In Stores Now, Literary Liaisons

In Stores Now- Artemis

I’m not sure if it’s because of some subconscious effort on my part to reassure myself as I prepare to release my own sophomore manuscript but I seem to be making a habit out of using this section of the blog to review the second outings of author’s whose first outings were personal favorites of mine. This month I picked up Andy Weir’s new novel Artemis (coincidentally the name of a character in my next book). If Weir’s name sounds familiar its because is initial outing The Martian was an international bestseller and was adapted into an Oscar-nominated film.
This story takes place not on mars but on Earth’s first colony on the moon (the titular Artemis). It is full of all the same well-researched, grounded-in-reality science that The Martian was full of but here Weir leans a bit harder into the Fiction side of Science Fiction. And it pays off for him in the form of a highly entertaining bit of popcorn reading.
That’s not to say the books without its faults. Weir is heavy on scientific exposition to start the novel and his world-building is a little heavy-handed at first, but after eighty pages or so he seems to find his groove and really starts fleshing out not just man’s first moon colony but the people who inhabit it.
If you remember a while back I reviewed Ernest Cline’s Armada and was sorely disappointed. Cline tried to reuse and recycle the elements that led to his first hit but struggled to recreate that magic. I was worried that Weir was making that same mistake in the early pages of Artemis. The style, setup, and overall feel of those beginning chapters felt like an author trying to write the same book twice without anybody noticing that they were writing the same book twice. I was not exactly excited to keep turning the pages.
And then Weir surprised me and the book took off in an unexpected direction. An incredibly enjoyable direction. As a reader, you could almost feel Weir becoming more comfortable with his new world. And as he did, so did I.
It’s Mardi Gras today dear reader so I will cut to the chase. Artemis will not go down as a classic of the Science Fiction genre the way I believe the Martian eventually will. But it is, in my opinion at least, a worthy follow-up effort on the part of Weir and a thoroughly enjoyable page-turner. It is a must-read for fans of the hard sci-fi genre and an excellent fire-side companion for even those more casual fans of fiction.

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