The Martian Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
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A brand-new production of Andy Weir’s modern sci-fi classic, narrated by the incomparable Wil Wheaton, and featuring bonus content from the writings of Mark Watney.
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?
Wil Wheaton, who has lent his voice to sci-fi blockbusters like Ready Player One and Redshirts, breathes new life (and plenty of sarcasm) into the iconic character of Mark Watney, making this edition a must-listen for both longtime fans of The Martian and new listeners alike.
BONUS MATERIAL: This edition includes the following extras:
- “Diary of an AssCan” - Mark Watney, new astronaut
- “I Made It!” - A happy letter to Mom
- “Car Trouble” - A somewhat sad letter to Mom
- “The Earthling” - A postscript. *Available for the first time in this recording
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|Listening Length||10 hours and 59 minutes|
|Audible.ca Release Date||January 01 2020|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #374 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#6 in Hard Science Fiction
#9 in High Tech Science Fiction (Books)
#12 in Adventure Science Fiction (Audible Books & Originals)
Top reviews from Canada
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Well done from start to finish.
A while back I was listening to the Planetary Society podcast, where they were interviewing several NASA directors in charge of the mission to mars. One of the first questions was framed in reference to the Martian, asking if they were planning to build something like an "oxygenator" (a fictional machine). A lot of the follow up questions (and answers) had references to the Martian. It seemed like the NASA directors were actually fans of the book as well, as they obviously were very familiar with terms from the book. That impression alone should tell you that for once, a crazy sci-fi book actually has somewhat respectable science behind it. And where it might lack in very slight errors, it makes up for in spirit - for this is truly a celebration of the scientific method. Except this time the scientific method must be used in a left-for-dead scenario on mars, not a lab.
I hope the movie is as enjoyable. With Ridley Scott directing and Matt Damon starring it should be.
I've seen the movie and was disappointed. Sooo much was left out. So many great lines. So many challenging, and therefore suspenseful, situations.
I know a movie can't usually fit everything that's in a great book in but man this adaptation fell far far too short.
I've watched Apollo 13 four or five times and it's great. Even though I knew the crew survived I was incredibly riveted right up until splashdown. Kudos to Ron Howard for making a well known historical event so gripping.
The Martian movie just breezed by. Its two hour + run time felt far shorter. There was no real sense of a struggle to get Watney home or of just how precarious his situation was. Probably I'll watch it once more for the visuals. The vistas of Mars are breathtaking. You'd almost think they shot them there.
Lastly, and again, sooo many great lines were left out. Like "In space nobody can hear you scream like a little girl."
If it's one or the other read the book. It's a real page turner.
This was a really fun book. It mixes Robinson Crusoe with MacGyver with accurate NASA-technology. It's well written, even if the characters are a little one-dimensional. This isn't the work of a great author in terms of character and story development. But the plot is awesome, full of surprises and great survival solutions, lots of techno-speak, and it moves along at a fast pace. So it's really a plot-driven story with enough grasp of character and story to keep it enjoyable. In fact, I read if very quickly in a very short period of time. Which is my usual go-to guide for whether a book is worth strongly recommending enough. The action was great, the problems and their solutions were fascinating, and the overall quality of the book is definitely good enough for me to recommend this book with 5 full stars!
Top reviews from other countries
I knew that The Martian by Andy Weir was achieving high ratings and that it was to be a movie starring Matt Damon (excellent choice) but I had no idea it was going to be so engaging and so frequently hilarious. Author, Andy Weir, certainly has a witty way of expressing himself and as Weir's words appear in Watney's mind and tumble out of Watney's mouth, all I could do was laugh. There is some tension in the book (will Watney survive or not) but not much. Mostly it's an awful lot of scientific explanation as to how Watney strives to survive and NASA strive to help him. I found that fascinating but if you aren't the least bit interested in even basic science, I cannot imagine you'll get much out of this book. I appreciated the way Andy Weir used science fact to get his character both in and out of the tightest corners and to make the story more plausible. What was sadly lacking was a glossary of terms at the back of the book. Weir uses a lot of scientific terminology, not to mention acronyms, and mostly without any explanation. While reading, I did wonder though why Mark Watney had a problem with his space suit only giving him oxygen?
I also wondered how a botanist and mechanical engineer, would know so much about chemistry and physics—but it's a good thing he did! I expect that the author did resort to at least some artistic license here.
Before buying the paperback, I had bought the Kindle version. There is a map at the front of the book (printed and ebook). On the ebook, if you click on the map you can zoom in, in order to be able to see detail better. The Kindle dictionary came in useful, as did the facility for highlighting and making notes, as well as doing searches of the book. But I still wanted a printed version on one of my bookshelves, so I bought that recently. I once had a movie blog and actually wrote myself a guide to the terms in the book because, well, I'm no scientist and I wanted to understand the science behind everything that Weir threw at me! I've pasted in a text version here. All errors are undoubtedly mine, so please forgive!
Acidalia Planitia - A large flat region on Mars where the Ares 3 team landed, and Mark and the Hab is located.
Aeroshell - Protective shell during launch and landing (in this case, the Iris probe).
Ammonia (azane) - A chemical compound of Nitrogen and Hydrogen - NH₃ (one atom nitrogen, three atoms hydrogen). A colourless, corrosive, and irritant gas with pungent odour.
Arabia Terra - One of the dustiest areas on Mars.
Ares programmes - NASA missions to Mars. Mark Watney arrives on Ares 3 mission, Sol (day) 1. 124 days journey from Earth to Mars. Three years to execute mission. Ares 4 expected to arrive at Sciaparelli crater on Sol 1425.
ASCII - American Standard Code for information interchange, a set of digital codes representing letters, numerals and other characters.
Atmosphere - Gases surrounding Earth and other planets.
Atmospheric Pressure - The pressure exerted by the weight of the gases surrounding a planet (atmosphere).
Atmospheric Pressure on Mars - Less than 1% of Earth’s pressure
Atmospheric Regulator - The Hab atmospheric regulator ensures that the balance of gases (air) within the Hab are safe to breathe.
CAPCOM - Capsule communicator
Carbon DioxideCO₂ (one atom carbon, two oxygen) - A colourless, odourless gas produced by plants (at night), and animal respiration; decay of organic matter; burning of fossil fuels; volcanic and geyser activity. According to Mark Watney, 8% of CO₂ will ‘eventually kill you’.
Carbon Dioxide filters - Absorb carbon dioxide until saturated. They are not cleanable or reusable. Used on Rovers and Spacesuits. Mark Watney has enough for 1500 hours of CO₂ filtration.
Carbon Dioxide liquid - Formed by compressing and cooling carbon dioxide.
Centripetal gravity - Artificial gravity caused by centripetal force.
Deep Space Network - A scientific telecommunications system -
Deimos - Smaller of Mars’ two moons
Deneb - A very bright star
Dinitrogen (or molecular nitrogen) - Diatomic molecule ‘N₂’ (two nitrogen atoms). A colourless, odorless, gas.
Dioxygen (or molecular oxygen) - Oxygen gas - O₂ (diatomic molecule of two oxygen atoms). A colourless, odourless, gas. An oxidizer (a chemical that fuel requires in order to burn).
Dreideling - Action like a ‘Dreidel’, a Jewish spinning top. I think this refers to the wobble that a spinning top has just before it falls over.
EagleEye 3 Saturn probe - Fictitious but the ‘Cassini-Huygens’ Saturn probe certainly exists and was launched on 15 October 1997.
Earth atmosphere - 21% Oxygen, 78% nitrogen, other 1%
Earth distance to Mars - 34 to 250 million miles Average 140 million miles.
Earth distance to Moon - 238,000 miles
Earth distance to Sun - 93 million miles
Earth temperature - Average: 57 degrees Fahrenheit (13.899 celsius)
EO - Earth orbit
EVA - Extravehicular Activity
GC - Ground Control
Hab - Habitation, canvas dwelling – 92 square metres
Hermes - Ares missions spacecraft, powered by ion engines – transport between Mars’ and Earth’s orbits.
Hohmann Transfer Window - Window of opportunity to utilise the Hohmann Transfer Orbit
Hydrazine - N₂H₄ (two atoms Nitrogen, four hydrogen). A colourless, volatile, toxic, flammable liquid; a derivative of ammonia. 292 litres found in MDV tanks. Each litre of hydrazine has enough hydrogen to make 2 litres of water when combined with oxygen.
Hydrogen - Chemical element ‘H’ (one hydrogen atom). A colourless, odorless, highly flammable gas. Hydrogen is a chemical element in Hydrazine.
IR camera - Infrared camera used for thermal imaging.
Iridium - A silver-white metal with catalyctic (increase rate of chemical reaction) properties
JPL - NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Lander - A protective shell which, during landing, protects a Rover, for e.g. Pathfinder’s Sojourner Rover.
Launch Status Check - Terms used at beginning of American space mission.
Liquid Oxygen - LOx - Liquid O₂ (liquid dioxygen). Stored either end of Hab in high pressure tanks to feed space suits and Rovers.
Mars - 4th planet from the Sun. Mars atmosphere - Mostly Carbon Dioxide (CO₂) about 95%.
Mars distance from sun - 142 million miles
Mars temperature - Average: minus 81 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 62.78 Celsius)
Mars water - Found as ice at polar ice cap.
MAV - Mars Ascent Vehicle
MAV fuel tank - Collects CO₂ (from Mars atmosphere) and converts hydrogen and CO₂ (by [Sabatier] chemical reaction) to fuel for MAV ascent to the spaceship, Hermes. MAV takes 20 hours to fill 10 litre fuel tank with CO₂ - ½ litre per hour. For every 1kg of hydrogen it makes 13 kgs of fuel. (Mark uses Hab oxygenator to remove oxygen from the CO₂, so he can use the oxygen and hydrogen to make H₂O (water).
Mawrth Vallis - A valley area of Mars carved out by major floods in the distant past.
MDV - Mars Descent Vehicle
MDV fuel tank - Holds hydrazine - N₂H₄. MDV makes its own fuel by way of an iridium catalyst in the engine (reaction chamber) which turns hydrazine into nitrogen and hydrogen. Mark finds 292 litres of unused hydrazine. One litre of hydrazine has enough hydrogen to make 2 litres of water when combined with oxygen.
MDV reactor - Separates hydrazine into hydrogen and nitrogen.
MGS - Mars Global Surveyor satellite
MMU - Manned Manoeuvering Unit
Molecule - Electrically neutral group of two or more atoms
Nitrogen - Chemical element ‘N’ (one nitrogen atom)
NSA - National Security Agency.
Oxygen - Chemical element, symbol ‘O’ (one oxygen atom)
Oxygenator - Removes oxygen from Hab’s CO₂.
Pathfinder - A space shuttle. It was launched December 4, 1996 and delivered the Sojourner Rover to Mars.
Phobos - Larger of Mars’ two moons.
Plutonium 238 - A radioactive isotope of plutonium, used in the RTG.
Polaris - A seemingly motionless bright star around which the northern sky revolves.
Pop Tent - Emergency rescue tent (inflate like air-bag) on Rovers
Precession - Precession is a change in the orientation of the rotational axis of a rotating body
Probe - Unmanned aircraft.
Rover - Transport vehicles on Ares 3 base, Acidalia Planitia, Mars. Same as the spacesuits, the Rovers use CO₂ filters rather than an oxygenator.
RTG - Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator
SAFER Unit - Simplified Aid for EVA rescue, worn like a backpack.
SatCon - SatCon Technology Corp.
Schiaparelli crater - 3200 miles from Acidalia Planitia, and where the Ares 4 mission will land.
SETI - Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence.
Sojourner Rover - Mars MicroRover delivered by Pathfinder space shuttle.
Sol - Solar Day (on Earth it's 23 hours 56 mins, on Mars it's 24 hours 37 mins as it takes longer to rotate 360 degrees on its axis.
Solar Cells - Used to convert sunlight into energy and store by way of hydrogen fuel cells.
Spectroscopy - “Spectroscopy is a scientific measurement technique. It measures light that is emitted, absorbed, or scattered by materials and can be used to study, identify and quantify those materials.”
Telemetry - is the highly automated communications process by which measurements are made and other data collected at remote or inaccessible points and transmitted to receiving equipment for monitoring.
Tetris - A tile-matching Russian puzzle game.
ULA - United Launch Alliance.
VASIMIR (4) - Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket.
Water - H₂0 (two hydrogen atoms, one oxygen). Mark wants 600 litres of water. He uses the CO2 from the MAV and the Oxygenator to create oxygen, and the MDV reactor to create hydrogen.
Water reclaimer - System in the Hab for pulling humidity (water) out of the Habs atmosphere.
Zirconia Electrolysis Cell - Used by the Oxygenator to remove carbon atoms from CO₂ and thus create oxygen.
Mark Watney a botanist-astronaut, lands on Mars as part of the six strong crew on the third manned mission to Mars, a thirty-day mission ahead. However, a vicious Martian sandstorm forced the mission to be abandoned on day 6, but a freak accident means he is left stranded on Mars. Alone and far from safety, it will take all Watney’s knowledge and ingenuity if he wants to survive on Mars, long after he was supposed to leave.
I disagree with the review below saying you can’t enjoy this if you aren’t interested in science – the writing makes the science part of the story, and this is the reason I rate this so highly. Weir manages to make the science interesting, even though there is a lot of science, it is not at the expense of the story. He explores Watney’s moods, his exploration of the local area and beyond, his ‘leisure-time’ and his desperate attempts to stay alive. Watney's gallows humour and unwillingness to look facts in the face (i.e. that he is going to die) and give up make you care about him.
I think one of the reasons this book is so popular, and certainly why I liked is it makes Mars feels so tantalizingly close. It is barely sci-fi – technically speaking most of the stuff in the book is feasible now – it's more political will holding back a manned mission to Mars (and cash, but it is politicians who allocate the cash). There are no warp drives, lasers, aliens (hope that's not a plot spoiler) or other staples of sci-fi – just a guy trying to get home after getting stranded.
I have just finished Artemis, Weir’s second novel (pretty good), and it has made me want to re-read The Martian, so my Kindle unread folder will remain undiminished for the next few days. If you haven’t read it, I cannot recommend highly enough.
The book and is carried on the witticisms and banter of main character Mark Watney, the titular Martian, and are jam-packed with pop culture references, science-y bits, and one-line zingers. And whilst I appreciated them, even found them amusing, this is also the story’s downfall. It sounds like the kind of dialogue I’d exchange with my equally nerdy friends on a Saturday night meet up – not Apollo 13 on Mars as it was billed to me by the hype. As a result it feels like it’s missing a sense of epic scale, and the stakes just don’t feel that high. At no point did I ever feel awed, or gripped, or really worried for Watney. Whenever something went wrong I simply wondered how he was going to fix it this time and what amusing commentary he’d provide. I never worried for a minute about his ultimate survival. Fun and entertaining? Yes. Compelling and thrilling? No.
The writing is competent, not outstanding. Apart from the complicated science-y bits, the language is kept simple, which is good for accessibility of the average reader, but for me I felt it lacked a little bit of creative flair – the language is very functional and to the point, there’s very little evocative imagery or creative description. The characters are largely functional too. Outside of Watney, everyone else basically boils down to their job at NASA or their role (e.g. Mark’s parents, Vogel’s wife, etc.). Watney himself is interchangeable – his vital stats could be swapped out for someone older/younger male/female American/non-American and there be no difference whatsoever to what happens in the plot.
Would I recommend this book? Yes, I would. It’s amusing, it’s entertaining, it’s interesting – it’s just not the most amazing, earth-shattering book ever written, so don’t go into it expecting that. It reminds me a lot of an old classic actually – The Moon Is Hell by John Campbell – in its diary format and its functional problem-solving (minus the crime solving that also goes on in Campbell’s novel).