When six astronauts from the Ares 3 mission land on Acidalia Planitia, a flat area on the planet Mars, they expect to leave after about 30 days Then a serious storm blows in, creating chaos and causing the mission to be abandoned within the first week During the storm, astronaut Mark Watney, a botanist and mechanical engineer, is injured while the team struggles to get to the Mars Ascent Vehicle, and all signs indicate that he is dead as he lies there in the red dust Soon afterwards, he regains consciousness only up to find himself alone and the sole inhabitant of an entire planet This should have been petrifying but Mark Watney is an amazingly resourceful survivor and, despite everything, manages to maintain a rather quirky sense of humour throughout his ordeal Meanwhile, the other Ares 3 crew members are on their way to Earth and mourning his loss, while Mindy Park from SatCon on Earth notices that a satellite is picking up some rather unusual occurrences happening on Mars.I knew that The Martian by Andy Weir was achieving high ratings and that it was to be a movie starring Matt Damon excellent choice but I had no idea it was going to be so engaging and so frequently hilarious Author, Andy Weir, certainly has a witty way of expressing himself and as Weir s words appear in Watney s mind and tumble out of Watney s mouth, all I could do was laugh There is some tension in the book will Watney survive or not but not much Mostly it s an awful lot of scientific explanation as to how Watney strives to survive and NASA strive to help him I found that fascinating but if you aren t the least bit interested in even basic science, I cannot imagine you ll get much out of this book I appreciated the way Andy Weir used science fact to get his character both in and out of the tightest corners and to make the story plausible What was sadly lacking was a glossary of terms at the back of the book Weir uses a lot of scientific terminology, not to mention acronyms, and mostly without any explanation While reading, I did wonder though why Mark Watney had a problem with his space suit only giving him oxygen I also wondered how a botanist and mechanical engineer, would know so much about chemistry and physics but it s a good thing he did I expect that the author did resort to at least some artistic license here.Before buying the paperback, I had bought the Kindle version There is a map at the front of the book printed and ebook On the ebook, if you click on the map you can zoom in, in order to be able to see detail better The Kindle dictionary came in useful, as did the facility for highlighting and making notes, as well as doing searches of the book But I still wanted a printed version on one of my bookshelves, so I bought that recently I once had a movie blog and actually wrote myself a guide to the terms in the book because, well, I m no scientist and I wanted to understand the science behind everything that Weir threw at me I ve pasted in a text version here All errors are undoubtedly mine, so please forgive Acidalia Planitia A large flat region on Mars where the Ares 3 team landed, and Mark and the Hab is located.Aeroshell Protective shell during launch and landing in this case, the Iris probe.Ammonia azane A chemical compound of Nitrogen and Hydrogen NH one atom nitrogen, three atoms hydrogen A colourless, corrosive, and irritant gas with pungent odour.Arabia Terra One of the dustiest areas on Mars.Ares programmes NASA missions to Mars Mark Watney arrives on Ares 3 mission, Sol day 1 124 days journey from Earth to Mars Three years to execute mission Ares 4 expected to arrive at Sciaparelli crater on Sol 1425.ASCII American Standard Code for information interchange, a set of digital codes representing letters, numerals and other characters.Atmosphere Gases surrounding Earth and other planets.Atmospheric Pressure The pressure exerted by the weight of the gases surrounding a planet atmosphere.Atmospheric Pressure on Mars Less than 1% of Earth s pressureAtmospheric Regulator The Hab atmospheric regulator ensures that the balance of gases air within the Hab are safe to breathe.CAPCOM Capsule communicatorCarbon DioxideCO one atom carbon, two oxygen A colourless, odourless gas produced by plants at night , and animal respiration decay of organic matter burning of fossil fuels volcanic and geyser activity According to Mark Watney, 8% of CO will eventually kill you.Carbon Dioxide filters Absorb carbon dioxide until saturated They are not cleanable or reusable Used on Rovers and Spacesuits Mark Watney has enough for 1500 hours of CO filtration.Carbon Dioxide liquid Formed by compressing and cooling carbon dioxide.Centripetal gravity Artificial gravity caused by centripetal force.Deep Space Network A scientific telecommunications system Deimos Smaller of Mars two moonsDeneb A very bright starDinitrogen or molecular nitrogen Diatomic molecule N two nitrogen atoms A colourless, odorless, gas.Dioxygen or molecular oxygen Oxygen gas O diatomic molecule of two oxygen atoms A colourless, odourless, gas An oxidizer a chemical that fuel requires in order to burn.Dreideling Action like a Dreidel , a Jewish spinning top I think this refers to the wobble that a spinning top has just before it falls over.EagleEye 3 Saturn probe Fictitious but the Cassini Huygens Saturn probe certainly exists and was launched on 15 October 1997.Earth atmosphere 21% Oxygen, 78% nitrogen, other 1 rth distance to Mars 34 to 250 million miles Average 140 million miles.Earth distance to Moon 238,000 milesEarth distance to Sun 93 million milesEarth temperature Average 57 degrees Fahrenheit 13.899 celsius EO Earth orbitEVA Extravehicular ActivityGC Ground ControlHab Habitation, canvas dwelling 92 square metresHermes Ares missions spacecraft, powered by ion engines transport between Mars and Earth s orbits.Hohmann Transfer Window Window of opportunity to utilise the Hohmann Transfer OrbitHydrazine N H two atoms Nitrogen, four hydrogen A colourless, volatile, toxic, flammable liquid a derivative of ammonia 292 litres found in MDV tanks Each litre of hydrazine has enough hydrogen to make 2 litres of water when combined with oxygen.Hydrogen Chemical element H one hydrogen atom A colourless, odorless, highly flammable gas Hydrogen is a chemical element in Hydrazine.IR camera Infrared camera used for thermal imaging.Iridium A silver white metal with catalyctic increase rate of chemical reaction propertiesJPL NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory.Lander A protective shell which, during landing, protects a Rover, for e.g Pathfinder s Sojourner Rover.Launch Status Check Terms used at beginning of American space mission.Liquid Oxygen LOx Liquid O liquid dioxygen Stored either end of Hab in high pressure tanks to feed space suits and Rovers.Mars 4th planet from the Sun Mars atmosphere Mostly Carbon Dioxide CO about 95%.Mars distance from sun 142 million milesMars temperature Average minus 81 degrees Fahrenheit minus 62.78 Celsius Mars water Found as ice at polar ice cap.MAV Mars Ascent VehicleMAV fuel tank Collects CO from Mars atmosphere and converts hydrogen and CO by Sabatier chemical reaction to fuel for MAV ascent to the spaceship, Hermes MAV takes 20 hours to fill 10 litre fuel tank with CO litre per hour For every 1kg of hydrogen it makes 13 kgs of fuel Mark uses Hab oxygenator to remove oxygen from the CO , so he can use the oxygen and hydrogen to make H O water.Mawrth Vallis A valley area of Mars carved out by major floods in the distant past.MDV Mars Descent VehicleMDV fuel tank Holds hydrazine N H MDV makes its own fuel by way of an iridium catalyst in the engine reaction chamber which turns hydrazine into nitrogen and hydrogen Mark finds 292 litres of unused hydrazine One litre of hydrazine has enough hydrogen to make 2 litres of water when combined with oxygen.MDV reactor Separates hydrazine into hydrogen and nitrogen.MGS Mars Global Surveyor satelliteMMU Manned Manoeuvering UnitMolecule Electrically neutral group of two or atomsNitrogen Chemical element N one nitrogen atom NSA National Security Agency.Oxygen Chemical element, symbol O one oxygen atom Oxygenator Removes oxygen from Hab s CO.Pathfinder A space shuttle It was launched December 4, 1996 and delivered the Sojourner Rover to Mars.Phobos Larger of Mars two moons.Plutonium 238 A radioactive isotope of plutonium, used in the RTG.Polaris A seemingly motionless bright star around which the northern sky revolves.Pop Tent Emergency rescue tent inflate like air bag on RoversPrecession Precession is a change in the orientation of the rotational axis of a rotating bodyProbe Unmanned aircraft.Rover Transport vehicles on Ares 3 base, Acidalia Planitia, Mars Same as the spacesuits, the Rovers use CO filters rather than an oxygenator.RTG Radioisotope Thermoelectric GeneratorSAFER Unit Simplified Aid for EVA rescue, worn like a backpack.SatCon SatCon Technology Corp.Schiaparelli crater 3200 miles from Acidalia Planitia, and where the Ares 4 mission will land.SETI Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Sojourner Rover Mars MicroRover delivered by Pathfinder space shuttle.Sol Solar Day on Earth it s 23 hours 56 mins, on Mars it s 24 hours 37 mins as it takes longer to rotate 360 degrees on its axis.Solar Cells Used to convert sunlight into energy and store by way of hydrogen fuel cells.Spectroscopy Spectroscopy is a scientific measurement technique It measures light that is emitted, absorbed, or scattered by materials and can be used to study, identify and quantify those materials Telemetry is the highly automated communications process by which measurements are made and other data collected at remote or inaccessible points and transmitted to receiving equipment for monitoring.Tetris A tile matching Russian puzzle game.ULA United Launch Alliance.VASIMIR 4 Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket.Water H 0 two hydrogen atoms, one oxygen Mark wants 600 litres of water He uses the CO2 from the MAV and the Oxygenator to create oxygen, and the MDV reactor to create hydrogen.Water reclaimer System in the Hab for pulling humidity water out of the Habs atmosphere.Zirconia Electrolysis Cell Used by the Oxygenator to remove carbon atoms from CO and thus create oxygen. Robinson Crusoe on Mars Andy Weir s second novel Artemis, a high concept thriller set on the moon, is out now A survival story for the st century and the international bestseller behind the major film from Ridley Scott, starring Matt Damon and Jessica ChastainI m stranded on MarsI have no way to communicate with EarthI m in a Habitat designed to lastdaysIf 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 deathSo yeah I m screwedAndy Weir s second novel Artemis is now available Hac a muchos a os que no disfrutaba tanto con un libro Este tiene aventuras, emoci n, paisajes espectaculares y mucha, mucha Ciencia Aunque parezca un libro de ficci n no deja de ser una exaltaci n de la curiosidad humana y de la capacidad de supervivencia gracias al conocimiento, gracias a la ciencia.Tras una evacuaci n de emergencia, los compa eros de Mark Watney le abandonan en Marte pensando que est muerto Pero ha sobrevivido y ni los v veres ni el ox geno que le quedan son suficientes para esperar a que le rescaten.A pesar de ello se pone manos a la obra y gracias a sus inteligencia y sus conocimientos cient ficos ir aumentando poco a poco sus posibilidades de supervivencia El buen nimo y el sentido del humor del protagonista le ayudar n en los momentos en los que todo se estropea y tiene que volver a empezar.Me encantan como es capaz en un momento dado de ponerse en contacto con la Tierra y la estrategia que utiliza para producir sus propias cosechas, es sencillamente pica Como colof n, el viaje que con paciencia realiza en el planeta rojo con los pocos recursos de los que dispone.Como dec a al principio, un homenaje a la Ciencia que me ha hecho recuperar la pasi n por la lectura.Por cierto, es una novela de ciencia ficci n, pero tiene un mont n de divulgaci n cient fica. Having just come off the back of watching the film, I ve done what everyone else has no doubt been doing, and read the book Is it entertaining Yes Is it funny Yes Is it amazing writing Well no.The book and is carried on the witticisms and banter of main character Mark Watney, the titular Martian, and are jam packed with pop culture references, science y bits, and one line zingers And whilst I appreciated them, even found them amusing, this is also the story s downfall It sounds like the kind of dialogue I d exchange with my equally nerdy friends on a Saturday night meet up not Apollo 13 on Mars as it was billed to me by the hype As a result it feels like it s missing a sense of epic scale, and the stakes just don t feel that high At no point did I ever feel awed, or gripped, or really worried for Watney Whenever something went wrong I simply wondered how he was going to fix it this time and what amusing commentary he d provide I never worried for a minute about his ultimate survival Fun and entertaining Yes Compelling and thrilling No.The writing is competent, not outstanding Apart from the complicated science y bits, the language is kept simple, which is good for accessibility of the average reader, but for me I felt it lacked a little bit of creative flair the language is very functional and to the point, there s very little evocative imagery or creative description The characters are largely functional too Outside of Watney, everyone else basically boils down to their job at NASA or their role e.g Mark s parents, Vogel s wife, etc Watney himself is interchangeable his vital stats could be swapped out for someone older younger male female American non American and there be no difference whatsoever to what happens in the plot.Would I recommend this book Yes, I would It s amusing, it s entertaining, it s interesting it s just not the most amazing, earth shattering book ever written, so don t go into it expecting that It reminds me a lot of an old classic actually The Moon Is Hell by John Campbell in its diary format and its functional problem solving minus the crime solving that also goes on in Campbell s novel. Outstanding I read this having already seen the film, and that sometimes means the book loses some of its impact however even then it did not disappoint In theory, you could summarise as Robinson Crusoe on Mars, but that does the book a injustice Mark Watney is stranded on Mars, and has to find a way to survive Watney s gallows humour and unwillingness to look facts in the face i.e that he is going to die and give up make you care about him.I think one of the reasons this book is so popular, and certainly why I liked is it that Mars feels so tantalizingly close I hesitate to classify this as sci fi, simply because technically speaking most of the stuff in the book is feasible now it s an engineering problem to be solved, and political will that stops us solving that problem There are no warp drives, lasers, aliens hope that s not a plot spoiler or other staples of sci fi just a guy trying to get home after getting stranded far from home Reading this made Mars feel even closer I hope some day soon we get there. I watched the film first but then went for the book I recommend doing it the other way around Due to an eye problem I had to switch to the audio book part way through I started from the beginning and found it s much engaging and I cared about Mark when his diary entry is being performed and his humour comes accross The story is good however you read it but I d go for the audible book over the paper version I don t want to tell you the story beyond a guy is stuck on Mars and assumed dead and he s making diary entries and trying to figure out how to survive The audiobook works best because the entries are performed so well It s not an amazing piece of writing that s going to be studied in a hundred years but you re going to have fun reading it and like the guy, you really want him to survive and care about his journey, he never loses his sense of humour and it makes him much likeable I really recommend it, thanks for reading my review. Mission day 6 I ve finally done it I ve read The Martian As seems to be the norm with my reads reviews why the hell did it take me so long to actually pick this book I loved the movie and don t lie if I tell you I ve watched it over 200 times I guess watching and hearing Watney overcoming one problem after another just has got something relaxing, that helps me concentrate while working on my own work or study related stuff Turns out, the book is a hundred times better Tons of credible, well explained science, packed with dozens of oh crap moments, and filled with jokes from Watney s dark sense of humor For someone coming from the motion picture, although pretty close to the movie regarding what to expect from the story, the novel offers quite a few details in terms of the number and types of problem Watney faces during his stay on Mars After reading the book it becomes pretty clear the movie based its script almost entirely on the novel, but some of the scenes where either omitted or filmed but not included in the final version There s quite a number of situations that seem off in the movie e.g some non sensical answers in certain conversations that are much better understood within the bigger context of the novel A great novel going straightaway to my how cool is Mars shelf. La pel cula Marte no est mal, pero es muy superficial y resume y simplifica demasiado la historia contada en este libro Este libro es una joya para los aficionados a la ciencia ficci n, incluso para los que ya hayan visto la pel cula Narra la historia ficticia de la tercera expedici n de la Tierra a Marte, pero al poco de llegar hay una tormenta de viento muy fuerte y tienen que abortar y volver El protagonista sufre un accidente y sus compa eros le dan por muerto Con la amenaza de que la nave va a volcar antes de despegar, no pueden perder el tiempo y le tienen que abandonar Finalmente el hombre realmente estaba vivo y tiene que vivir una aut ntica aventura para sobrevivir Lo interesante es que el protagonista es un bi logo ingeniero espabilado y con muchos recursos y ganas de vivir La novela narra todos los trucos que tiene que ir haciendo para hacer una granja, comunicarse con la tierra y lograr volver Le pasa de todo, y toda la historia es muy realista Est muy bien contado, de forma gil y narrado en un ingl s f cil de seguir.Recomiendo su lectura, sobre todo a los ingenieros o gente con conocimientos t cnicos, ya que explica con detalle lo que va haciendo, quedando una historia muy realista Te pones muy f cilmente en su lugar, haci ndote pensar en cada momento c mo va a solucionar todas las dificultades Tambi n es muy interesante c mo descubre el personal de Houston que est vivo, y c mo encuentran soluciones para recuperarle a tiempo.En resumen, a m me ha resultado un libro muy entretenido, y recomiendo su lectura a todos los aficionados a la ciencia ficci n de la buena.