I write award-winning historical romance about pirates, privateers, smugglers and the occasional possum.
This is the kind of science fiction I don't read often enough--people using courage, education, mad science skills and duct tape to save the day.
Mark Watney is the Martian--one of a handful of Earth astronauts to walk on the surface of Mars, and now he's going to be the first human to die there. A freak storm battered him and damaged his telemetry to where his life signs flat-line, and his crewmates (rightly) presume him dead and head back for Earth.
He's not dead. Now Mark has to figure out 1. how to survive 2. how to let NASA know he's survived. Fortunately, Mark is both an engineer and a botanist (each astronaut had to bring expertise in two fields to the flight)and will use his skill set to stay alive, one day longer.
He will also learn to appreciate 70s sitcoms and loathe disco.
I loved the movie Apollo 13 for the same reason I liked this book--if you start with the premise that failure is not an option, then you begin thinking differently and figure out how to fit the square peg into the round hole.
I really enjoyed The Martian, and I'd love to see it get made into a movie.