I finished reading The Martian by Andy Weir today, and man, what a terrific novel. I know I'm a little late to jump on this bandwagon, but sometimes such is my lot in life. As my brother once said, I may show up late, but I show up.
Back to The Martian. I had picked up this book at some point last year when people at work had been talking it up, and I read the opening chapter and was very impressed. What happened next, a side effect of my past-life of being a book club acquiring editor: I soon after picked up another book, then another. I do this a lot, I start new books before finishing others. Sacrilege to purists, I know. It's a feeling that I need to read some of a lot of books instead of all of a few of them. It's a symptom of those many years with manuscripts and advance reader copies from various publishers stacked on my desk. Even though I've moved on in my publishing career, old habits...
Recently while out with some sf/f publishing friends, The Martian came up again in conversation. I went back to it and I'm so glad I did. I immediately fell right back into the plight of Mark Watney: abandoned on Mars, calculating each step of whether or not he can survive.
I'm not looking to give anything away, but the book is filled with twists and turns, insane surprises and high a level of dramatic tension that keep you flipping the pages. I will say I was enthralled, totally enveloped in the science of it all, the calculations, the fine line between survival and death, and the isolation Mark felt. It was a gripping novel that I can't stop talking about and I highly recommend.
Also, I can't wait to see Ridley Scott's film adaptation which will be releasing around Thanksgiving time this year. That will be epic and something to look forward to as we approach the end of the year.
So you see, sometimes you can go back.
[This last line added for a friend, he'll know what I mean. Let's see if he's following along...]