*The Martian*

This is the first fiction book I’ve read in five years and I picked it somewhat on a whim (linked to on MR). Didn’t read any reviews, didn’t look up anything about it. Actually, what did it for me was that it only cost $3 on Amazon Kindle. Tyler’s review sums it up well enough:

Ostensibly science fiction, but more a 21st century Robinson Crusoe story — set on Mars of course — with huge amounts of (ingenious) engineering driving the story.

Engineering porn, really. Loved it.

The backstory of how it was (self-) published is interesting, too.

Having been rebuffed by literary agents when trying to get prior books published, Weir decided to put the book online in serial format one chapter at a time for free at his website.[5] At the request of fans he made an Amazon Kindle version available through Amazon.com at 99 cents (the minimum he could set the price).[5] The Kindle edition rose to the top of Amazon’s list of best-selling science-fiction titles, where it sold 35,000 copies in three months.[5] This garnered the attention of publishers: Podium Publishing, an audiobook publisher, signed for the audiobook rights in January 2013. Weir sold the print rights to Crown in March 2013 for six figures.[5]

The book debuted on the New York Times Best Seller list on March 2, 2014 in the hardcover fiction category at twelfth position.[9]

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