My reading tastes usually don't encompass space fiction because the vast majority of it seems to fall within the realm of extreme fantasy with worlds and ETs of the most fantastical sorts. I prefer my off-Earth stories to have some plausible connection with realistic, albeit extrapolated, technology and situations, and the one book that remains embedded in my memory as simply terrific is from all the way back in 1975 when I was much younger and perhaps more impressionable - Arthur C. Clarke's Rendezvous with Rama. With films, I'm the same way; Outland and Silent Running come to mind. THE MARTIAN is my kind of SF.

In Mars mission engineer-botanist Mark Watney we have a thinking man's hero for the ages, and THE MARTIAN is a story that cries out to be serialized for television.

THE MARTIAN would be ideal for a lengthy trans-ocean plane flight. If you start the book on take-off, you'll likely finish on landing and not even be aware of the hours that passed or the screaming kid a couple of rows back.

You owe yourself this novel. Trust me.
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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 17, 2014 7:43:15 AM PDT
Ron Anderson says:
Rendezvous with Rama, Outland, and Silent Running. Three of my absolute favorites! What a great recommendation of this book. I look forward to reading it.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 17, 2014 10:54:14 AM PDT
Ron,

Thank you! I hope I haven't steered you wrong.

Joe

Posted on Apr 28, 2014 8:51:33 PM PDT
Edwin Norton says:
Well I am a big fan of Arthur Clarke's Rama...liked it so much that I ended up reading all the series...I finished a couple of weeks ago the Martian and I loved it, because is fully based in current technology capacities and the author is so detailed about everything. I can imagine him calculation or getting help to calculate all sorts of stuff, to give you fun and reliable information...you should watch Europa's Report...this movie has more or less good science, it could be fun.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 29, 2014 12:31:10 PM PDT
Ed,

Glad you liked THE MARTIAN. I'll check EUROPA REPORT out. Thanks for the lead!

Regards!

Posted on Oct 19, 2014 10:00:27 PM PDT
Completely agree that for fans of SciFi that in no way could be called fantasy, this book hits that spot dead-on. For me, Fatasy and SciFi could not be more different. SciFi uses elements of the fantastic to tell a story about very real things. Ostensibly it should be about Mars for example. But in reality it is about much more. Whereas Fantasy uses fantastic elements for the enjoyment of those fantasy elements. If you read about wizards, it is because wizards are cool, not because wizards teach us something about the human condition. Often, since Sci Fi reaches for being more relatable, the fantasy elements it uses need to be more based in actual science. But sometimes not.
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