True Review
Current Issue Number 88 Vol. 31 April 2014
The Martian

THE MARTIAN, by Andy Weir. Crown Publishers (, 2014, 369 pp., $24.00. ISBN 978-0-8041-3902-1. Click here to purchase.

“Man against nature” is a plot element that’s been with us since Noah and the Arc. Now, that theme is back with a commercial vengeance since the film “Gravity” opened and drew large audiences across the globe, garnering some Academy Awards. It was only a matter of time until authors would start generating stories of “stranded astronauts” (is this the beginning of “stranded-astronaut” books?), surviving off-planet, using gritty engineering talents and training to build a haven until rescue, even as remote as Mars.

The stranded-astronaut tale in THE MARTIAN gives us Mark Watney, biologist and engineer, who needs all of his skills and a lot of imagination to stay alive. When the Ares Mission is attacked by a vicious windstorm and the crew stands by as their chances of going home are seriously threatened, the mission commander is forced to abort and return to earth – thinking their crewmate, Mark, has been killed. Since they cannot locate Mark, the commander is left with no choice but to save some of the crew, effectively abandoning the biologist and engineer to the elements. Even though the red planet makes every effort to kill the poor guy, Mark relies on NASA and his friends back on Earth. Watney is like MacGyver, or like Robinson Crusoe, like Tom Hanks’ character Chuck Noland in “Cast Away,” like the character Dr. Ryan Stone played by Sandra Bullock in “Gravity.” It is a fast, fun book, a narrative that is enjoyable but, like ice cream on a hot day, melts away too quickly.Andrew Andrews


In This Issue

Bird Box What Makes This Book So Great The Martian Psycho Mania

The Clock Struck None Urban Green Man Chilling Tales Lovers & Fighters, Starships & Dragons

Cosmic Horror Anthology Hauntings Dr. Joseph Warren Andrew's Brain

Recommended In True Review
by faerie light


BY FAERIE LIGHT, Vols 1 and 2, ed. by Scott Gable, Caroline Dombrowski, and Dora Wang. Broken Eye Books (, 2013, 226 pp., $19.99. ISBN 978-1-940372-04-4 (click to purchase)

Andrew M. Andrews

Next Time In True Review
Lovecraft's Monsters


LOVECRAFT’S MONSTERS, ed. by Ellen Datlow. Tachyon Publications (, 2014, 380 pp., $16.95. ISBN 978-1-61696-12-1-3 (click to purchase).

Operation Cinder


OPERATION CINDER, by Todd Gontz. Yurchak Printing (, 2013, 184 pp., $14.15. ISBN: 978-0-615-72005-0 (click to purchase).

The New Annotated H.P. Lovecraft


THE NEW ANNOTATED H.P. LOVECRAFT, ed. with a foreword and notes by Leslie S. Klinger. Liveright Publishing/W.W. Norton and Company (, 916 pp., $39.95. ISBN 978-0-87140-453-4 (click to purchase).