Jonathan Crowe

Book reviewer, cat photographer, fanzine editor, map blogger, snake whisperer.

Tag: Andy Weir

Artemis

Artemis (US cover)When your first novel is The Martian, what do you do for an encore?

The Martian was a freak of publishing. Andy Weir self-published it electronically in 2011; when brisk online sales caught the attention of the publishing industry and Hollywood, it went on to be a hardcover bestseller in 2014, and spawned a 2015 movie that grossed more than $630 million. While the book was weak on characterization and prose, it was full of humour and dramatic tension while remaining unapologetically geeky. It was terrific fun to read. (See my review.)

That’s a hell of an act to have to follow up on. Weir’s second novel, Artemis, is out today—published by Crown in the United States and Del Rey in the United Kingdom. And I have to say that while Artemis is a diverting enough read, I don’t expect it to bottle the same lightning its predecessor did.

Read More

The Martian

the-martianJust finished reading The Martian by Andy Weir. Good Lord it’s a lot of fun.

During this year’s Hugo Awards foofaraw, there was some disappointment expressed that this book was not on the final ballot. That was not because Hugo voters were out to snub a book full of the good old stuff and lacking in social justice virtue, or whatever—it was simply ineligible. The Martian was first self-published electronically in 2011. But don’t weep overmuch for Andy Weir: after brisk online sales, both traditional publishing and Hollywood started paying attention. He got a six-figure advance for the hardcover edition, which came out in February 2014, and the movie adaptation comes out this November.

And it’s not hard to see why. The book chronicles a lone astronaut’s struggle to survive on the Martian surface after an accident leaves him stranded there, and the attempts to rescue him. It’s chock-a-block with technical detail—Weir did a lot of research, and the Mars program in the book reflects a lot of the proposals I’ve seen—and MacGyveresque solutions to problems. It’s written in a light, breezy and entertaining (if not necessarily felicitous) manner. Characterization and prose quality are not among its virtues—it’s basically an Analog story without all the Analog baggage—but Weir manages to maintain real tension while interleaving it with some legitimately funny moments; in many ways it manages to out-Scalzi John Scalzi at his own game. It’s a fun book—just what I needed right now.

Amazon | iBooks

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén