I just finished listening to the audible version of The Martian by Andy Weir narrated by R.C Bray. I don’t know how this would read but I have to say this is the best audio hard SF book I have ever listened to. On Amazon, the written version has 5124 reviews with a rating of 4 1/2 stars. On Audible the count is even higher with 8203 ratings at 4 1/2 stars. This was so good I couldn’t stop listening. I listened everywhere — exercising, in the bathroom, in bed, bike riding, having sex (ok, now I’m exaggerating) etc. In fact, I plan on listening to it again.
The book is about an astronaut who is left for dead on Mars by his fellow astronauts. He tries to survive with no way of contacting Earth, a limited amount of food, and his own abundant proclivity to screw up. And the fun part is he does it all with serious attitude, grousing and grumbling his way through one innovative survival tactic after another. This book is so firmly grounded in science that the methods he uses to survive are completely plausible.
A few quotes from The Martian: “Yes, of course duct tape works in a near-vacuum. Duct tape works anywhere. Duct tape is magic and should be worshiped.”
“It’s true, you know. In space, no one can hear you scream like a little girl.”
“Me: “This is obviously a clog. How about I take it apart and check the internal tubing?” NASA: (after five hours of deliberation) “No. You’ll fuck it up and die.” So I took it apart.”
The book took six years to write. It was originally published for free on the authors website after he couldn’t find a publisher. His fans pressured him into putting it on the Kindle so he self published it in 2012 selling it for .99¢. After selling 35,000 copies, it was picked up by a publisher and re-published in 2014. R.C. Ray who narrated the book has been nominated for a 2014 Voice Arts™ Award for The Martian. A film version directed by Ridley Scott and starring Matt Damon is schedule for release in November 2015. This is the authors first novel.
Here’s a list of the nominees for the 2014 Voice Arts Awards for Science Fiction:
Best Audio Book Narration – Science Fiction
● Matthew Frow, Jayne Entwistle, Ione Butler, Robert Hook, Heather Wilds, Nicholas Guy Smith, Hannah Curtis, Bruce Mann, Dark Eden by Chris Beckett, Penguin Random House Audio
● Scott Aiello, Eve Bianco and Jay Snyder, Deadlocked 5: Aftermath, Audible, Inc.
● Daniel Davis, Jonathan Davis, Ian Doescher, January LaVoy and Marc Thompson, William Shakespeare’s Star Wars by Ian Doescher, Penguin Random House Audio
● R.C. Bray, Ray Chase, Maxwell Glick, Brian Holsopple, Tamara Marston and Chris Patton, Yesterday’s Gone, Season One, by Sean Platt and David Wright, Podium Publishing