Two years back was when I first heard of “The Martian“, the Sci-Fi novel by Andy Weir. I think it was in one of the Podcast shows in Twit by Leo Laporte, I have been wanting to read the book from then, but today I watched the movie adaptation of it. It’s interesting on how this novel became popular. No book house wanted to publish “The Martian”, Andy Weir self published it on his website one chapter at a time for free, then as a Kindle eBook for 99 cents which became an instant Sci-Fi title, then corporations came rushing to buy rights for Audio book, then a hard copy and lastly as a movie.
The movie has a bit of science, a bit of mars and a bit of gripping story telling. It’s about a manned mission in Mars when due to a dust storm, the crew evacuate the red planet, leaving one of their fellow astronauts behind thinking he is dead. The stranded astronaut is Mark Watney (played by Matt Damon) a botanist, to survive in Mars, he uses his botany knowledge and engineering skills to grow crops and waits it out till NASA sends a recovery vessel to bring him home.
The first hour of his struggle was interesting to watch, especially how he manages to get water inside his habitat and up to the point where he recovers an abandoned Pathfinder to communicate with Earth. After that the movie had too much of Hollywood cliches that I didn’t enjoy. Overall, The Martian is a good movie, but my favorite survival drama in space will continue to be Gravity (2013) starring Sandra Bullock.