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2014 Reads > TM: What entertainment did you torture Mark Watney with?

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David(LA,CA) (davidscharf) | 327 comments Think of this as a "be careful what you wish for" version of the "desert island entertainment" question.

You were selected for the Ares 3 mission.
One of the personal items you were allowed to take with you was a small USB drive you could fill with media to keep yourself entertained for the duration of the mission.
And in the rush to evacuate during the emergency, that drive is now stuck with Mark Watney on Mars.

For myself, having selected superhero films, the "highlights" of what Mr. Watney has been left include The Fantastic Four films, The Ghost Rider series, Ang Lee's Hulk, Daredevil, and the third parts in many franchises (Spider-man 3, X-Men 3, Ninja Turtles 3, Batman Forever).

So, what terrible luck have we inflicted upon this poor, poor astronaut?


message 2: by Brian (last edited May 05, 2014 07:25PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Brian | 7 comments I'd go there with my retro game library. My first video game console was the Atari 2600, and my retro game library is heavily skewed that way. The good news is that Mark would get lots of practice for any potential alien attacks with classics like Space Invaders, Galaxian, and Galaga. He'd get valuable training for his ascent from the red planet by playing Space Shuttle. Finally, he'd get critical experience getting out of craters by playing E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial.

Unfortunately, the bad news is that all these games could throw him into a deep depression. There is no way to win against the alien hoards, the Space Shuttle in Space Shuttle is virtually impossible to fly, and no matter how much the child in him wants to love E.T., he'd think it's the pits.


Dara (cmdrdara) | 2693 comments I don't think it'd fit on a USB but maybe USBs are bigger in the future but anyway, I'd have the Mass Effect series on mine. Mark would have something to play but I think he'd take issues with the Mars mission in the 3rd game.

I'd also include a ton of books (as I think most of us would), particularly the Malazan series, Harry Potter, LOTR, the Expanse series, and the Commonwealth saga.


Darren Ang Lee's Hulk is awesome.


I'd have sent up a bunch of pen & paper rpgs, thinking it would be a great way for the group to kill time together on that boring flight to Mars... only there's no one for Watney to play them with.


Eric Mesa (djotaku) | 617 comments David(LA,CA) wrote: "Think of this as a "be careful what you wish for" version of the "desert island entertainment" question.

You were selected for the Ares 3 mission.
One of the personal items you were allowed to tak..."


Not sure exactly what I'd bring. It's a tough question. Maybe the entire Discworld collection to read again along with Hitchhiker's Guide.

But as far as tortuous stuff goes, although I love pretty much every genre of music, the annoying stuff to Mark would be the novelty music. Stuff like Weird Al, Garfunkel and Oates, nerdcore - stuff that is fun the first time or two, but grating after that.


Dara (cmdrdara) | 2693 comments Oh! I'd include the entire series of The O.C. because it's awesome.


Paolo (ppiazzesi) | 51 comments I would just take my current TBR list in ebook format, it should last for a few years.

Something I never understood - did Mark take nothing with him? Why is he reduced to going through his crewmates´ stuff instead of using his own entertainment? He never even mentions this. This is part of a larger problem I have with Mark having no personality - he´s just a conveniently stranded problem solver. He doesn´t even mention any relationships at all except for his parents.


David Sven (gorro) | 1582 comments Gold Rush and Swamp People.


Brian | 7 comments Something I never understood - did Mark take nothing with him? Why is he reduced to going through his crewma..."

I wondered that as well. As we got to know Mark through descriptions of him by his Earthbound colleagues, especially the NASA psychologist, I justified his lack of personal entertainment by the fact that he was a social extrovert. I assumed that he was more entertained by spending time with his colleagues than personal time. This would be in contrast to the Commander who enjoyed her personal time and disco music. I'll admit, it's a stretch. Even if Mark enjoyed everyone, eventually they might want a break from him. What's he to do then? He'd probably hone his mad botany skillz...


message 10: by Ben (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ben (bennewton_1) | 253 comments Brian wrote: " Something I never understood - did Mark take nothing with him? Why is he reduced to going through his crewma..."

I wondered that as well. As we got to know Mark through descriptions of him by his..."


I just assumed that he had already burned through his own stuff and was going through the other crew's entertainment for some variety.


Julian Arce | 71 comments A lot of Anime. Maybe some classics like Cowboy Bebop and Full Metal Alchemist, probably some new stuff.

Also my collection of early 20th Century sci-fi :P


message 12: by Rob, Roberator (last edited May 07, 2014 06:42PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rob (robzak) | 6668 comments Mod
Star Trek DS9. After finishing this book, I really wanted some space opera, and now I'm watching it again on Netflix.

Every book i could get my hands on.

What I want to know is, how did he run out of books to read? Ebooks are pretty tiny. What else did they have on their drive. My initial assumption would be that space was limited. But the Commander had not only music, but entire TV series. You'd think running out of books would be much harder than TV.

Oh and as much variety of music as could fit.


message 13: by J.J. (new) - rated it 4 stars

J.J. Litke (jenzgoodreads) Ben wrote: "I just assumed that he had already burned through his own stuff and was going through the other crew's entertainment for some variety."

I figured that, too. But it was an odd omission, and the kind of detail that could have helped with what some others didn't like, the lack of an emotional connection to the character.


terpkristin | 4102 comments I have a huge backlog of ebooks and audiobooks. Right now my ebook backlong is ~120 books and audiobooks is probably near 20 (*raises fist at Audible sales*). So that would obviously come.

As I've had my recent surgeries and stuff, I've found that there are certain things I can read/watch/listen to over and over again and be ok with it. To that end, I'd probably also bring:
All the seasons to date of Pretty Little Liars (please don't judge me)
All the seasons to date of Big Bang Theory
All the seasons to date of The League
The Harry Potter audiobooks
The Wheel of Time audiobooks
The Song of Ice and Fire audiobooks
All of Brandon Sanderson's books in audio and ebook format

I'd feel slightly guilty if Mark got so desperate that he wanted to watch Pretty Little Liars. ;)


Travis | 4 comments I'm sure my collection of ICP and Twizted music would've tortured him pretty well.


Robyn | 30 comments TV: Buffy the Vampire Slayer (all Joss Whedon series really), How I Met Your Mother, Grey's Anatomy, Arrested Development, the X-Files, Supernatural

Books: Stephen King, JK Rowling, Kurt Vonnegut, Christopher Moore, Margaret Atwood, Charles Dickens

And then my "to read" pile and my music collection


message 17: by [deleted user] (new)

The mother of all torments: the entire Twilight saga, extended, uncut versions with deleted scenes.

Books? The "best of" YA and PNR out there right now.


message 18: by Kris (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kris (kvolk) Disco is hard to beat but I guess maybe a Gregorian chant or two would do it. Also a big catalog of earth travelogue videos with tons of stunning vistas.


David Sven (gorro) | 1582 comments Kris wrote: "but I guess maybe a Gregorian chant or two would do it. A"

I love Gregorian chant. But my family have banned me from playing it at Christmas! Come on! Gregorian chant rock at Christmas!


Scott | 312 comments Probably old timey country music lol


message 21: by Kris (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kris (kvolk) David Sven wrote: "Kris wrote: "but I guess maybe a Gregorian chant or two would do it. A"

I love Gregorian chant. But my family have banned me from playing it at Christmas! Come on! Gregorian chant rock at Christmas!"


You know that is the first sensible idea for use of a chant I have ever heard.


Caitlin | 355 comments Beyonce, M.I.A, Eminem, Janelle Monae and Chromeo


Michele | 1154 comments I love musicals so stuff from The Wizard of Oz to Moulin Rouge. I think maybe Newsies would be the worst :)


Robert of Dale (r_dale) | 185 comments Lots of prematurely canceled, long-story-arc-style TV series. Rome, Deadwood, etc... Not sure if Firefly should be the first file on there to soften him up, or the last one to crush his already withered will to live.


Misti (spookster5) | 463 comments I would take along a collection of 90s cartoon series with ear-wormy theme songs: Animaniacs, Tiny Toons, Duck Tales, and Talespin. Good luck getting those themes out of your head, Mark!


message 26: by Dara (new) - rated it 5 stars

Dara (cmdrdara) | 2693 comments 90's X-Men theme song gets stuck in my head so easily...

...and there it is.


Fresno Bob | 569 comments he might have ended up killing himself after listening to the terabyte of 80s goth music (and modern stuff that sounds like it) and the nine Rogue-like games I brought


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