Saturday, June 27, 2015

The Martian

First of all, as some of you are probably aware of, The Martian is being adapted into a major motion picture!

Well, that's all I'm saying about that. The Martian, by Andy Weir, is a book about a guy by the name of Mark Watney. Mark Watney has a bit of a problem, in that he is stuck alone on Mars without any way to get off, and everyone back on Earth thinks he's dead. Whoopsie daisy.

Mark now needs to survive in a barren landscape with nothing but years of NASA's hard work and efforts along with millions of dollars worth of resources. Well, that doesn't sound too bad, does it? Yeah... Spoilers: it doesn't work out great. Mark is going to have to do everything he can to survive.

There are other characters, by the way, but they don't show up until, like, the sixth chapter.

Will Mark be able to find enough food? Will the people of Earth be willing to help? Will mark explode violently due to decompression? Is the planet Mars conspiring against him? Will he ever be able to get back? And, most importantly, will the President pardon him for his acts of space piracy? Read to find out.

Or, like, if you are just hyped for the movie, you should read it as well. Or if you enjoy high-stakes engineering. Or extraterrestrial farming. You know what? Just read it. It's super good.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015


Warning: this is a long story. Seveneves (pronounced "seh-veh-neh-ves") is one of those books that are not only very long but also seem like they have no chapters. The book doesn't have a table of contents, which is understandable, because some chapters are almost three HUNDRED pages long. Still, I've written one up, in case you want it.

Because it's so long, it's almost two separate stories, and the pace basically continues to ramp up throughout the entire story. This eventually lead to a severe loss of sleep. Do not attempt finishing this book if you have important things to do.

Anyways, I've decided to do three different trailer-things, one for each part of the book. I've tried to remove most of the spoilers. Here we go.

Part One: The time is, like now-ish. I think it's an alternate universe or something? Actually, it may be in the future, and technology has remained about the same. I dunno. And then the moon suddenly explodes, all rude and inconsiderate-like. Spoilers: this will lead to life on earth being destroyed. When they realize this, the governments of the world start attempting to create a swarming space station of little space ships, surrounding the International Space Station. Will they succeed? Yes. But it's the journey, not the destination, that matters most.

Part Two: Speaking of journeys, the Cloud Ark has become fully operational and several billion people have died. The 1500 remaining humans now have to endure five thousand years in space. Wait, really? Five thousand? That seems a bit excessive. Anyways, everyone has been shuttled into space, and our heroes are now facing all the hardships usually associated with being in outer space. Marcus has replaced Ivy as the ship's leader, Doc Dubois has stepped out of his media shoes and started helping out, and all is well. But, the inside flap of the book said that "only a handful" of people survive, and that can't be more than 20, so something must be about to go down. And if anyone can reduce the human population from 1500 to 20, it's former president Julia Bliss Flaherty.

Part Three: Five thousand years later. humans have split into seven different races: the smart ones, the strong ones, the heroic ones, the nice ones, the paranoid ones, the super-mutant-power-that-is-actually-a-really-cool-idea ones, and Slytherin. A girl from the super-mutant one, Kath Two, is on a standard survey mission down to Earth's surface when she sees something strange. Before she knows it, she gets wrapped up in a strange mission with an unclear goal and untrustworthy partners. This is where the story really heats up, in a future focused entirely on mechanics, robotics, and genetics, where everything from earlier in the story starts to come into play.

Seveneves is the first book I've read in this whole epic odyssey style. I have to say, I can see what all the hype is about. If you've got some free time, this is definitely a cool science fiction book for you to try out.