Artemis is chock full of brilliant improvised technical solutions to life-threatening situations on this fictional moon community. This much I expected from Weir, the author of The Martian. What I didn’t expect was the amusing banter and snappy dialogue between the characters. Jasmine “Jazz” Bashara is a sexy, smart-mouthed young woman who grew up in Artemis, a lunar town. She makes her living officially as a porter, but unofficially as a smuggler of contraband. She’s rebellious and reckless and occasionally foul-mouthed. She is inveigled into a risky and illegal scheme to get rich quick and things go wrong. I’ll leave the rest to you to find out.
This book hits just the right blend between reality and fantasy. It’s much more imaginative and exciting than a NASA technical manual and much more plausible than the average space opera. Weir obviously did a lot of research into arcane scientific or technical subjects like how to weld in outer space, what the by-products of aluminum smelting are, how the low lunar gravity affects those who grew up in it, and so forth. He gets it close enough to be credible, although I doubt an astronaut would rely on the representations in this book alone. But focusing on the science would be a mistake. The book’s charm is in the snappy dialog, colorful characters, and exciting plot. It’s a fun read. I’ll leave it at that.