1536: "The Martian"

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1536: "The Martian"

Postby Tom » Wed Jun 10, 2015 4:56 am UTC

Image

title="I have never seen a work of fiction so perfectly capture the out-of-nowhere shock of discovering that you've just bricked something important because you didn't pay enough attention to a loose wire."

So I guess I should really read this book, huh?

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Re: 1536: "The Martian"

Postby Reecer6 » Wed Jun 10, 2015 5:07 am UTC

The answer of course is that it wasn't on Earth that it happened. It was on Mars.

More seriously, this sounds cool and I may have to read the book one day.

(Also, I only just now noticed Randall added Homestuck to the list of webcomics he likes. I'm unobservant and also surprised, wouldn't have thought that was his thing. The Wayback machine tells me it was sometime this year but I don't care enough to check out exactly when.)

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Re: 1536: "The Martian"

Postby BlitzGirl » Wed Jun 10, 2015 5:09 am UTC

Yes! Read the book!
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Re: 1536: "The Martian"

Postby rhomboidal » Wed Jun 10, 2015 5:11 am UTC

I can't wait to see the movie, but even more to read the manual.

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Re: 1536: "The Martian"

Postby Plutarch » Wed Jun 10, 2015 9:04 am UTC

'You've just bricked something important.' I don't understand that. What does 'bricked' mean in this context?

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Re: 1536: "The Martian"

Postby Echo244 » Wed Jun 10, 2015 9:06 am UTC

Plutarch wrote:'You've just bricked something important.' I don't understand that. What does 'bricked' mean in this context?


Disabled functionality and rendered it about as much use as a brick. Previously referenced in 1518 - "Can you brick it remotely?" referring to a mobile phone alarm ringing, somewhere out of reach...
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Re: 1536: "The Martian"

Postby Khrushy » Wed Jun 10, 2015 9:23 am UTC

The martian is for people who wish the whole movie had just been more of that scene.


Well shit, I want to see The Martian now.
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Re: 1536: "The Martian"

Postby orthogon » Wed Jun 10, 2015 9:29 am UTC

Echo244 wrote:
Plutarch wrote:'You've just bricked something important.' I don't understand that. What does 'bricked' mean in this context?


Disabled functionality and rendered it about as much use as a brick. Previously referenced in 1518 - "Can you brick it remotely?" referring to a mobile phone alarm ringing, somewhere out of reach...

I don't know what your native language is, Plutarch - knowing that you live in the same great city as me doesn't help at all! - but you've reminded me of the phrase "shitting bricks", meaning "feeling extremely afraid". This was common in my youth in Northwest England, and was often mutated into "bricking it".
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Re: 1536: "The Martian"

Postby Sir Lunch-a-lot » Wed Jun 10, 2015 10:59 am UTC

orthogon wrote:I don't know what your native language is, Plutarch - knowing that you live in the same great city as me doesn't help at all! - but you've reminded me of the phrase "shitting bricks", meaning "feeling extremely afraid". This was common in my youth in Northwest England, and was often mutated into "bricking it".


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Re: 1536: "The Martian"

Postby cellocgw » Wed Jun 10, 2015 11:36 am UTC

Echo244 wrote:
Plutarch wrote:'You've just bricked something important.' I don't understand that. What does 'bricked' mean in this context?


Disabled functionality and rendered it about as much use as a brick. Previously referenced in 1518 - "Can you brick it remotely?" referring to a mobile phone alarm ringing, somewhere out of reach...


The origin AFAIK is that bad code loaded onto a cellphone's OS caused the phone to be useless and unrecoverable, hence physically indistinguishable from a brick.

The alt-text (spoiler-ish alert) does in fact refer to one of the events in the book. I did enjoy the book, even if it's kind of a mashup of a futuristic Robinson Crusoe and a "Golden Book Planetary Survival Guide , Volume 4: Mars" :mrgreen:
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Re: 1536: "The Martian"

Postby Tekar » Wed Jun 10, 2015 12:02 pm UTC

Read the book, don't watch the trailer. There be spoilers there.

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Re: 1536: "The Martian"

Postby Fizz » Wed Jun 10, 2015 12:19 pm UTC

As a connoisseur of audiobooks, I have to say that the audiobook of "The Martian" is Excellent. Very well read.

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Re: 1536: "The Martian"

Postby Eternal Density » Wed Jun 10, 2015 12:23 pm UTC

BlitzGirl wrote:Yes! Read the book!

It's real? I couldn't tell either way from the comic.
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Re: 1536: "The Martian"

Postby Izawwlgood » Wed Jun 10, 2015 12:28 pm UTC

The book is hugely funny, and a great My Side of the (Martian) Mountain survivalist read. You'll give yourself all the cool kid points when you see an issue or a solution before he gets to it.

I think Matt Damen will do a great job, and the film will be hilarious and interesting and fun.
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Re: 1536: "The Martian"

Postby Jackpot777 » Wed Jun 10, 2015 12:52 pm UTC

I'm driving across the Arabia Terra right now, so I'm getting a kick out of t|░▒▓ CONNECTION LOST ▓▒░.

The film is likely to be the #1 film of all time in Latvia. Man survives over 500 Martian days (SOLs) with eight potatoes, he is live the Latvian dream. I have no potato, just dream of potato.

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Re: 1536: "The Martian"

Postby Keyman » Wed Jun 10, 2015 1:26 pm UTC

I work part-time at Barnes & Noble (more a paid hobby than an actual job). I read an advanced reader copy three or four months before it was originally released, and loved it. (Which is sorta why they send us the ARC.) Been 'hand-selling' the crap out of it ever since. It was great. Funny, tense, exciting, funny.... It really seemed real. Well worth your time.

Quite looking forward to the movie. Novels rarely make good movies - they have to leave to much out. But I think in this case, a lot of the exposition will turn to action, which should eliminate most of the "but, they left out my favorite part" you usually get.
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Re: 1536: "The Martian"

Postby tomandlu » Wed Jun 10, 2015 1:41 pm UTC

Question about the book - I loved it, but one guy was bitching on some forum that he put it down after a few pages, because there's no way a wind on nearly-airless Mars would have a chance of blowing over a ship or much else for that matter.

Now, this seemed an odd quibble, and I suspect there was some other reason for his hatred for the book, but I wondered if he was right or not. Anyone?
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Re: 1536: "The Martian"

Postby Flumble » Wed Jun 10, 2015 1:49 pm UTC

Jackpot777 wrote:The film is likely to be the #1 film of all time in Latvia. Man survives over 500 Martian days (SOLs) with eight potatoes, he is live the Latvian dream. I have no potato, just dream of potato.

So the localised title of the film will be "kartupeļu varonis"? :lol:

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Re: 1536: "The Martian"

Postby biohazard » Wed Jun 10, 2015 1:50 pm UTC

tomandlu wrote:Question about the book - I loved it, but one guy was bitching on some forum that he put it down after a few pages, because there's no way a wind on nearly-airless Mars would have a chance of blowing over a ship or much else for that matter.

Now, this seemed an odd quibble, and I suspect there was some other reason for his hatred for the book, but I wondered if he was right or not. Anyone?


All I can tell you is that there is enough wind on mars to create huge dust storms and that one of the viking landers recorded 60 mph winds at one point.

:edit: I would also like to endorse the audiobook its fantastic :edit:

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Re: 1536: "The Martian"

Postby richP » Wed Jun 10, 2015 1:56 pm UTC

alt text sums up the explanation for why there are no reality shows about engineers.

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Re: 1536: "The Martian"

Postby tomandlu » Wed Jun 10, 2015 2:00 pm UTC

biohazard wrote:
tomandlu wrote:Question about the book - I loved it, but one guy was bitching on some forum that he put it down after a few pages, because there's no way a wind on nearly-airless Mars would have a chance of blowing over a ship or much else for that matter.

Now, this seemed an odd quibble, and I suspect there was some other reason for his hatred for the book, but I wondered if he was right or not. Anyone?


All I can tell you is that there is enough wind on mars to create huge dust storms and that one of the viking landers recorded 60 mph winds at one point.

:edit: I would also like to endorse the audiobook its fantastic :edit:


Yeah, but 60 mph of very low density air isn't going to do much damage is it? In truth, I'm not much bothered,
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Re: 1536: "The Martian"

Postby orthogon » Wed Jun 10, 2015 2:20 pm UTC

BlitzGirl wrote:Yes! Read the book!

Tekar wrote:Read the book, don't watch the trailer. There be spoilers there.

Izawwlgood wrote:The book is hugely funny, and a great My Side of the (Martian) Mountain survivalist read.

Keyman wrote: Been 'hand-selling' the crap out of it ever since. It was great.

So somebody on here recommended The Martian to me recently. In fact, I know exactly when it was, because I made a note in my phone and the note was date-stamped 15th December 2014. But bugger me if I can find the post anywhere. I can't search for "The Martian" because, even with the quotes, the forum "ignores the common word 'the'"; searching for "Andy Weir" doesn't seem to help either. It may have been one of you four, in which case I apologise for not having got around to it yet and will do so at once!
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Re: 1536: "The Martian"

Postby Izawwlgood » Wed Jun 10, 2015 2:20 pm UTC

tomandlu wrote:Question about the book - I loved it, but one guy was bitching on some forum that he put it down after a few pages, because there's no way a wind on nearly-airless Mars would have a chance of blowing over a ship or much else for that matter.

Now, this seemed an odd quibble, and I suspect there was some other reason for his hatred for the book, but I wondered if he was right or not. Anyone?

If you're talking about reddit, I saw that post :D

The author is on record saying he exaggerated the force of Martian wind for dramatic effect. I'm cool with it.
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Re: 1536: "The Martian"

Postby musashi1600 » Wed Jun 10, 2015 2:24 pm UTC

Amazon is showing the paperback edition on backorder. That was fast. >_>

(They still have the hardcover edition, and Powell's still has both paperback and hardcover editions as of this post.)
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Re: 1536: "The Martian"

Postby XbHW_TestEngr » Wed Jun 10, 2015 2:31 pm UTC

The Martian is my #1 recommendation. I've gone through over 500 SciFi books since getting my first Kindle. I read the book nearly a year before the publishing house signed a deal with Mr. Weir, back when he self-published the eBook. This is how engineers think.

Engineers are the most optimistic people you'll find. Who else do you know that gets excited when something breaks? "I can fix that."

Nerd cred: I have signed copy of the hard cover book.
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Re: 1536: "The Martian"

Postby tomandlu » Wed Jun 10, 2015 2:31 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:
tomandlu wrote:Question about the book - I loved it, but one guy was bitching on some forum that he put it down after a few pages, because there's no way a wind on nearly-airless Mars would have a chance of blowing over a ship or much else for that matter.

Now, this seemed an odd quibble, and I suspect there was some other reason for his hatred for the book, but I wondered if he was right or not. Anyone?

If you're talking about reddit, I saw that post :D

The author is on record saying he exaggerated the force of Martian wind for dramatic effect. I'm cool with it.


Heh - no, not reddit. I'm guessing the guy in question had a bee in his bonnet and got around (I think it was the AVClub). Hmm, not so much dramatic effect as critical plot-point, but that's fine... it's such fun to read.
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Re: 1536: "The Martian"

Postby Izawwlgood » Wed Jun 10, 2015 2:34 pm UTC

I mean, yeah, it's a 'critical plot point' insofar as that's what causes Watney to be stranded on Mars in the first place, but it's not critical insofar as, say, being an important part of the storyline or really relating to Mars.

In the first 5 pages, some kind of disaster happens that strands Watney. If it's a space kraken or a habitat fire or a jilted lover or what, it doesn't really matter relative to the rest of the book.
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Re: 1536: "The Martian"

Postby rmsgrey » Wed Jun 10, 2015 2:52 pm UTC

XbHW_TestEngr wrote:The Martian is my #1 recommendation. I've gone through over 500 SciFi books since getting my first Kindle. I read the book nearly a year before the publishing house signed a deal with Mr. Weir, back when he self-published the eBook. This is how engineers think.

Engineers are the most optimistic people you'll find. Who else do you know that gets excited when something breaks? "I can fix that."

Nerd cred: I have signed copy of the hard cover book.


I finally got around to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fallen_An ... n_novel%29 recently - a story about how SF fandom can achieve just about anything through self-organising anarchy and cumulative technical expertise - including smuggling a couple of illegal aliens back into space...

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Re: 1536: "The Martian"

Postby Boilerplate » Wed Jun 10, 2015 3:01 pm UTC

I thought the "you know the scene in Apollo 13 where they say 'we have to fit this in this'" was going to be a commentary about how that one sentence was a whole chapter in technical detail in the book.

Actually, the book for that level of technical detail would be Charles Murray's Apollo, the best book written on the space program if you like learning fascinating technical details.

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Re: 1536: "The Martian"

Postby HokieNerd » Wed Jun 10, 2015 3:56 pm UTC

musashi1600 wrote:Amazon is showing the paperback edition on backorder. That was fast. >_>

(They still have the hardcover edition, and Powell's [edit: URL removed] still has both paperback and hardcover editions as of this post.)


I really hope the eBook isn't on backorder.

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Re: 1536: "The Martian"

Postby rmsgrey » Wed Jun 10, 2015 4:36 pm UTC

HokieNerd wrote:
musashi1600 wrote:Amazon is showing the paperback edition on backorder. That was fast. >_>

(They still have the hardcover edition, and Powell's [edit: URL removed] still has both paperback and hardcover editions as of this post.)


I really hope the eBook isn't on backorder.


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Re: 1536: "The Martian"

Postby Jackpot777 » Wed Jun 10, 2015 4:44 pm UTC

Flumble wrote:
Jackpot777 wrote:The film is likely to be the #1 film of all time in Latvia. Man survives over 500 Martian days (SOLs) with eight potatoes, he is live the Latvian dream. I have no potato, just dream of potato.

So the localised title of the film will be "kartupeļu varonis"? :lol:


Potato Hero. I like it!

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Re: 1536: "The Martian"

Postby mathmannix » Wed Jun 10, 2015 5:03 pm UTC

Hmm, okay now I've heard of this movie (and book). Hmm, sounds like the movie Mission to Mars to me... hopefully it will be better!
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Re: 1536: "The Martian"

Postby commodorejohn » Wed Jun 10, 2015 5:28 pm UTC

I just can't get over the fact that the guy who did Casey & Andy is getting a movie made by Ridley Scott. (Even latter-day Ridley Scott.) I need to start me a webcomic.
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Re: 1536: "The Martian"

Postby Quercus » Wed Jun 10, 2015 5:36 pm UTC

Well, that's another one for the ever expanding to-read list. I think the rate of books in is now over double the rate of books out. Might need to have a cull one of these days.

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Re: 1536: "The Martian"

Postby pscottdv » Wed Jun 10, 2015 5:43 pm UTC

tomandlu wrote:Question about the book - I loved it, but one guy was bitching on some forum that he put it down after a few pages, because there's no way a wind on nearly-airless Mars would have a chance of blowing over a ship or much else for that matter.

Now, this seemed an odd quibble, and I suspect there was some other reason for his hatred for the book, but I wondered if he was right or not. Anyone?


Sounds like an excellent topic for a "What If?"

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Re: 1536: "The Martian"

Postby Izawwlgood » Wed Jun 10, 2015 5:47 pm UTC

pscottdv wrote:
tomandlu wrote:Question about the book - I loved it, but one guy was bitching on some forum that he put it down after a few pages, because there's no way a wind on nearly-airless Mars would have a chance of blowing over a ship or much else for that matter.

Now, this seemed an odd quibble, and I suspect there was some other reason for his hatred for the book, but I wondered if he was right or not. Anyone?


Sounds like an excellent topic for a "What If?"
IIRC, the fastest winds ever observed on Mars have the Earth equivalent in terms of pressure per square foot exerted to a 10-12mph wind on Earth. They could certainly reduce visibility to nil, but they aren't knocking anything over... I think the worst Martian storm would have tipped maybe a 4 on the Beaufort scale.
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Re: 1536: "The Martian"

Postby BlitzGirl » Wed Jun 10, 2015 5:52 pm UTC

Eternal Density wrote:
BlitzGirl wrote:Yes! Read the book!

It's real? I couldn't tell either way from the comic.

It is. Plus it has a gorgeous foiled cover in the Crown hardback release.
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Re: 1536: "The Martian"

Postby Neil_Boekend » Wed Jun 10, 2015 6:05 pm UTC

richP wrote:alt text sums up the explanation for why there are no reality shows about engineers.

Mythbusters is the closest I can think of.
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Re: 1536: "The Martian"

Postby Quercus » Wed Jun 10, 2015 6:20 pm UTC

Neil_Boekend wrote:
richP wrote:alt text sums up the explanation for why there are no reality shows about engineers.

Mythbusters is the closest I can think of.

There was an interesting three part mini-series in the UK which followed several teams of people building vehicles to compete for speed records at SpeedWeek at Bonneville. Mostly amateur engineering, but engineering nonetheless


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