Phew! OK. That was a long thread.

The next book I read, which I just finished this evening, was Artemis by Andy Weir. This is the guy whose debut novel, The Martian, was made into the movie with Matt Daemon. Context: I really, really liked The Martian (the book. The movie was pretty OK).

Artemis is the name of the first city on the moon. Like The Martian, there's a pretty high level of rigor in how the space stuff is treated and some very exciting emergency science/engineering improvisation.

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UNLIKE The Martian, this one has, like, more of a story. The Martian is Man vs Nature. This one is more about people having conflicting interests and agendas bumping into each other in the context of a really hostile environment. I guess it's a bit of a heist story? There's at least two heist-like situations. Or capers? I'm not clear on the distinction.

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Anyway, I am here for caper-heists + action science. And the main character was pretty awesome. I don't know if she and I could be friends, but she was great to read. I wanted her to win and I wished good things for her. But she was not, like, this morally upstanding person. The author mentioned the movie Chinatown as an influence and you can see it.

Small spoiner for Artemis by Andy Weir 

One thing that I was pretty aggressively "meh" on is there's this one very awkward guy character who clearly (to me and prolly most readers, but not to the main character) has the hots for the main character. He has NO idea how to appropriately interact with women. And I feel like the author wanted me to find it charming? But it wasn't. It was just cringey.

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Small spoiner for Artemis by Andy Weir 

Anyway, he acts lightly creepy and wildly awkward towards the main character throughout the book. And he's, like, helping her our with her plans and stuff. And then, suddenly at the very end, it seems like they're gonna hook up and maybe date? It came out of nowhere and I have no idea why that was in the story. Either he needed to be more likeable or that last bit needed to be left out. He didn't need a cookie at the end.

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Anyway, yeah. Other than that thing in the CW, I quite liked the book. There was also an afterward on the rough math he'd done on how the economics of a Lunar city would work out and how much it would cost to visit for two weeks, etc. It was self-described as boring, but I found it funny and interesting. I'll be keeping my eye out for Weir's next book (which I assume will exist). I'd be interested to see him deal with space ships and stations, too. Asteroid mining. Etc.

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One further thought on Artemis: I need more queer, anarcho-communist scifi. I am interested in how Artemis might throw off its corporate masters and become democratically run by the residents. How they might do away with their sheriff and administrator. I think it would be an interesting story and feel like we need optimistic depictions of stuff like that. A bit like Moon War by Ben Bova, but less capitalistic and more prominent queer characters.

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