I was moved by Weir's recent novel, The Martian. So I spent a thousands words or so thinking about it on Geeks of Doom:
"Rather than yet another science fiction blockbuster epic, Andy Weir‘s novel eschews the grandiose space empire stuff in favor of focus and intimacy. In that respect, The Martian is a minor work with major scope. The author achieves this in some interesting ways. There’s a focus on the “how” things get done. Put another way, Weir’s protagonist, Mark, delivers the action of the story to the reader with both high-level strategic sci-fi love (“I have to generate food”) and then drills down into the tactics of how that’s achieved (“I’ve created 192 square meters of farmland and have 600 liters of water for the potatoes I’m about to plant, which should last me 200 Sols beyond my NASA rations”).
This is where Weir’s best work — his ability to create intimacy between reader and character — comes in. Through Mark’s logs, readers begin to delight in what’s typically thought of as the mundane: the geekery of how to build bombs and how to make water from scratch. The inside baseball of how to grow food and survive in the most inhospitable place ever visited."