“Artemis” (Crown), by Andy Weir
Andy Weir, author of “The Martian,” takes readers to another desolate world, but instead of the Red Planet it’s the moon, in his new novel, “Artemis.”
Weir takes readers on an exploration of the colonization of Earth’s nearest neighbor in outer space, and it’s not too far into the future. Most everything needed for the modules of the city of Artemis can be reasonably manufactured on the surface, along with the occasional supply and tourist runs from home. Each living habitat is named for a prominent member of the original Apollo programs, but each has distinct features associated with it, whether it is for the affluent or those barely able to scrape by and survive.
Living in the poorer end of Artemis is Jasmine Bashara, aka Jazz. She has talent and is quite intelligent but chooses to skate by. She works as a porter for the tourists and the citizens who sometimes want their packages from Earth handled discreetly. She blows a field test that would have gotten her a job taking tourists in EVA suits to explore the area around the original landing site of Apollo 11. Upset and not thinking clearly, Jazz receives an offer that promises more money than she can imagine if she can successfully pull off a dangerous assignment. She has the skills and the knowledge, but does she have the luck and equipment necessary to keep her in the clear when damage control begins?
Jazz is a compelling character, both clever and sharp. Weir has created a realistic and fascinating future society on the moon, and every detail feels authentic and scientifically sound.
Weir knows how to make cutting-edge science sexy and relevant without losing the story.