Books

11 Books Like The Martian by Andy Weir

Andy Weir is the kind of author that makes readers search for books similar to his. The Martian is a favorite book of many readers and it has become a hobby of many readers to find books similar to The Martian. The Martian was originally published on Andy Weir’s website by himself and was later picked up by an agent after it got some popularity. Like most writers who start their journey, Weir found himself very much alone.

Isolation and loneliness pervade the entire plot of The Martian in which the story is told by the protagonist, Mark Watney. Watney is stranded on Mars and has a headstrong approach towards surviving. The struggle of survival is relatable as every person struggles to survive in some way or another. Not on Mars maybe, but everyone is trying to learn something, keep going, to fall and get back up and that makes Watney’s struggle even more engaging for a reader.

The Unfilteredbooks have shared the list of books similar to The Martian. The below-mentioned books have common elements when compared to The Martian. Those elements can be the struggle of loneliness, the determination to survive against all odds, the adventures of the human race in a futuristic or SciFi world, etc.

Also Read: Inspirational Books Like The Alchemist

Station Eleven

  • Author: Emily St. John Mandell
  • Publication Date: September 2014

Station Eleven has a similar style and theme as that of The Martian. Station Eleven by St John Mandell does not entirely fit into a particular classification like science, dystopian kd contemporary fiction. A flu pandemic spread all over the world wipes out 99% of the human population and the book Station Eleven follows the characters who survived that pandemic. After twenty years, a group of nomadic actors and musicians called as ‘The Travelling Symphony’ crosses North America and performs for the remaining civilization that somehow managed to survive. Station Eleven is all about loneliness and friendship but more than that, it states the importance of culture and community. The book even borrows a quote from Star Trek, which is given as a motto of the group, The Travelling Symphony, ‘ survival is insufficient.’

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

  • Author: Douglas Adams

Arthur Dent is having a really bad day as his house is going to be demolished by the council and to make it even worse, the Earth is unexpectedly being demolished in order to make way for a new hyperspace bypass. The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy is a hilariously inaccurate, SciFi trilogy, that also has weirdos, poetry-reading aliens and the former President of the Galaxy who stole the first Probability Drive space ship. Arthur has his alien friend Ford Perfect and The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, which, as the name itself suggests, is a travel accessory one would never leave the planet without. The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy makes readers engage in a trilogy that has six books, sit through a live poetry reading and wonder about dolphins and makes them think about what those dolphins want to convey when they jump out of the water and wave their flippers. There are many books in different genres, shapes and sizes that can resemble The Martian as the theme of loneliness in a world full of unknown adventures is really fascinating and is relatable worldwide. The determination and courage to survive in a foreign environment while facing unknown challenges is the common factor that makes The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy resemble The Martian.

Spin

  • Author: Robert Charles Wilson
  • Publication Date: March 2005

There is a huge spectrum of books that resemble The Martian in some way or other but only a few books are as intriguing as Spin that are also similar to The Martian. The Hugo winning book written by Charles Wilson illustrates the lives of characters after the earth is locked in a permeable membrane that makes the planet out of time-sync with the rest of the universe. One second on earth is now 3.17 years for the rest of the universe. Spin portrays how fear and isolation play an important role in one’s life and how it can make people go insane. The beauty of this book is the perfect counterbalance between the emotions, thoughts and feelings characters experience. The confusion, regret and loneliness characters go through is handled well because of all the hope, curiosity and love they have even in challenging and adventurous circumstances.

The Left Hand of Darkness

  • Author: Ursula K. Le Guin
  • Publication Date: March 1969

Books similar to The Martian can feel fulfilling yet create a void in the reader’s mind as such books make readers think about the universe, their lives and the purpose of their existence with a different perspective. Le Guin’s book, The left hand of darkness can have the same effect on readers. The storyline is based on the journey of Genly AI, sent to planet Gethen to try and get the nations of the planet to join the Ekumen which is a kind of federation.

Here, the journey of that AI from being narrow-minded about the universe around him and then understanding the culture of Gethen is illustrated beautifully. The problems people face in the society because they are seen as different are still relatable and the fear of isolation that comes with such prejudices in the society, especially about the topics like gender fluidity or identity that are written in the left hand of darkness has brought a lot of attention since it was published.

Barbary Station

  • Author: R. E. Stearns
  • Publication Date: October 2017

The struggle for survival is the common factor between Barbary Station and The Martian.

Adda and Iridian are two unemployed engineers that are desperately searching for a job and better living as the solar system is ruined because of the economic collapse caused by the interplanetary war. They have heard about how space pirates live a luxurious life and decide to join those pirates. They hijack a colony ship and reach Barbary station where the pirates are. After they arrive, the situation is not what they thought it would be. The pirates are hiding in a makeshift base attached to the station’s exterior hull. There is no way out as the AI that controls the station’s security system has gone mad and is trying to kill all the residents in the stations and shoot the ships that try to leave. Adda and Iridian are determined to stay with the space pirate crew and therefore destroy the AI. The engineer who tried to destroy the AI in the past has not been successful and the pirates start betting on how Adda and Iridian will also fail. But Adda and Iridian decide to successfully destroy the AI against all odds.

Binti

  • Author: Nnedi Okorafor
  • Publication Date: 2015

The Hugo winning book, Binti, written by Nnedi Okorafor, is about Binti who is the first of Himba people to get selected in Oomza University. Oomza University is the best university for higher education in the galaxy. Binti has to sacrifice her place in the family to accept the offer and has to travel between stars with complete strangers. Binti has to travel to the university even though there is an enormous fear of an alien race called Meduse as it was wronged by the University. Here, the struggle of Binti, through her journey to complete her dreams and fighting against all odds caused by the dangers in her path make the plot compelling.

Seveneves

  • Author: Neal Stephenson
  • Publication Date: May 2015

Do you ever wonder what would happen if the world is ending? A catastrophic event turns the earth into a ticking timebomb. To fight against the situation, nations around the globe come together and design an ambitious plan that can save the human race. The mixture of complexities and uncertainties and the unpredictability of human nature makes the plot engaging. The book is an extraordinary portrait of science, philosophy, technology, psychology, and literature that forms a dazzling and imaginative vision. This book is similar to The Martian as it also portrays the struggle of humanity to survive the unknown adventures. It also has elements of bravery, courage, determination to survive that can be found in The Martian.

Old Man’s War

  • Author: John Scalzi
  • Publication Date: 2005

John Perry visits his wife and joins the army on his 75th birthday. Humanity has now reached interstellar space but soon it becomes clear that a universe is a hostile place with aliens ready to fight on different planets. The fight between humanity and aliens is now going on for decades and is brutal, bloody and unyielding. The Colonial Defence Force or CDF prevents people from knowing about the situation and only lets them know that people can join CDF after the age of retirement. Once they join CDF, they are taken off of earth and are not allowed to return. CDF does not want young people as they lack the experiences and skills of living for decades and surviving successfully in dangerous situations. After one has served CDF, they are granted a generous stake in the colony planets that the CDF has won. John Perry, in spite of having only the vaguest idea about what actually happens after one joins CDF, takes that deal. The book is about his journey from being a senior citizen on earth to becoming a stranger to himself.

Wool by Hugh Howey

  • Author: Hugh Howey
  • Publication Date: July 2011

Hundreds of stories deep, in a giant silo underground, a community is in existence in spite of the ruined and toxic future. Men and women live with the rules and regulations that are believed to be protecting them. Sherrif Holston asks to go out and break the biggest taboo of their society. His decision triggers a series of drastic events. Juliette is appointed as a replacement for Sherrif. Juliette only knows how to fix machines and nothing about the law. The silo is about to fall apart and now it is Juliette’s duty to save it from the most feared danger.

Leviathan Wakes

  • Author: James S. A. Corey
  • Publication Date: June 2011

Mankind is in turmoil after migrating to space, two hundred years ago. The greatest conspiracy in human history is exposed when a ship’s captain and a detective find themselves involved in the case of a missing girl and their discoveries almost break a civil war in the solar system. Leviathan Wakes is the very first book James Corey has written and it still has the ability to engage readers in a compelling story about human nature in a futuristic world.

The Forever War

  • Author: Joe Haldeman
  • Publication Date: 1974

Stars are taken by the human race. After a transport ship is destroyed, humans find out about the fearsome Taurans, deep in space. To fight against the threat, the United Nations Exploratory Force is sent in. The physics student, William Mandella, who is in service, fights against the alien forces that are light-years away. Because of this relative passage of time, when he returns to Earth after two years, he discovers that Earth is decades ahead of him and everything is now foreign to him.