Review by Curtis Cole
One of the problems with contemporary science-fiction, especially those of a self-published nature, of which Weir’s original draft of the Martian constituted, is the tendency to write a screen-play instead of a novel; a Hollywood style movie, in other words, as opposed to a book. The difference being that the former is a shamelessly promoted product meant to be mass-consumed with abundance, like a Michael Bay film, while the latter is a self-aware entity brimming with philosophical poetics, a la William Faulkner. While it would be absurd to hold every piece of literature to such lofty standards as The Sound and the Fury, one must—at least—attempt to approach such a shining pedestal before blindness sets in.
Sad to say that Weir’s debut novel fails in that regard on all accounts.
Weir’s failures primarily concern character building and science. But first the plot.
Meet Mark Watney…
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