Text Review: Andy Weir’s 2011 Novel, The Martian

A fantastic book, later a major motion picture, that I would like to discuss and review for this assignment is Andy Weir’s 2011 novel, The Martian. The Martian is a science fiction novel that follows NASA’s Ares 3 manned mission to Mars in the year 2035. After a violent, life-threatening storm on Mars, the crew is forced to rapidly evacuate from Mars and astronaut Mark Watney is left behind in the chaos of this event. The rest of the book describes the extraordinary struggles that Mark faces while stranded on Mars in addition to the incredible ingenuity that both he and the large supporting group of agencies and individuals back on Earth exhibit as they work to bring Mark back safely. The latter aspect of the book is what I really enjoyed about it and why I am writing about The Martian for this assignment. As an aerospace engineering student with work experience in both government and private industry, I can say firsthand that many diverse areas are life are not adequately represented in STEM, and specifically, in aerospace. In other words, STEM and aerospace, due not accurately reflect the general population of the world, or in NASA’s case, the United States. In the Martian, NASA reaches out the Chinese National Space Administration for help and we see many historically underrepresented groups of engineers, including females and minority racial groups, contributing to the goal of bringing Mark home. Differences between culture, gender, race, politics, etc. are transcended and the world comes together for a greater goal. I found this to be incredibly inspiring when reading the book. In this class we discussed the One and the Other dialectic which I think The Martian very significantly does not depict. Nobody points fingers and judges other people and cultures. Nobody is primary and no one else is secondary. The Martian is really important and significant to me because it is an amazing look into a better future world of aerospace which nicely ties together both my passion and my desire for meaningful change as represented also in topics from this course. It also has a great sense of humor and grasp on technical concepts, which I appreciated. Many of you have probably read the book or seen the move already, but if you have not, I highly recommend it!

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