The Martian

If you haven’t guess by now, looking at my social media feed, I love space. Be it the classic spacemen from my childhood or the Star Wars universe, I always dreamt to see our planet from the outside.

I don’t know if there is any link with my work and my passion for aircraft, but space looks interesting to me because there is still so many discoveries and scientific advances to be made in this area, either in technology or in places to visit. The challenge is amazing and I am amazed to see that some private companies, like Space X, are accomplishing what was only the work of nations in the past. I always try to watch every lift off and landing of their launchers. They are able to send a spacecraft beyond our atmosphere and have it land back on a “small” drone barge. What an accomplishment.

To be honest, I am also excited by the future. In some years, we will go to Mars. What a challenge it is. I would love to be among the team of pionniers that will land on that rock. I know that it would be a one-way mission but what a thrill it would be.

My book

So, today, I wanted to share a book that I swallowed in a couple of days. I love to read and the best time for me is during my morning commute. It allows me to escape my daily routine.
(It’s also the place where I write most of my blog posts, including this one).

But let’s get back to that book. It’s a book about space and one man stranded on Mars. You may have seen the movie by Ridley Scott but it was initially a book. I am talking of course about: “The Martian” by Andy Weir.

The Martian
The Martian

Synopsis

Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars.

Now, he’s sure he’ll be the first person to die there.

After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive — and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive.

Chances are, though, he won’t have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain-old “human error” are much more likely to kill him first.

But Mark isn’t ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills — and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit — he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?

My thoughts

Let’s talk quickly about the movie which, I think, is a good retranscription of the book, except for the end when the director decided to go with Hollywood instead of being faithful to the book.

That’s why I invite you, of course, to read the book. Moreover, the book is structured like Mark Whatney’s diary. That way, you get inside the thoughts of the lonely spaceman. There is an interesting evolution of the character after months talking with no-one except for us, the readers.

What I love in this story is that Andy Weir, the author, is basing his story on scientific and possible facts. From growing of potatoes on Mars, to the landscapes that the hero is encountering during his (long) time there, everything could happen on the red planet.
Except, for one thing…
The dust storm at the beginning of the book should never happen on Mars, since the atmosphere is so much lighter than the one on Earth. But Andy recognizes this mistake, so we can forgive him.

I invite you to watch this panel during which Andy Weir, himself, astronaut Chris Hadfield and Adam Savage talk about the book, the movie and more stuff about Mars.

My picture

After reading the book, I always wanted to depict my Mark Watney, stranded on the red planet.

So, when I encountered red rocks during one of my travels, I immediately thought back of that book and made that picture.

The Martian
The Martian

I am actually not the only one liking this book, here, at Stuck In Plastic. Stefan already talked about it, this year, in another post, that I invite you to read.

Another book

If you were not aware, Andy Weir published a new book last month.
This time, the story takes place on the Moon, on a colony called Artemis (This is the name of the new novel).

My next read - Artemis
My next read – Artemis

Of course, I can tell you that I bought it but I haven’t had time to read it. To be honest, I can’t wait to start. Maybe it will inspire me with a new picture and a follow-up blog post. Who knows.

Julien / Ballou34

Aeronautics engineer by day, toy photographer by night.
Exploring the world with his plastic figures.

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