Published by: Ebury Press (Fiction)
Pub Date: 13th February 2014
Robinson Crusoe on Mars – a survival story for the 21st Century.
I’m stranded on Mars.
I have no way to communicate with Earth.
I’m in a Habitat designed to last 31 days.
If the Oxygenator breaks down, I’ll suffocate. If the Water Reclaimer breaks down, I’ll die of thirst. If the Hab breaches, I’ll just kind of explode. If none of those things happen, I’ll eventually run out of food and starve to death.
So yeah. I’m screwed.
Mark Watley is part of a manned mission to Mars. It’s not the first mission ever attempted, seventeen other people have stepped on to the red planet. Unfortunately Mark is the first person to be left behind. When the crew of the Ares 3 mission have to abort their month long mission six days in, Mark is injured by flying debris, and presumed dead.
Except he isn’t. By a lucky chance his blood clogs the hole in his space suit and he survives. He then spends a year and a half on Mars, improvising a food supply, bodging a long distance rover together and surviving various life threatening disasters.
I loved the structure of mission logs interspersed with narrative from different points of view. There isn’t a huge amount of character development but then it doesn’t feel like there needs to be. Mark doesn’t need to learn any lessons, he just has to survive.
The book was easy reading, even with the technical details; after some of the heavy duty reading I’ve been doing recently it was a refreshing change to turn my brain off and enjoy the adventure.
I really liked this book and read it in one sitting; it’s one of the best I’ve read in a while. It’s a funny, sci-fi thriller that needs, begs, screams to be made in to a film.