Boozy Books: The Martian

Happy Friday, readers! And welcome back to another exciting round of Boozy Books. This week we’re pairing a fantastic sci-fi read with a fantastic galactic cocktail. So sit back, relax, and let the readin’ take hold.

You may have noticed that here at Nerd Cactus we often pair established literary works or books we’ve read multiple times and/or know cover to cover. That is not the case this week. This week I’m pairing a brand new favorite. I picked this book up just a few days ago and was hooked. I couldn’t put it down! (And it’s been awhile since I could genuinely say those words…) I started recommending it to people before I’d even hit the halfway mark and discovered along the way that Ridley Scott has directed a film adaptation to be released in October. I’m so excited!

Anyhoo, the book over which I am currently gushing is Andy Weir’s The Martian. Apparently it’s been a best seller for some time now (wish I’d been clued in sooner) and as such you may have heard of it. If you’re into realistic science fiction, this book is for you. If you’ve ever wanted to be an astronaut, this book is for you. If you love Apollo 13, this book is for you. If you’ve ever looked up at the night sky and been in awe of the stars and space that make up our universe… I think we all know where I’m going with this.

The Martian follows the journey of astronaut Mark Watney after he is stranded on Mars. After a Martian sandstorm forces a mission abort Watney becomes the sole habitant of the red planet. Faced by seemingly insurmountable odds he must use his skills as a botanist and mechanical engineer to make his supplies last until he can be rescued. The Martian is about survival, science, why disco sucks, and the willpower of humanity. Told through personal logs, the point of view of NASA officials, and a few flashbacks this novel keeps the story interesting by consistently offering different narratives that work as one to provide a complete picture. The science is thoroughly researched and the result is a gripping piece of work that is not only entertaining, but believable.

I normally hate giving away too much of a book, but after watching the movie trailer I deem it safe to watch without fear of major spoilers. So if the concept of an astronaut stranded on Mars along with my glowing recommendation aren’t enough for you, here’s the link: 

I just watched it again. So damn good…

Alright, on to the main event! What can we pair with this space adventure? Well, if you’ve read the book (or when you read it) you’ll realize that the clear choice is vodka. Why? Because vodka is made of potatoes. What do potatoes have to do with anything? Read the book.

Since Mars is famously red (and straight vodka just isn’t my thing) I’m gonna go with a simple cranberry vodka because… Well, because it’s red and takes care of the vodka element. I think you’ll find it’s very appropo.

However, I did stumble upon a rather tasty little shot called the “Meister on Mars” for those of you who aren’t into vodka and are into drinking games. Here’s the link to the recipe:

As for the drinking game… I’d recommend taking a shot every time Mark Watney almost dies. You’ll get toasted real quick.

That’s all for me. Join us tomorrow for Shakespeare Saturday!

Nerd Cactus, OUT!


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