I really loved reading Andy Weir’s book The Martian. It really re-invigorated my reading habit and drove me to read a bunch more science-fiction books. His subsequent book Artemis was on my list to read for a long time and I finally had the time to tackle it.
It was perhaps the fastest I’ve read a book. Getting through it in just two sittings. I just couldn’t put it down. It shared a similar sense of humor as The Martian and a commitment to real science.
Artemis takes place in the first city on the moon. The protagonist, a girl named Jazz, is an intelligent but rebellious twenty-something year old that gets in over her head with a criminal syndicate. It takes some really clever thinking to get out of the precarious series of situations.
Like in The Martian, there were many moments in the book where there is clarity for how things really would work on the moon. There is some time spent exploring welding for instance and Weir illustrates some of the gotchas – a flint wouldn’t work to start a flame in the vacuum, heat wouldn’t dissipate which changes how the molten medal re-solidifies. I think this taste of reality is what makes the book interesting, educational and inspiring.
The book paints a picture of the future that is realistic and attainable. A city on the moon could be as little as 10 years away given the motivation to build it.