I read half of Andy Weir’s The Martian last year. It was hardback and as I have the distinct privilege of checking out a book from my place of employ in that, and only that, format, yeah. It was good though the two reasons I stopped reading (i.e. only made it halfway through) were as follows. One: I can keep a book for two weeks and as it necessarily requires you slog through a bunch of science (!) in order that you might get around to the (figurative) fantasticality of what Mark Watney goes through being left behind on a planet 1.4 million miles away, I was hard-pressed to continue. Though his internal, self-deprecating dialogue and sense of humor are def a draw. Okay, now I think about it, I had crested it. I made it halfway and, by God, I was gonna finish strong. The science of planting potatoes in a void, or whatever, had done its worst and even then hadn’t dimmed my enthusiasm to continue. But the two weeks is almost up. Oh no!
Here’s the second reason: Mark explains how—upon reestablishing contact with Earth that unless he uses more of the aforementioned science—if he’s not at the exact right place (Mars’ stratosphere), the rescue mission will be a bust, a waste of time—essentially a “Mars flyby”, I distinctly remember that. The reason I stopped reading, however was not because the book was bad or because it failed to keep my attentions and affections. It is because I had just become painfully infatuated with someone who turned out after a year of hope and yearn and ween, to not even be a friend. And there was a typo. Right there deep in the body of that hardback book I had checked out from work—that killed it. I knew with what I saw that this thing, this budding relationship I felt in all its incipient glory and hope and passion, would never be anything. And so I stopped reading. I am not superstitious but I do notice things. I believe signs and signifiers and indicators point to overarching truths regarding our lives. I mean, were one detail out of place (he alludes to this many a time throughout the first half of the book) in Watney’s calculations, he would have died any number of horrible deaths. And while this next statement is illogical, I don’t know anyone who elects to withdraw from the whole spectrum of information-transmission-via-graphic-representation as a means of substantiating one’s person (In other words, we need information to make it in this world.). But I’m not here to argue over something as seemingly inconspicuous or seemingly innocuous as one letter out of place having conclusively shown me that the one I met was not “the One”. Though I will ever remember my experience reading (the first half of) The Martian through the filter I just lined out. But the real reason I bring it up and title this post what I do is that, yes. I have in my mind an image of a character and as The Martian “hits theaters” later this year starring Matt Damon, I must call shenanigans. It should be Chris Pratt. I mean, the sense of humor! I dunno man. Read it, see it, see what ya think.