Posted on December 14, 2015
Book Review–The Martain
Oh, what–you thought I was going to spend some time with Beth Lenord’s classic, The Voyager’s Handbook, or discuss the awesome Voyaging With Kids? Bwhaa ha ha…nah, if you’re reading this blog, you are probably already familiar with these excellent cruising manuals. No, I’m here to tell you that the book you need to be reading while doing a refit, in between all the Calder, is The Martain, by Andy Weir.
And let’s be clear: the movie’s great, but it’s the book that’s going to make you feel better about your life. No one on earth is dealing with the kind of messed-up, make-it-work ass-hattery going on in the life of astronaut Mark Watney. Oh, you’re crammed into the aft locker trying to remove a rusted bolt while being overcome by diesel fumes? At least you aren’t wearing a pressurized space suit! Creating a new component by welding together some random spare parts? At least you are not going to accidentally burn off all your available oxygen!
Plus there’s his love of duct tape.
The Martain does a great job of getting in the mindset of the type of make-it-work gonzo engineer that you need to be in order to overhaul an old cruising boat. The internal dialog running through his head will match, almost exactly, the thoughts running through yours–minus the poisonous atmosphere and deadly dust storms.
And when something goes well, you can confuse the rest of the boatyard by shouting in victory, “In your face, Neil Armstrong!”