the martianHave you read The Martian yet? Have you? Have you seen the trailers, both the first one and the funny one? Aren’t they awesome? Won’t this be fun? Can we stand it, that we have to wait?

How much longer? Is it now?


I really loved this book. First heard about it at the beginning of the year from Amy Sisson, who has my undying gratitude (a spot-on book rec will do that to a person). I read it in one fell swoop,, and then re-read the hard parts (some of the science is confusing), and then re-read the whole thing a few months ago.

Here’s what I love: the science. The fact that science saves the day. The fact that giving up is not an option.

I love the optimism.

I love the fact that, like the true story of Apollo 13, the world comes together for this one guy, and everyone is hoping he makes it. For the four years of the book, people of the world look up at the stars and they see a lost person who is trying to come home. Isn’t that awesome? I think that’s awesome.

What I didn’t like: Watney’s kind of a jerk when it comes to women. He makes these “nice guy sexist” comments that give me this reflexive little twitch at every one of them. A fellow astronaut is spoken of admiringly solely for her looks. Her shy personality is also very similar to that of another scientist, the one who figures out that Watney’s alive. Two women scientists who are blushing and shy? It was just kind of weird.

By the way, Andy Weir, if you are Googling yourself (oh come on, admit it) and you come across this comment — I don’t actually care that much about the above. I mean, I care, and I wish that maybe you hadn’t made that creative choice, but The Martian is fucking awesome, so you know, that’s basically what it is. I wish you hadn’t made that creative choice.

People will care about it and they will be a helluva lot louder than me about the above. They will write loudly and they will write strongly about what’s wrong with that creative choice.

And they will be right to do so.

But right now, for me, here’s what I care about. I care about some kid, girl or boy, who sees the movie or reads the book and decides to be a scientist.

Because what I want is for this book and movie to turn around the dreadful science education in this country. I want science to save the day again, not be mistrusted, and lied about, and demonized. Maybe that’s a lot to ask of one book and one movie, but I can’t help but be optimistic.

Is the movie here yet?

How about now?



A3 · August 21, 2015 at 8:50 pm

It was an awesome book. I also can’t wait for the movie.

Amy Sisson · October 2, 2015 at 2:13 am

Patrice, I just now saw this (months after the fact!). Glad you liked the book so much. I can’t *wait* for the movie! Hopefully this weekend, although we have ballet on Friday and I’m cooking for the D&D guys on Saturday. Maybe Sunday …. I hope!

Patrice Sarath · October 2, 2015 at 8:14 am

I plan to see it Sunday too. My Friday and Saturday is equally booked. I can’t wait.

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