Nearly everyone has read and loved The Martian – including me! Finally. I won’t review it, because, as of right now, there are 236,949 ratings on Goodreads alone (thanks for the recommendation Maria Helena). You don’t need to know that I’d give it 4.5 out of 5, even though I would. What I loved about this book is how very different Mark Watney is than me. He is relentlessly optimistic*. The Martian did what the best books are supposed to do, it completely took me outside of my own head and transported me to the most foreign of all places. I loved it.
In lieu of a review, I’ll provide you with two of my favorite quotes. If they don’t make you at least smile, this book is not for you.
01. “He’s stuck out there. He thinks he’s totally alone and that we all gave up on him. What kind of effect does that have on a man’s psychology?” He turned back to Venkat. “I wonder what he’s thinking right now.”
LOG ENTRY: SOL 61 How come Aquaman can control whales? They’re mammals! Makes no sense.”
02. “LOG ENTRY: SOL 381 I’ve been thinking about laws on Mars.
Yeah, I know, it’s a stupid thing to think about, but I have a lot of free time.
There’s an international treaty saying no country can lay claim to anything that’s not on Earth. And by another treaty, if you’re not in any country’s territory, maritime law applies.
So Mars is “international waters.”
NASA is an American nonmilitary organization, and it owns the Hab. So while I’m in the Hab, American law applies. As soon as I step outside, I’m in international waters. Then when I get in the rover, I’m back to American law.
Here’s the cool part: I will eventually go to Schiaparelli and commandeer the Ares 4 lander. Nobody explicitly gave me permission to do this, and they can’t until I’m aboard Ares 4 and operating the comm system. After I board Ares 4, before talking to NASA, I will take control of a craft in international waters without permission.
That makes me a pirate!
A space pirate!”
You can’t really go wrong reading about a space pirate who colonizes Mars. Pair this book with potatoes. Because what else? Try these delicious scalloped potatoes from Gimme Some Oven.
*He is what I imagine Kate would be like if she was an astronaut stranded on Mars.