The Martian, by Andy Weir

The Martian by Andy Weir

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. After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue 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 kill 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. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: The Martian by Andy Weir is the best read I’ve had in years. Others have said it before: Awesome story; excellent research with a very plausible plot; and subtle snark and humor that just work. I looked at the Amazon page for this novel, and of the over 7,500 reviews, 5,500 are five star. That leaves almost 1,500 four-star reviews and a touch over 500 for the remaining rating levels.

I really don’t know what else I can say about The Martian that the reviewers on Amazon haven’t said already, but there could be one or two of you out there that value my opinion on reading suggestions. Regular readers of my blog know I love sci-fi, even bad sci-fi. I’m also a Trekkie or a Trekker (I don’t personally get the derision between the two camps, but whatever.)

The Martian is akin to stories like Robinson Caruso or (I think) more accurately Cast Away. We celebrate the protagonist, Mark Watney’s accomplishments, and Andy Weir did a great job foreshadowing the failures. I saw these failures on the horizon and cringed as I read them, feeling for Mark Watney. I laughed out loud at the quirky sense of humor as the story unfolded.

The technical aspects were easy to understand. The writing kept me engaged through out and the ending was satisfying. If you like hard sci-fi, sci-fi, thrillers or action/adventure, then you’ll like The Martain by Andy Weir.


Andy Weir was first hired as a programmer for a national laboratory at age fifteen and has been working as a software engineer ever since. He is also a lifelong space nerd and a devoted hobbyist of subjects like relativistic physics, orbital mechanics, and the history of manned spaceflight. The Martian is his first novel.


About Mark Gardner

Mark Gardner lives in northern Arizona with his wife, three children and a pair of spoiled dogs. Mark holds a degrees in Computer Systems and Applications and Applied Human Behavior. View all posts by Mark Gardner

2 responses to “The Martian, by Andy Weir

  • smkay70

    I have yet to grab this, but it’s on my list! I have always been an avid horror/fantasy/supernatural reader, but I have found myself gravitating toward more and more sci-fi. Always been a Trekkie, and thinking about penning my own Sci-fi adventure so I will have to check this out!

  • D. Paul Angel

    Thanks for the review! This is on my read list, and is currently 2nd in line. I’m just over halfway through the final Wheel of Time novel (A Memory of Light – book 14!)
    After that I’m going to finish a book I started some little bit ago called The Microberse. And then… The Martian :-)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: