The Martian after the Hype

Yesterday I finished reading The Martian. I chose to read the book rather than watch the film, and I chose to read it now rather than months ago because I wanted to read The Martian after the hype and excitement had declined.

The story is simple to follow and the ideas are interesting. I feel that when problems occur for the character they are put in simply to demonstrate more technology and more ideas rather than to provide real challenges to the character. It is more of an essay looking at a hypothetical trip to Mars.

There is humour in the book as shown by some quotes.

Well, okay. I know the answer to that. Part of it might be what I represent: progress, science, and the interplanetary future we’ve dreamed of for centuries. But really, they did it because every human being has a basic instinct to help each other out. It might not seem that way sometimes, but it’s true.

“It was like flying a cow,” Martinez grumbled, his hands racing over his controls.

“Brought product to surface of Mars. It stopped working. 0/10.”

“first: Tomorrow I’ll be the first person to recover a Mars probe.”

Using advanced construction techniques (duct tape), I reassembled some of them into a square.

As you might not have read the book I will leave these quotes without discussing the context. There are one or two moments in this book where I laughed aloud. It is nice to read a book that makes you laugh.

The importance of a book such as a Martian is not the writing style or the story telling but rather the ability to imagine what future human exploration could be like. How would we get food. How would we survive on scenario or another. Are some risks more interesting than others. It encourages people to think about space exploration and some of the challenges. It is accessible to a broad portion of people.



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