In the aftermath of SpaceX successfully launching their Falcon Heavy into Mars orbit, I’ve been craving a bit of SciFi. (Or maybe I have a secret crush on Elon Musk because of his full-nerd, real-life Tony Starkishness.) So when I saw Artemis by Andy Weir won the Science Fiction Goodreads Choice Award for 2017, I thought “yup.”
Andy Weir wrote The Martian, and truth be told, I didn’t read that book. I thought about it and then watched the movie instead, which I really loved. I gotta say, I’m not a huge fan of Matt Damon (counterpoint: Lorena loves him). But even with Matt, The Martian is funny, suspenseful and just the right amount of realistic science fiction. Artemis delivers in all the same ways.
Like The Martian, Artemis isn’t high SciFi Fantasy with aliens, blasters, or gun-toting raccoons. Andy Weir uses real science, making the story context believably possible within our lifetime. He doesn’t reach as far as The Red Rising series or Nyxia (both fantastic SciFi series), instead he grounds his story on our moon. The socio-economic complexities of affordable space travel drive the plot, which SpaceX and other commercial space travel companies currently strive toward making a reality.
Artemis offers a suspenseful whodunit set on the moon-mining colony, Artemis. It follows a moon courier peon/smuggler, Jazz Bashara, and her desperate plight to better her situation. When a billionaire offers her a million units to sabotage a couple of mining robots, she’s all in. But when her plans go to crap and the billionaire is murdered, she becomes the main suspect, the detective and the hitman’s next target.
Why I enjoyed Artemis
The science is sound. Andy Weir gives you enough believable science to back up the possibility of his moon-mining and tourism world. The complexity of living on the moon and its associated hardships draws you in and doesn’t let go. Plus, the science behind walking on the moon is just cool. There’s an intense scene where she races to get back to the Artemis compound and there’s a legit possibility of being caught, killed or knocked out.
Jazz is flawed and funny. As a crappy daughter and engineering dropout, she finagles her way through every situation. She’s not the most likable character and at times you wonder how she still has friends, but her honest wit and survival instinct keep you invested.
It’s a fast-paced mystery adventure. You get to run around a complex space port/tourist trap, moon walk in peril, solve a mystery and take on an organized crime syndicate. Artemis completely entertains while secretly teaches a little about lunar science, welding and corporate espionage.
Artemis by Andy Weir is out now and you can buy it on Amazon. I would recommend Artemis to anyone who enjoys science and space exploration. This book is great for guys and girls. You could definitely boozy-book club it with mixed company. The movie production of Artemis is underway, so read it before you see it. It will be directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, who wrote The Lego Movie and originally directed the Solo: A Star Wars Story movie. Which means it’s going to exciting and hilarious, just like the book.
Have you read Artemis? Who would you cast as the unscrupulous smuggler Jazz? I’d cast Tiya Sicar from The Good Place.
*arc provided by publisher in exchange for honest review