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Artemis: A Novel by Andy Weir
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Artemis: A Novel

by Andy Weir

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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1,6291346,441 (3.54)119
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    The Rook by Daniel O'Malley (bethd13)
    bethd13: Both books are fast paced and lots of snarky humor. Love the intelligent, strong, female characters!
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Showing 1-5 of 130 (next | show all)
I could see this being a good movie, since I wouldn't have to be inside Jasmine's head and hear her thoughts all the time. The narration was clunky, with obnoxious humor thrown in that made me stop and roll my eyes multiple times. It's very similar to Mark Watney from The Martian, except it's supposed to be a formerly-Muslim 26-year-old woman with a dad from Saudi Arabia. I would believe it if it was an American 14-year-old boy (or teenage girl who is very much stuck in the not-like-other-girls cool-girl vein). But I've known 14-year-olds who were way more mature, made better decisions, and could restrain themselves from making constant quips and throwing insults at people who are doing them huge favors.

I do get that characters are more interesting when they have flaws, but on the flip side Jasmine is also a supergod at learning how to build elegant circuits, circumvent complex machinery, understand the ins and outs of smelting, predict exactly how people will react, etc. just by reading things on the internet for a few hours. But she is still barely making ends meet as a smuggler because of leftover teenage rebellion at 26? Oh, and she's slept around a lot in the past and is frequently commenting about her sexiness in her own internal monologue. Erm...okay.

Unfortunately the other characters were completely two-dimensional and had characteristics seemingly plastered on just to throw them in there. (Sassy gay Jewish ex-friend! Disapproving devout Muslim father! Bartender with a cockney accent who doesn't ask questions! Shady Hong Kong businessman!) Plus an awkward love story thing that felt simultaneously completely unearned and way too telegraphed.

So now for some things that were good. The world-building and economic side were interesting, and the tech is plausible (although it was sometimes bogged down by long descriptions). Andy Weir is good at plot structure and keeping things suspenseful and exciting. The writing quality and the weak characters were just in the way. ( )
  jrogoff | Sep 22, 2018 |
It's not quite the book that The Martian is, but that doesn't mean it isn't worth reading.

If duct tape was what held Mark Watney's world together in The Martian, then welding is what holds the moon together for Jazz Bashara. If I was to make a wild guess, Andy Weir has spent a good portion of the time since writing The Martian (2011) learning how to weld, then reimagining how low gravity--lunar gravity--would affect welding. And then he probably practiced welding, just for practice sake, with different types of metal, and without oxygen, underwater, horizontally and vertically, and in every possible combination. And then he wrote a book about it.

About welding. On the moon.

Okay, maybe the whole book isn't about welding. Maybe not even a large part of it. But way more than needed, perhaps, and probably a lot more than Jazz should know for poor vagabond without any formal education living on the moon. I give some allowance for being the daughter of an immigrant with some level of technical skill, but seriously. Where Watney was a highly educated scientist who I could believe could science his way out of it, Jazz is almost exactly the opposite.

But who's keeping track?

Let me back up. Artemis is a hard scifi heist and, like The Martian, it's chock full of Watney's signature technical examinations of what is really going on when someone, say, jumps out a window in 1/6 g or, maybe, needs to weld some metal in a vacuum. It's an engineer's playground, and it's everything you could want if you wanted to imagine how the wild west would look...if it was populated by engineers and on the moon instead of the west. It's the wild frontier of space exploration. Weir's vision is populated by the scrappy and clever people that survive, either by their wits or their wealth, when a new horizon opens.

Let's be clear. It's not a bad novel. Part of what made it hard to enjoy was that Weir's last book was The Martian. Watney's voice--which is what made The Martian so much fun--is probably Weir's voice. But Jazz Bashara, a young woman of Saudi Arabian descent, is about as different from Watney as can be, but still manages to sound a lot like him. It's a little stilted at times, and it makes her less credible. The dialogue just doesn't fit.

But get past that, get past Jazz, and you start to see what it is about Weir that surpasses so many other writers. He sees and imagines how a moon base, a moon city, might actually work, the issues and problems that it's inhabitants might have to deal with in order to survive, thrive, and grow. It's cool, very cool. For a non-engineer like me, it's occasionally dazzling and, at moments, a bit frightening. ( )
  publiusdb | Sep 21, 2018 |
Jazz Bashara has a challenging life. She lives in Artemis, the only city on the moon, and there aren't that many opportunities to make money. She's working as a porter, and that barely covers the rent.

So she also smuggles. Raised by her father, Amar Bashara, one of the most respected welders in Artemis, she's a very honest, ethical smuggler. She delivers on her deals, never squeezes her customers for more than the agreed price, and she doesn't smuggle dangerous contraband No guns. No dangerous drugs. Flammables very tightly limited.

She could make more money welding. Why isn't she? She freely admits, poor life choices, but she's tight-lipped about the details.

Then Jazz gets drawn into a plan that's more than smuggling. It's sabotage. One of her best customers is rich, connected, and has a clever plan.

Trond wants to take over the aluminum industry. He won't say why, and it doesn't seem like a booming business opportunity, but he says if he can get Sanchez Aluminum's contract, there's a new business opportunity about to break, and he'll be able to take advantage of it. He'll pay her a million slugs (the local not exactly currency that everyone uses) to wreck the four rock harvesters that Sanchez Aluminum uses to gather the rock that it smelts down for aluminum and oxygen.

That's too much for Jazz to turn down. There's too much she can do with it, including repair some of the damage she did with one of her poor life choices when she was sixteen. Also, live someplace bigger and more comfortable than a sleeping coffin with a shared bathroom.

Jazz pays her debts. She's very honest and ethical.

This is in many ways a very Heinleinesque story, of the Competent Man variety. Or rather, in this case, the Competent Person. Unlike a Heinlein woman, though, Jazz seems to have a normal sex drive, and does not seem likely to put her plans on hold when she meets a guy suitable for having babies with. It's almost like Andy Weir has met more women than just Virginia Heinlein. (Note: I have no idea whether or not Weir ever did meet Virginia Heinlein.)

Artemis is a city with very little real law, and a very self-help approach to enforcing necessary norms outside the limited reach of the law. What's different here is Weir, unlike Heinlein, recognizes that while this has some real advantages, especially in a small and essentially frontier community, it also has some serious disadvantages. Artemis is Jazz's home, and has been since she was six. Gravity isn't the only reason she doesn't want to go back to Saudi Arabia. It's not perfect, though. It's sometimes rough and dangerous.

From my point of view, this is a book with lots of the Good Parts of what I loved in Heinlein books when I was teenager, and without a lot of the stuff that at first mildly annoyed me, and over time, eventually seemed outrageous, creepy, or both. Does this make it Great Literature? No. Does it mean I enjoyed it a whole heck of a lot? Yes, yes, YES!

Recommended.

I bought this audiobook. ( )
  LisCarey | Sep 19, 2018 |
Jazz Bashara has a challenging life. She lives in Artemis, the only city on the moon, and there aren't that many opportunities to make money. She's working as a porter, and that barely covers the rent.

So she also smuggles. Raised by her father, Amar Bashara, one of the most respected welders in Artemis, she's a very honest, ethical smuggler. She delivers on her deals, never squeezes her customers for more than the agreed price, and she doesn't smuggle dangerous contraband No guns. No dangerous drugs. Flammables very tightly limited.

She could make more money welding. Why isn't she? She freely admits, poor life choices, but she's tight-lipped about the details.

Then Jazz gets drawn into a plan that's more than smuggling. It's sabotage. One of her best customers is rich, connected, and has a clever plan.

Trond wants to take over the aluminum industry. He won't say why, and it doesn't seem like a booming business opportunity, but he says if he can get Sanchez Aluminum's contract, there's a new business opportunity about to break, and he'll be able to take advantage of it. He'll pay her a million slugs (the local not exactly currency that everyone uses) to wreck the four rock harvesters that Sanchez Aluminum uses to gather the rock that it smelts down for aluminum and oxygen.

That's too much for Jazz to turn down. There's too much she can do with it, including repair some of the damage she did with one of her poor life choices when she was sixteen. Also, live someplace bigger and more comfortable than a sleeping coffin with a shared bathroom.

Jazz pays her debts. She's very honest and ethical.

This is in many ways a very Heinleinesque story, of the Competent Man variety. Or rather, in this case, the Competent Person. Unlike a Heinlein woman, though, Jazz seems to have a normal sex drive, and does not seem likely to put her plans on hold when she meets a guy suitable for having babies with. It's almost like Andy Weir has met more women than just Virginia Heinlein. (Note: I have no idea whether or not Weir ever did meet Virginia Heinlein.)

Artemis is a city with very little real law, and a very self-help approach to enforcing necessary norms outside the limited reach of the law. What's different here is Weir, unlike Heinlein, recognizes that while this has some real advantages, especially in a small and essentially frontier community, it also has some serious disadvantages. Artemis is Jazz's home, and has been since she was six. Gravity isn't the only reason she doesn't want to go back to Saudi Arabia. It's not perfect, though. It's sometimes rough and dangerous.

From my point of view, this is a book with lots of the Good Parts of what I loved in Heinlein books when I was teenager, and without a lot of the stuff that at first mildly annoyed me, and over time, eventually seemed outrageous, creepy, or both. Does this make it Great Literature? No. Does it mean I enjoyed it a whole heck of a lot? Yes, yes, YES!

Recommended.

I bought this audiobook. ( )
  LisCarey | Sep 19, 2018 |
Andy Weir is great at describing technology and science in interesting ways. He is decent at creating an engaging plot. He is not good at creating believable characters and convincing dialog. This mix worked in The Martian, because the emphasis was on the technology. But in Artemis, the emphasis is on characters, which makes the book feel clunky and awkward. ( )
  JanetNoRules | Sep 17, 2018 |
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» Add other authors (11 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Andy Weirprimary authorall editionscalculated
Dawson, RosarioNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lindroth Inc., DavidMapssecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Staehle, WillCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Micheal Collins, Jack Swigert, Stu Roosa, Al Worden, Ken Mattingley and Ron Evans. Because these guys don't get nearly enough credit.
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Publisher Annotation: Jazz Bashara is a criminal. Well, sort of. Life on Artemis, the first and only city on the moon, is tough if you're not a rich tourist or an eccentric billionaire. So smuggling in the occasional harmless bit of contraband barely counts, right? Not when you've got debts to pay and your job as a porter barely covers the rent. Everything changes when Jazz sees the chance to commit the perfect crime, with a reward too lucrative to turn down. But pulling off the impossible is just the start of her problems, as she learns that she's stepped square into a conspiracy for control of Artemis itself?and that now, her only chance at survival lies in a gambit even riskier than the first.… (more)

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