Zany Space Story. The best way to describe this book, really, is that if you like Hitchhiker’s Guide To the Galaxy – a perennial favorite among the geek set for decades now that has in many cases transcended into pop culture – … you’re probably going to like this one too. There are quite a bit of similarities, given the hilarious and offbeat humor and even the “guidebook” element of the story. (Though unlike the Adams epic, this one actually includes at least parts of the guide in the story.) As others have noted, the fact that this was spurred many years ago by a (now defunct) Mars colonization effort that had the same general premise is, quite frankly, even more amusing. If you’re looking to see what all the fuss over Hitchhiker is about but you’re not willing to commit to something of quite that length, try this one. At roughly 250 pages, it is a short-average length and thus a good primer for that type of humor and creativity. If you’re looking for a more serious/ Hard Science Fiction ala Andy Weir’s take on The Martian… this isn’t that. So strap in and get ready to blast off on one wild ride. Very much recommended.
This review of How To Mars by David Ebenbach was originally written on March 1, 2021.