People are living on the moon, a mountie is in charge of the almost-non-existent-and-usually unnecessary law, and there is an honest thief about to commit a huge crime that could put the whole planet and its inhabitants in danger.
Welcome to Artemis. (Mostly tourists)
The personal quickly becomes political when the only way for Jazz Bashara to make a lot of money for personal reasons is to commit a very dangerous act. The first rule of Artemis, however, is no fire. As Jazz says, “A fire in Artemis would be a nightmare. It’s not like we can go outside.”
Just as in ‘The Martian’, Andy Weir wades easily into the scientific reasoning behind the reality that would challenge earthians living on the moon.
The explanations are handled well and with a good dose of knowing that living on the moon is exotic and for those of us who don’t know about it, the mundane is thrilling. The tone is similar in that respect to The Martian. There aren’t many writers who could take what is essentially a one-act play and turn it into gripping Human vs Planet super-action. Weir did it then and he does it now. Better than anyone I’ve read, although I’ve not read much science fiction admittedly. Better than anyone I’ve read in most genres at least.
His characters talk to us not as scientists, but like knowledgeable friends.
The characters are real. They want things that are unrelated to the storyline. They live and breathe and exist in creative ways all of their own. The storyline builds around the current crisis faced by the protagonist, hedges a bit to the cultural and the practical – for example, immigration tends to focus in sector-specific work and from certain countries of origin (historically) and on Artemis almost all the welders are Saudis. “We’re just the people who ended up controlling the welding industry.”
Then Weir also brings in the political rulings and structures of earth, the future, the economics of trading blocks and the adjustments needed within the internal runnings of cities at the small and global level.
The intelligence of this intense and thrilling read is astounding. I can’t recommend this book enough. I loved the depth, the fun, the stress, the characters, and the action. And not to forget the science or the mountie who could just as easily have come out of a good Mills&Boon book.
One of my best reads of 2017.
Artemis by Andy Weir is published on 14 November 2017