Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Martian by Andy Weir

Astronaut Mark Watney is stranded on Mars and may be the first person to die there.  He's stranded, completely alone, and has no way to contact Earth to let them know he's alive.  Drawing on his ingenuity, engineering skills, and just plain determination to survive, he tries to think his way through each calamity, one step at a time.  One thing is sure, he just will not give up.  They made a movie from this book already in which Matt Damon stars.  The movie has been called Apollo 13 meets Cast Away.  One thing I remember thinking as I read the book was how did the author manage to fact check this book (which is full of science and math and facts about Mars)? Does he have friends at NASA or JPL? How can you confirm its accuracy? Apparently that was very important to Weir as well. This confessed space nerd even wrote a computer program to make the science as real as possible.  And you can certainly see how this authenticity added to the edge of your seat feel to the book.  And even I, someone who hates math, can see the importance of it to the survival of our species in this man against the elements story.  This book was a really fun read, well written, fast paced, and leaving you marveling at the resilience of the human spirit.
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