The Martian

Andy Weir

Book cover

Totally awesome book. I heard about it through this XKCD comic:

That piqued my interest and I got on the hold list for it at the library. But before it was my turn, Elise found it for me on the “lucky day” shelf!

I couldn’t put it down and I finished it in under 24 hours (though I did sleep before finishing it). The author is a computer programmer by training, and I felt many spiritual similarities between the story and the practice of programming. The story is entirely about problems solving, and the approach taken by the protagonist is similar to what I would do when writing computer code: break the problem down into digestible chunks and solve one at a time, without worrying about how you are going to solve the other ones beyond having a general idea of your approach.

I had just been telling Elise that I felt like I should know more about modern sci-fi, and this was exactly what I was looking for. It’s especially cool because, as far as I can tell and as most reviews seem to indicate, all of the technology described is more or less realistic, so there is no reliance on made-up technological solutions to get the protagonist out of a jam.

My Goodreads rating: 5 stars