The Martian (mass Market Mti): A Novel by Andy WeirThe Martian (mass Market Mti): A Novel by Andy Weir

The Martian (mass Market Mti): A Novel

byAndy Weir

Paperback | August 18, 2015

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Nominated as one of America’s best-loved novels by PBS’s The Great American Read

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?
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.
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Title:The Martian (mass Market Mti): A NovelFormat:PaperbackDimensions:448 pages, 7.51 × 4.19 × 1.08 inPublished:August 18, 2015Publisher:Crown/ArchetypeLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:110190500X

ISBN - 13:9781101905005

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Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from Fun, fast paced SF Heard lots about this book and decided to give it a go while I was on vacation. I certainly liked the many obstacles our hero had to overcome and was never sure if he was going to make it or not. Sorry, no spoilers. Because of the first person perspective, you do get a sense of the many thoughts someone in an almost impossible situation would be possibly thinking. I also liked the many mathematical equations our Martian had to contemplate, and how through the magic of futuristic science he is able to overcome most of them. Most! At times, the math is a bit overwhelming, but I have to believe that anyone who can become an astronaut / botanist is smart enough to figure things out that the rest of us mere mortals couldn't.
Date published: 2017-04-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from If you like the movie, you should read the book The book is even better than the movie!
Date published: 2017-03-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing. Rarely do you find a book that makes you stay up all night just so you can finish it the day you started it.
Date published: 2017-01-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very enjoyable I had a great time reading this book. Couldn't put it down!
Date published: 2017-01-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Couldn't put it down I read this as a recommendation from a friend and it was the first book I've read in a while that I just could not put down. It's absolutely hilarious and thrilling read and scientifically accurate. You don't have to be a science major in order to follow along with what is being said. The simple story-telling format makes it impactful.
Date published: 2017-01-09
Rated 3 out of 5 by from So interesting WOW! This book is fascinating and so believable. Considering we've never put a human on Mars to date, the science behind the story seems very accurate and detailed. Can't wait to see the movie!
Date published: 2016-12-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Loved this I can't say enough good things about this book, it was a great read! Too bad it took being turned into a movie to get more of the attention it deserved, but none the less a great book, and movie to go along with it!
Date published: 2016-12-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent Novel Fantastic book. I highly appreciate the accuracy and detail of the science. It's rare to find such a scienctific science fiction book. Plus it's hilarious.
Date published: 2016-12-29
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Meh I wish I could say that I loved this book as I read it based on recommendations from three separate people. Each of them LOVED the novel and found it hilarious. I did find some parts of the novel quite funny and I did like the whole 'lost in space' storyline but I found the rest of the novel just mediocre. I felt that I got lost at times during the science/chemistry explanations but I did find that the information provided was necessary in making the reader believe in events that were happening. It was an okay read and I do think adamant fans of science fiction would enjoy this novel but I don't think it necessarily deserves the hype that it has been getting as a bestseller.
Date published: 2016-12-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Read This! I bought a copy the year it came out and I have read it every six months, a rare feat with previously read books and every time I read it it's the same reactions and feelings as the first time around. The main character is a breath of fresh air from the usually hero main character, charming and witty. Grounded in accurate science, a comedy sci-fi definitely worth a read.
Date published: 2016-12-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Amazing Sci-Fi adventure Space, Science, Comedy. This book has it all
Date published: 2016-12-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good laugh-out-loud-on-a-Saturday-afternoon stuff. Hilariously fun read! ..if you like edge of your seat, slightly morbid, full of ridiculous hope, fictional humour.. and why wouldn't you? Good laugh-out-loud-on-a-Saturday-afternoon stuff.
Date published: 2016-12-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing, This blew me away I initially got this book as a gift and was a little wary to read it. I like sci-fi and fantasy, but was afraid this book would be a little too dry for me. I was completely wrong. Yes, there are a lot of technical terms used, and it is heavy on the science side; but this is very well balanced with the wit and humour of the main character. While this was a work of science fiction, the detail put into the work made it seem very real. The character was lively and dynamic and the story was extremely compelling. I could not put it down. You quickly get wrapped up in this amazing read and you will definitely not regret buying this. If I could give this more stars I would.
Date published: 2016-12-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awsome Loved this book, funny and scientific.
Date published: 2016-12-21
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Intriguing Although the movie was very good the book was much better. #plumreview
Date published: 2016-12-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I loved this!! This was a great novel. I loved the dialogue throughout this novel, it has some laugh out loud moments that make the situation less daunting.
Date published: 2016-12-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Holy Space Pirates! This book was AMAZING! I actually think I could sit here all night writing about everything that is so right with this book! I saw the movie first and loved it so much I saw it in theaters 3 times and before seeing it a third time I bought the book and realized that this is one of the closest book to movie adaptations I've ever seen, which made me so so so excited! I'm not someone who is particularly enthralled with space, in fact, space terrifies me. Because of this, I wasn't exactly jazzed to see The Martian, with the exception of Matt Damon being in it, but I was blown away. And I was blown away a second time when I read this book. The characters and the science in this novel are so realistic and captivating it's sometimes hard to believe that this is a work of fiction! Seriously, no matter your interest level in space, or science, if you love entrancing characters mixed with a pithy humorous writing style, READ THIS BOOK!
Date published: 2016-12-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent book! Highly recommended book! It's an easy read narrative filled with sarcasm and science
Date published: 2016-12-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Addictive Once you get into this book there will be no stopping. The dry, sarcastic personality of the 'Martian' combined with the science and non-stop survival tension, is a wonderful mix!
Date published: 2016-12-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great book great plot, the narrative was surprisingly easy to read, the author made it easy for the reader to understand the science. Really funny!
Date published: 2016-12-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Science rules So much SCIENCE! Who wouldn't love it!
Date published: 2016-12-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Such a thrill! Amazing plot!!!!!! Picked it up and couldn't put it down
Date published: 2016-12-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of the best books I loved The Martian. I have recommended it to most of my friends and really enjoyed all of the book. I liked the interviews with the author where he explained how he researched the book and thus I loved the book even more now. I would highly recommend reading it before watching the movie, but it stand up on its own. Great book!
Date published: 2016-12-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great read, even though it gets a bit too technical at times. I was a little wary about diving into this book, as I liked the movie, but couldn't decide how that would translate into a novel. The book works better than the film in some ways: 1. Mark Watney is quite a lot funnier and less dramatic in the book, but knowing the ending I never felt like anything was completely dire; 2. While the technical details can drag a little bit, it's these details that offer a better sense of realism, making it less Hollywood; 3. The many, MANY secondary characters are better flushed out so you get a better sense of who these people are who are trying to save the martian. All in all, I recommend it to anyone who's a fan of nerdy science books.
Date published: 2016-12-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Lives Up To The Hype There's been a lot of hype for this book, especially now that it has a movie deal. And you know what? It absolutely deserves it. I was hooked from the first page, everything technical was explained in layman's terms, the scenarios were realistic, the danger was real, and it is impossible not to fall in love with Mark. From the first time he speaks his brand of humor, all you can think is: "If he dies, I'm going to cry like a baby." The story is masterfully woven, engaging, entertaining, and great fun from start to finish. You might be sick of seeing this book on every book shelf or seeing the commercial for the movies. I'm telling you right now, do NOT let that discourage you from reading THE MARTIAN. It's one of the best survival stories I've ever read, truly uplifting, and worthy of every good word said about it. Without question one of my top books of the year. READ IT!!!
Date published: 2016-11-30
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Unique Story This isn't a typical sci-fi book, its realism makes it very intriguing. I found myself wanting to research the feasibility of everything the character was doing in the story, it's an interesting read.
Date published: 2016-11-25
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Interesting plot, not so great writing This is a novel that I have a hard time rating since I had somewhat of a love/hate relationship with it. Although the premise is intriguing and makes you want to keep reading to find out what happens next, I couldn't stand the protagonist and his narrative voice. I didn't appreciate his attempts at humor and I couldn't connect with him in anyway to make me care too much about his survival. There are some sections where the science lingo gets pretty heavy, but they don't last too long. I enjoyed it but was happy to be done.
Date published: 2016-11-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it Excellent book. Enjoyed it a lot. A great read.
Date published: 2016-11-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good read. At this point, the Martian may be a little overhyped considering the buzz it's received following the release of the film but It's still a good story to be certain. It's detailed and the science is thought out and explained well. Mark Watney is a perfect protagonist for the story at hand as he's both grounded and funny.
Date published: 2016-11-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awesome #plumrewards. It's completely AMAZING, how strong the WILL to survive truly is within human beings. That and a whole lot of ingenious know how. Great read. Definitely recommended for any type of reader. Cause truth be told this wasn't even a genre I would normally read.
Date published: 2016-11-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it! I seen the movie first and loved that so I decided that I had to read the book. I loved it, very entertaing. Some parts made me laugh out loud. I enjoy that time was taken to amke things scientifically possible
Date published: 2016-11-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from amazing!!! the book kept me entertained all the way! I loved Mark's wittiness
Date published: 2016-11-12
Rated 2 out of 5 by from A massive disappointment Reads like a nerdy little boy’s daydreams about solo travels in space. While a fine technical writer, with considerable scientific and mathematical prowess (endlessly flaunted with obscure scientific facts and complex calculations that make reading this book extremely tedious), Weir seems to lack any insight into the human condition. His characters lack any depth or human emotion, and the jokes scattered throughout the book are decidedly juvenile and cringe-worthy. Am I really supposed to believe that a lone astronaut abandoned on an uninhabitable planet millions of miles from home for more than a year would carry on in an infuriatingly cheerful manner, cracking jokes and indefatigably using his awfully convenient engineering skills to fix every treacherous problem that arises, without any sign of depression or anxiety? It is painfully evident that any response to the horrifying ordeal the protagonist faces that is anything other than jovial optimism would be disapproved of; this book does a disservice to all survivors of traumatic events. The “About the Author” section reveals that Weir has worked as a computer programmer since the age of 15 and spends his free time reading about astrophysics. Therein lies the problem, methinks.
Date published: 2016-11-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from So Good! Read this book in a day. Great story - hard to put down.
Date published: 2016-11-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from So Good! this books was so good, I can hardly wrap my head around it. since I seen the movie first, I knew that in the end but I'm so glad some things were still able to shock me. mark watney is one of the most hilarious protagonists I have ever read about; even in dire life or death situations he still managed to push through them with humour. I want more, I need more. I need to know what happens otw home, if beck and johanssen end up together or if their relationship stops once they get back to earth. I'll be dreaming about this book for weeks. I'm going to look up some fanfic rn
Date published: 2016-11-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Loved this book Really enjoyed this book had humorous parts and kept my interest till the end
Date published: 2016-11-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Read I thoroughly enjoyed the book and following that up with the movie is superb
Date published: 2016-11-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great read I really enjoyed this book. Well written and loved the main character and his humour . Couldn't put it down. The book is WAY better than the movie which I found disappointing after having read the book, they just left too much out.
Date published: 2016-05-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awesome book This is one of the first books to have made me laugh out loud. The main character's optimism and humor is heart-warming and fun to read about. It may be a bit complicated with some of the scientific explanations, but overall it's one of my favorite books
Date published: 2016-03-10
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Easy Reading. The idea is good and could be plausible in the future. Apart from going too much into the details (if you're into complicated explanations, you'll like this), I found the fact that anyone can survive so easily for such a long period of time a bit too much. I haven't seen the movie so I can't say they did a better job of it but the book is kind of repetitive at some places. It's still a good bedside book.
Date published: 2016-01-12

Read from the Book

Chapter 1 LOG ENTRY: SOL 6 I’m pretty much fucked. That’s my considered opinion. Fucked. Six days into what should be the greatest two months of my life, and it’s turned into a nightmare. I don’t even know who’ll read this. I guess someone will find it eventually. Maybe a hundred years from now. For the record . . . I didn’t die on Sol 6. Certainly the rest of the crew thought I did, and I can’t blame them. Maybe there’ll be a day of national mourning for me, and my Wikipedia page will say, “Mark Watney is the only human being to have died on Mars.” And it’ll be right, probably. ’Cause I’ll surely die here. Just not on Sol 6 when everyone thinks I did. Let’s see . . . where do I begin? The Ares Program. Mankind reaching out to Mars to send people to another planet for the very first time and expand the horizons of humanity blah, blah, blah. The Ares 1 crew did their thing and came back heroes. They got the parades and fame and love of the world. Ares 2 did the same thing, in a different location on Mars. They got a firm handshake and a hot cup of coffee when they got home. Ares 3. Well, that was my mission. Okay, not mine per se. Commander Lewis was in charge. I was just one of her crew. Actually, I was the very lowest ranked member of the crew. I would only be “in command” of the mission if I were the only remaining person. What do you know? I’m in command. I wonder if this log will be recovered before the rest of the crew die of old age. I presume they got back to Earth all right. Guys, if you’re reading this: It wasn’t your fault. You did what you had to do. In your position I would have done the same thing. I don’t blame you, and I’m glad you survived. I guess I should explain how Mars missions work, for any layman who may be reading this. We got to Earth orbit the normal way, through an ordinary ship to Hermes. All the Ares missions use Hermes to get to and from Mars. It’s really big and cost a lot so NASA built only one. Once we got to Hermes, four additional unmanned missions brought us fuel and supplies while we prepared for our trip. Once everything was a go, we set out for Mars. But not very fast. Gone are the days of heavy chemical fuel burns and trans-Mars injection orbits. Hermes is powered by ion engines. They throw argon out the back of the ship really fast to get a tiny amount of acceleration. The thing is, it doesn’t take much reactant mass, so a little argon (and a nuclear reactor to power things) let us accelerate constantly the whole way there. You’d be amazed at how fast you can get going with a tiny acceleration over a long time. I could regale you with tales of how we had great fun on the trip, but I won’t. I don’t feel like reliving it right now. Suffice it to say we got to Mars 124 days later without strangling each other. From there, we took the MDV (Mars descent vehicle) to the surface. The MDV is basically a big can with some light thrusters and parachutes attached. Its sole purpose is to get six humans from Mars orbit to the surface without killing any of them. And now we come to the real trick of Mars exploration: having all of our shit there in advance. A total of fourteen unmanned missions deposited everything we would need for surface operations. They tried their best to land all the supply vessels in the same general area, and did a reasonably good job. Supplies aren’t nearly so fragile as humans and can hit the ground really hard. But they tend to bounce around a lot. Naturally, they didn’t send us to Mars until they’d confirmed that all the supplies had made it to the surface and their containers weren’t breached. Start to finish, including supply missions, a Mars mission takes about three years. In fact, there were Ares 3 supplies en route to Mars while the Ares 2 crew were on their way home. The most important piece of the advance supplies, of course, was the MAV. The Mars ascent vehicle. That was how we would get back to Hermes after surface operations were complete. The MAV was soft-landed (as opposed to the balloon bounce-fest the other supplies had). Of course, it was in constant communication with Houston, and if there had been any problems with it, we would have passed by Mars and gone home without ever landing. The MAV is pretty cool. Turns out, through a neat set of chemical reactions with the Martian atmosphere, for every kilogram of hydrogen you bring to Mars, you can make thirteen kilograms of fuel. It’s a slow process, though. It takes twenty-four months to fill the tank. That’s why they sent it long before we got here. You can imagine how disappointed I was when I discovered the MAV was gone. It was a ridiculous sequence of events that led to me almost dying, and an even more ridiculous sequence that led to me surviving. The mission is designed to handle sandstorm gusts up to 150 kph. So Houston got understandably nervous when we got whacked with 175 kph winds. We all got in our flight space suits and huddled in the middle of the Hab, just in case it lost pressure. But the Hab wasn’t the problem. The MAV is a spaceship. It has a lot of delicate parts. It can put up with storms to a certain extent, but it can’t just get sandblasted forever. After an hour and a half of sustained wind, NASA gave the order to abort. Nobody wanted to stop a monthlong mission after only six days, but if the MAV took any more punishment, we’d all have gotten stranded down there. We had to go out in the storm to get from the Hab to the MAV. That was going to be risky, but what choice did we have? Everyone made it but me. Our main communications dish, which relayed signals from the Hab to Hermes, acted like a parachute, getting torn from its foundation and carried with the torrent. Along the way, it crashed through the reception antenna array. Then one of those long thin antennae slammed into me end-first. It tore through my suit like a bullet through butter, and I felt the worst pain of my life as it ripped open my side. I vaguely remember having the wind knocked out of me (pulled out of me, really) and my ears popping painfully as the pressure of my suit escaped. The last thing I remember was seeing Johanssen hopelessly reaching out toward me. I awoke to the oxygen alarm in my suit. A steady, obnoxious beeping that eventually roused me from a deep and profound desire to just fucking die. The storm had abated; I was facedown, almost totally buried in sand. As I groggily came to, I wondered why I wasn’t more dead. The antenna had enough force to punch through the suit and my side, but it had been stopped by my pelvis. So there was only one hole in the suit (and a hole in me, of course). I had been knocked back quite a ways and rolled down a steep hill. Somehow I landed facedown, which forced the antenna to a strongly oblique angle that put a lot of torque on the hole in the suit. It made a weak seal. Then, the copious blood from my wound trickled down toward the hole. As the blood reached the site of the breach, the water in it quickly evaporated from the airflow and low pressure, leaving a gunky residue behind. More blood came in behind it and was also reduced to gunk. Eventually, it sealed the gaps around the hole and reduced the leak to something the suit could counteract. The suit did its job admirably. Sensing the drop in pressure, it constantly flooded itself with air from my nitrogen tank to equalize. Once the leak became manageable, it only had to trickle new air in slowly to relieve the air lost. After a while, the CO2 (carbon dioxide) absorbers in the suit were expended. That’s really the limiting factor to life support. Not the amount of oxygen you bring with you, but the amount of CO2 you can remove. In the Hab, I have the oxygenator, a large piece of equipment that breaks apart CO2 to give the oxygen back. But the space suits have to be portable, so they use a simple chemical absorption process with expendable filters. I’d been asleep long enough that my filters were useless. The suit saw this problem and moved into an emergency mode the engineers call “bloodletting.” Having no way to separate out the CO2, the suit deliberately vented air to the Martian atmosphere, then backfilled with nitrogen. Between the breach and the bloodletting, it quickly ran out of nitrogen. All it had left was my oxygen tank. So it did the only thing it could to keep me alive. It started backfilling with pure oxygen. I now risked dying from oxygen toxicity, as the excessively high amount of oxygen threatened to burn up my nervous system, lungs, and eyes. An ironic death for someone with a leaky space suit: too much oxygen. Every step of the way would have had beeping alarms, alerts, and warnings. But it was the high-oxygen warning that woke me. The sheer volume of training for a space mission is astounding. I’d spent a week back on Earth practicing emergency space suit drills. I knew what to do. Carefully reaching to the side of my helmet, I got the breach kit. It’s nothing more than a funnel with a valve at the small end and an unbelievably sticky resin on the wide end. The idea is you have the valve open and stick the wide end over a hole. The air can escape through the valve, so it doesn’t interfere with the resin making a good seal. Then you close the valve, and you’ve sealed the breach. The tricky part was getting the antenna out of the way. I pulled it out as fast as I could, wincing as the sudden pressure drop dizzied me and made the wound in my side scream in agony. I got the breach kit over the hole and sealed it. It held. The suit backfilled the missing air with yet more oxygen. Checking my arm readouts, I saw the suit was now at 85 percent oxygen. For reference, Earth’s atmosphere is about 21 percent. I’d be okay, so long as I didn’t spend too much time like that. I stumbled up the hill back toward the Hab. As I crested the rise, I saw something that made me very happy and something that made me very sad: The Hab was intact (yay!) and the MAV was gone (boo!). Right that moment I knew I was screwed. But I didn’t want to just die out on the surface. I limped back to the Hab and fumbled my way into an airlock. As soon as it equalized, I threw off my helmet. Once inside the Hab, I doffed the suit and got my first good look at the injury. It would need stitches. Fortunately, all of us had been trained in basic medical procedures, and the Hab had excellent medical supplies. A quick shot of local anesthetic, irrigate the wound, nine stitches, and I was done. I’d be taking antibiotics for a couple of weeks, but other than that I’d be fine. I knew it was hopeless, but I tried firing up the communications array. No signal, of course. The primary satellite dish had broken off, remember? And it took the reception antennae with it. The Hab had secondary and tertiary communications systems, but they were both just for talking to the MAV, which would use its much more powerful systems to relay to Hermes. Thing is, that only works if the MAV is still around. I had no way to talk to Hermes. In time, I could locate the dish out on the surface, but it would take weeks for me to rig up any repairs, and that would be too late. In an abort, Hermes would leave orbit within twenty-four hours. The orbital dynamics made the trip safer and shorter the earlier you left, so why wait? Checking out my suit, I saw the antenna had plowed through my bio-monitor computer. When on an EVA, all the crew’s suits are networked so we can see each other’s status. The rest of the crew would have seen the pressure in my suit drop to nearly zero, followed immediately by my bio-signs going flat. Add to that watching me tumble down a hill with a spear through me in the middle of a sandstorm . . . yeah. They thought I was dead. How could they not? They may have even had a brief discussion about recovering my body, but regulations are clear. In the event a crewman dies on Mars, he stays on Mars. Leaving his body behind reduces weight for the MAV on the trip back. That means more disposable fuel and a larger margin of error for the return thrust. No point in giving that up for sentimentality. So that’s the situation. I’m stranded on Mars. I have no way to communicate with Hermes or Earth. Everyone thinks I’m dead. I’m in a Hab designed to last thirty-one days. If the oxygenator breaks down, I’ll suffocate. If the water reclaimer breaks down, I’ll die of thirst. If the Hab breaches, I’ll just kind of explode. If none of those things happen, I’ll eventually run out of food and starve to death. So yeah. I’m fucked. Chapter 2 LOG ENTRY: SOL 7 Okay, I’ve had a good night’s sleep, and things don’t seem as hopeless as they did yesterday. Today I took stock of supplies and did a quick EVA to check up on the external equipment. Here’s my situation: The surface mission was supposed to be thirty-one days. For redundancy, the supply probes had enough food to last the whole crew fifty-six days. That way if one or two probes had problems, we’d still have enough food to complete the mission. We were six days in when all hell broke loose, so that leaves enough food to feed six people for fifty days. I’m just one guy, so it’ll last me three hundred days. And that’s if I don’t ration it. So I’ve got a fair bit of time. I’m pretty flush on EVA suits, too. Each crew member had two space suits: a flight spacesuit to wear during descent and ascent, and the much bulkier and more robust EVA suit to wear when doing surface operations. My flight spacesuit has a hole in it, and of course the crew was wearing the other five when they returned to Hermes. But all six EVA suits are still here and in perfect condition.

Bookclub Guide

Nominated as one of America’s best-loved novels by PBS’s The Great American ReadSix 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?1. How did The Martian challenge your expectations of what the novel would be? What did you find most surprising about it?2. What makes us root for a character to live in a survival story? In what ways do you identify with Mark? How does the author get you to care about him?3. Do you believe the crew did the right thing in abandoning the search for Mark? Was there an alternative choice?4. Did you find the science and technology behind Mark’s problem-solving accessible? How did that information add to the realism of the story?5. What are some of the ways the author established his credibility with scientific detail? Which of Mark’s solutions did you find most amazing and yet believable?6. What is your visual picture of the surface of Mars, based on the descriptions in the book? Have you seen photographs of the planet?7. Who knew potatoes, duct tape, and seventies reruns were the key to space survival? How does each of these items represent aspects of Mark’s character that help him survive?8. How is Mark’s sense of humor as much a survival skill as his knowledge of botany? Do you have a favorite funny line of his?9. To what extent does Mark’s log serve as his companion? Do you think it’s implicit in the narrative that maintaining a log keeps him sane?10. The author provides almost no back story regarding Mark’s life on Earth. Why do you think he made this choice? What do you imagine Mark’s past life was like?11. There’s no mention of Mark having a romantic relationship on Earth. Do you think that makes it easier or harder to endure his isolation? How would the story be different if he was in love with someone back home?12. Were there points in the novel when you became convinced Mark couldn’t survive? What were they, and what made those situations seem so dire?13. The first time the narrative switched from Mark’s log entries to third-person authorial narrative back on Earth, were you surprised? How does alternating between Mark’s point of view and the situation on Earth enhance the story?14. Did you believe the commitment of those on Earth to rescuing one astronaut? What convinced you most?15. To what extent do you think guilt played a part in the crew’s choice to go back to Mark? To what extent loyalty? How would you explain the difference?16. How does the author handle the passage of time in the book? Did he transition smoothly from a day-to-day account to a span of one and a half years? How does he use the passage of time to build suspense?17. Unlike other castaways, Mark can approximately predict the timing of his potential rescue. How does that knowledge help him? How could it work against him?18. When Mark leaves the Hab and ventures out in the rover, did you feel a loss of security for him? In addition to time, the author uses distance to build suspense. Discuss how.19. Where would you place The Martian in the canon of classic space exploration films like 2001: A Space Odyssey, Apollo 13, and Gravity? What does it have in common with these stories? How is it different?20. A survival story has to resonate on a universal level to be effective, whether it’s set on a desert island or another planet. How important are challenges in keeping life vital? To what extent are our everyday lives about problem-solving and maintaining hope?

Editorial Reviews

“Brilliant…a celebration of human ingenuity [and] the purest example of real-science sci-fi for many years…Utterly compelling.”--Wall Street Journal “Terrific stuff, a crackling good read that devotees of space travel will devour like candy…succeeds on several levels and for a variety of reasons, not least of which is its surprising plausibility.”—USA Today   “An impressively geeky debut…the technical details keep the story relentlessly precise and the suspense ramped up. And really, how can anyone not root for a regular dude to prove the U-S-A still has the Right Stuff?”--Entertainment Weekly “Gripping…[features] a hero who can solve almost every problem while still being hilarious. It’s hard not to be swept up in [Weir’s] vision and root for every one of these characters. Grade: A.”—AVClub.com  “Andy Weir delivers with The Martian...a story for readers who enjoy thrillers, science fiction, non-fiction, or flat-out adventure [and] an authentic portrayal of the future of space travel.”--Associated Press "A gripping tale of survival in space [that] harkens back to the early days of science fiction by masters such as Robert Heinlein, Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke."--San Jose Mercury News “One of the best thrillers I’ve read in a long time. It feels so real it could almost be nonfiction, and yet it has the narrative drive and power of a rocket launch. This is Apollo 13 times ten.” --Douglas Preston, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Impact andBlasphemy   “A book I just couldn’t put down! It has the very rare combination of a good, original story, interestingly real characters and fascinating technical accuracy…reads like “MacGyver” meets “Mysterious Island.” --Astronaut Chris Hadfield, Commander of the International Space Station and author of An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth   "The best book I've read in ages. Clear your schedule before you crack the seal. This story will take your breath away faster than a hull breech. Smart, funny, and white-knuckle intense, The Martian is everything you want from a novel." --Hugh Howey, New York Times bestselling author of Wool   “The Martian kicked my ass! Weir has crafted a relentlessly entertaining and inventive survival thriller, a MacGyver-trapped-on-Mars tale that feels just as real and harrowing as the true story of Apollo 13.” —Ernest Cline, New York Times bestselling author of Ready Player One   “Gripping…shapes up like Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe as written by someone brighter.” --Larry Niven, multiple Hugo and Nebula Award-winning author of theRingworld series and Lucifer’s Hammer “Humankind is only as strong as the challenges it faces, and The Martian pits human ingenuity (laced with more humor than you’d expect) against the greatest endeavor of our time — survival on Mars. A great read with an inspiring attention to technical detail and surprising emotional depth. Loved it!" --Daniel H. Wilson, New York Times bestselling author of Robopocalypse “The tension simply never lets up, from the first page to the last, and at no point does the believability falter for even a second. You can't shake the feeling that this could all really happen.” —Patrick Lee, New York Times bestselling author of The Breach and Ghost Country    "Strong, resilent, and gutsy. It's Robinson Crusoe on Mars, 21st century style. Set aside a chunk of free time when you start this one.  You're going to need it because you won't want to put it down." —Steve Berry, New York Times bestselling author of The King’s Deceptionand The Columbus Affair    “An excellent first novel…Weir laces the technical details with enough keen wit to satisfy hard science fiction fan and general reader alike [and] keeps the story escalating to a riveting conclusion.”—Publisher’s Weekly (starred) "Riveting...a tightly constructed and completely believable story of a man's ingenuity and strength in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds."--Booklist “Sharp, funny and thrilling, with just the right amount of geekery…Weir displays a virtuosic ability to write about highly technical situations without leaving readers far behind. The result is a story that is as plausible as it is compelling.”—Kirkus  "Weir combines the heart-stopping with the humorous in this brilliant debut novel...by placing a nail-biting life-and-death situation on Mars and adding a snarky and wise-cracking nerdy hero, Weir has created the perfect mix of action and space adventure."--Library Journal (starred)    “A perfect novel in almost every way, The Martian may already have my vote for best book of 2014.”—Crimespree Magazine “A page-turning thriller…this survival tale with a high-tech twist will pull you right in.”—Suspense Magazine