May 3rd, 2020

Book 29 - 2018

Book 29: Artemis by Andy Weir - 305 pages

Description from
WELCOME TO ARTEMIS. The first city on the moon.
Population 2,000. Mostly tourists.
Some criminals.

Jazz Bashara is one of the criminals. She lives in a poor area of Artemis and subsidises her work as a porter with smuggling contraband onto the moon. But it's not enough.

So when she's offered the chance to make a lot of money she jumps at it. But though planning a crime in 1/6th gravity may be more fun, it's a lot more dangerous...

The Martian is one of my favourite films of all time. If it comes up on TV, I will never not watch it, and I routinely re-watch it just to remind myself that humanity does have the capacity to be decent. I read the book after seeing the movie, and though I didn't enjoy it as much as the film, I did enjoy it. Sometimes I feel Weir gets stuck on the technical details of the science, and it goes over my head a little. However, he makes up for this with genuinely funny characters and great sarcasm. Artemis is no different from The Martian, with a sarcastic main character who manages to deal with the situation she finds herself in by maintaining her sense of humour. Artemis is the name of the only city on the Moon. 1/6 gravity, home to 2000 people, part tourist hub, part aluminium smelter. Jazz has lived there since she was 6, so considers herself an Artemisian as opposed to an Earthling. She's also a bit dodgy, running an illegal but altogether civic smuggling operation. And she's trying to make money to pay back her Dad for an incident that an ex-boyfriend of hers caused. When a billionaire offers her enough money to pay her Dad back if only she blows up 4 harvesters, she readily agrees. From there, everything goes crazy. Jazz is Saudi Arabian and Muslim, Artemis is run by the Kenyans, is extremely multicultural and accordingly tolerant. Weir has managed to create a society that is aware of but not hung up on cultural differences (he even mentions my home state, Queensland, in Australia - I got really excited about that). I've read criticism of Jazz as a character, saying she talks and thinks as no woman would - I call bullshit on that - I've known plenty of women who talk and think like Jazz. Ultimately, what I really like about this book is the way it portrays life on the Moon as both exceptional, but also completely ordinary - exactly as it will likely be. Moreover, Weir seems to be one of the few writers writing about our new future in space - something that is rapidly approaching. Not as good as The Martian, but I look forward to Weir's next contribution to the sci-fi genre.

29 / 50 books. 58% done!

9056 / 15000 pages. 60% done!

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