Wow. I mean, Wow! Since Andy Weir’s The Martian (Crown, February) is fiction that involves science, of course it will be designated as science fiction. But if you don’t consider yourself an SF fan, don’t let that dissuade you from one of the best survival stories you’ll ever read (think Robinson Crusoe on Mars only more extreme). Weir’s first novel, set in the near future, starts with a dust storm that appears to kill Watney, a member of a team that’s been sent to Mars, and the tension doesn’t let up until the final pages. What makes The Martian rise above other books in the genre is the characters’ humanity, and, surprisingly, their humor. Interspersed with the action on Mars, we follow events on Earth, and on the spacecraft that had to abandon Watney, as the crew first mourns him, then learns of his survival and attempts a rescue. I didn’t want any of this to end; I wanted to stay with the characters for at least another hundred pages. I can’t express my eagerness to read more from Weir!