Sunday, December 28, 2014

The Martian

18401393  tags: castaway, Mars, science fiction, space mission, survivor

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Synopsis from Goodreads
Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first men to walk on the surface of Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first man to die there.
It started with the dust storm that holed his suit and nearly killed him, and that forced his crew to leave him behind, sure he was already dead. Now he's stranded millions of miles from the nearest human being, with no way to even signal Earth that he's alive--and even if he could get word out, his food would be gone years before a rescue mission could arrive. Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain-old "human error" are much more likely to get him first.
But Mark isn't ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills--and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit--he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. But will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?
Astronaut/mechanical engineer/botanist Mark Watney speaks like a juvenile and spews f-bombs all the time, but I really like him, and the book. His sense of humor and ingenuity help him survive the planet until the rescue mission gets to him, if at all. Although the book is full of technical details that read like a manual, I wasn't bored at all and finished it in 2 days. I gave it only 4 stars because of the inclusion of the Chinese government in the rescue mission. Yeah, right, the friggin' Chinese! 

I mentioned some scenes that are very similar to the Korean movie, Castaway On The Moon. I was further amused that in the book, the NASA employee who discovered him [by monitoring/manning the telescopes] still alive on Mars is a woman named Mindy Park. Park is a Western as well as a Korean surname. Coincidence? Maybe.

Recommended to sci-fi fiction fans. 

The author also wrote a short but good story, The Egg.

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