Books Like The Martian (6 Book Recommendations)

The first book by Andy Weir, “The Martian,” transports you on an interstellar adventure in the form of a sci-fi fiction novel.

The comic components are what differentiate this space adventure from others, though.

Books Like The Martian (6 Book Recommendations)

One of the numerous factors contributing to “The Martian’s” enormous success is the unexpected humor.

The movie “The Martian” depicts the amazing tale of an astronaut who, after becoming stranded on Mars, uses practical knowledge, cunning, and pure strength to find a method to survive and even escape.

The crew of the spacecraft returns to Earth after the mishap of the Ares 3 expedition to Mars, leaving Mark Watney behind because they believe he perished in the storm.

Watney is the sole person on the red planet, and he has very limited food and supplies. He must now rely on his expertise and determination to prevail in this unfamiliar setting.

Readers will find themselves on the edges of their seats as he attempts to solve each problem one at a time, anxious to learn how he will survive his life-or-death circumstance on Mars.

For books that are similar in themes to The Martian, keep reading.

If you enjoyed The Martian’s daring interplanetary adventure, you’ll love books like The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Project Hail Mary, and Dune.

Themes In The Martian

The Martian

The Fight For Survival

Wier’s in-depth accounts of how Watney employs fundamental biology, chemistry, math, horticulture, and engineering to exist on Mars make it abundantly evident that reason, human perseverance, and creative thinking are the true powers of science.

The Human Need For Connection

On Mars, Watney is completely alone, and for significant stretches of the novel, he isn’t able to get in touch with NASA.

He is initially kept busy by the effort of survival in this strange place, but gradually his nights and days become monotonous, uninteresting, and empty.

Betrayal Of The Familiar

Watney discovers himself in a hostile atmosphere where he is not equipped to survive after being left alone for a much longer period of time than expected.

6 Books Similar To The Martian

These space adventure writers, like Andy Weir, have found the ideal balance between science, action, and galactic adventure.

Therefore, if you’ve already read “The Martian,” you should pick up these space adventure books right away.

Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy

Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

The final man on Earth has unending problems, which are described in Douglas Adams’ book.

When Arthur Dent learns that his home is going to be destroyed to make room for a motorway, he is incensed.

But while he struggles to comprehend the situation, his comrade Ford Perfect informs him that Earth is also about to perish.

They will soon journey through the galaxy together.

In contrast to Mark Watney, the lead character in “The Martian,” Arthur encounters a wide variety of unusual and odd species, including a despondent robot.

Basically, this is a lighthearted sci-fi adventure that depicts a group of individuals who, despite their differences, get along quite well as they go through space.

It’s humorous and enjoyable, but it’s also a valiant tale of survival.


  • Humorous, entertaining plot line. Simple to follow but subverts expectations throughout.


  • Some readers found a lack of relatability with the characters.

Themes: Betrayal of the familiar, the fight for survival, human need for connection

Andy Weir’s Project Hail Mary

Project Hail Mary

You won’t be capable of putting Andy Weir’s most recent science fiction book down.

Ryland Grace, a teacher, awakens in space without any memory. He had trouble remembering his own name or where he was.

He is unsure of his goal, though. When he looks at his spacecraft, he comes to the conclusion that his mission must be crucial otherwise he wouldn’t be in a separate star system.

He also learns that the other astronauts he had traveled with couldn’t survive, so he is left to figure everything out, including why he is traveling and how to operate the spacecraft.

Project Hail Mary, like his first book, is a rare fusion of science and passion. From the start to the very conclusion, there is constant tension and suspense!


  • Every chapter is engaging and hard to stop reading. Highly scientific but doesn’t take away from the emotional depth.


  • The tone is very science orientated, and may not suit all readers.

Themes: Betrayal of the familiar, the fight for survival, human need for connection

Frank Herbert’s Dune


The 1965 book “Dune” by Frank Herbert is a famous work of science fiction set in the far future (If you like science fiction, check out Ready Player One and other books like it). During the year 10191, when the book is set, mankind colonized a large number of planets.

Arrakis is one such planet; it is a desert world that also happens to be the origin of the rare spice melange.

This priceless spice can give people incredible power. To retake control of Arrakis from its adversaries Duke Leto Atreides.

They are about to discover the facts about this new planet when his family moves to the desert planet. “Dune” is more about destiny and prophecy than it is about astronauts or spacecraft.

The fantasy and sci-fi aspects of the book are unusual.

The Atreides are struggling to survive in this new world just the same as Mark Watney did while fighting to survive in an unfamiliar environment.


  • Excellent, captivating dialogue and character development. Expansive world-building and comprehensive plot.


  • Maybe a difficult read for some – a lengthy and complex read.

Themes: The fight for survival, betrayal of the familiar

Becky Chambers’ The Long Way To A Small Angry Planet

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet: Wayfarers, Book 1

Rosemary is confident that her new position as a clerk on board the spacecraft The Wayfarer would provide her with the best chance to leave the past behind.

A new beginning for which she had been longing.

She discovers that each crew member on the ship has secrets of their own as she comes to know them, including the captain, the talkative engineers Kizzy and Jenks, and the reptilian pilot.

Wayfarers will soon be given the important mission of constructing a subspace tunnel.

Their hidden agenda starts to come to light as the tunneling project requires a lot of effort and time.

The crew also runs into a number of aliens while traveling, endangering their bond.

This is a thrilling space adventure that explores the topics of supportive friends and camaraderie, much like “Martian.”

It demonstrates how crew members offer consolation and assistance when faced with difficulty.


  • Brilliantly diverse character roster. Creativity shines through in impressive world-building and politics.


  • Some readers found parts of the book dull and the ending unimpressive.

Themes: Human need for connection, betrayal of the familiar

Jerry Pournelle And Larry Nive’s The Mote In God’s Eye

The Mote in God's Eye

The Mote in God’s Eye, a remarkable science fiction book that was published in 1974, has a plot that is both appealing and engaging and is somewhat comparable to that of “The Martian.

The novel was published in the 1970s, therefore the narrative is an interesting tale about encounters with extraterrestrial life. In the year 3017, humanity has numerous galactic empires.

Through the use of faster-than-light travel, humanity has expanded throughout space. Unique intelligent species have recently been discovered in the Mote, a far-off star.

More officials are subsequently dispatched to interact with the aliens, though most of them appear to be less successful.

The sequel to “The Gripping Hand” was released in 1992, and “Outies,” the third book, was released in 2010.


  • Full of action, drama, and scientific detail. A very thought-provoking and hard-to-put-down read.


  • Some readers found the plot a little loose and cliched.

Themes: The fight for survival, human need for connection, betrayal of the familiar

Peter Watts’ Blindsight

BLINDSIGHT (Firefall, 1)

The year 2082 is the setting for a book by Canadian author Peter Watts. A strange occurrence recently almost proved there had been an alien invasion.

Scientists were unable to identify any of the 65,000 objects that burned up in Earth’s atmosphere or determine their likely cause.

Another enigmatic murmur is detected at the solar system’s edge a few months later.

However, researchers were unable to isolate any of these phenomena.

A crew is soon dispatched to look into the situation. And this is when a collection of largely improbable heroes get together.

There is even a vampire, a soldier, a biologist, and a linguist experiencing multiple personality disorders.

The author of this sci-fi thriller is a real scientist. Michael Crichton, like Andy Weir, did an extensive study before writing this gripping thriller.

It details the introduction of a project to look into the enigmatic species in Arizona.

Everyone in the community perishes when a satellite created as a component of the Wildfire Program collides with Earth close to Arizona.

While visiting the devastated area, head scientist Jeremy Stone with his colleagues discover a satellite and two survivors—an elderly man and a young child.

To learn more about potential alien illnesses, they bring them to a covert lab.

Books like “Martian” frequently describe circumstances over which humans have little control. One of these books is Andromeda Strain.

A veteran of the Civil War, Enoch Wallace lives alone in the Wisconsin countryside.

The government starts paying special attention to his activities because he doesn’t appear to age past thirty, despite the fact that his birth certificate indicates he is over 100 years old.

They also are unaware that Enoch serves as a caretaker at an alien transit point. His home serves as the final resting place for galactic travelers who are aliens.

They frequently contact him as they travel to his home and leave presents for Enoch, who hardly realizes the significance of these meager gestures.

Soon, a chain of occurrences starts to put Enoch, the way station, and all of humanity in danger.

Way Station seems to be a shorter book than “The Martian,” with only 250 pages.


  • Gripping and thought-provoking from start to finish. Broad science background, an easy book to re-read.


  • The writing style may be a little overly technical for some readers.

Themes: The fight for survival, human need for connection, betrayal of the familiar

Final Thoughts

You can’t help but appreciate Andy Weir as a writer, and reading works such as The Martian has turned into a pastime for many people.

People have always been interested in space adventure books due to the amazing mysteries of space and the solar system – so reading about space exploration is bound to be of interest to many thousands of readers across the globe.

The Martian was first published by Weir on his personal website before becoming well-known and being acquired by an agent.

Weir, though, was largely alone at the beginning of his journey, just like most writers.

The entire story of The Martian, which is told by the hero Mark Watney when he becomes stuck on Mars, is infused with themes of loneliness and isolation.

Almost everyone’s fight to learn, persevere, fall and get back up again despite the odds being stacked against us is reflected in Watney’s tenacious will to survive.

The Martian and tales like it captivate readers with humor, desperation, and delight.

However, there are books with a similar premise that you could like if you’ve previously read The Martian.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which Of The Recommended Books Is The Best To Read?

All of these recommendations have common themes with The Martian, so if you enjoyed reading The Martian you will most likely appreciate any of the books on this list.

All of the books also have high ratings, so whichever you select will be a good option – it’s best to try a few!

Is It Worth Watching The Movie Adaptation Of The Martian?

The movie adaptation is an excellently researched, action-packed, and highly enjoyable recreation of the book for film. If you’ve read the book first, we highly recommend watching The Martian.

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Anna Davis