By Dustin Jeck, Nursing Branch Manager, Aureus Medical
With NASA’s Perseverance Rover landing on Mars earlier this spring, we’ve been receiving amazing images, videos, and sounds of the red planet back here on Earth. Perseverance is most certainly a stranger in a strange land, and that’s something that many travel nurses and allied healthcare professionals can relate to, as you spend a lot of time away from home, exploring new locations, and working in new facilities. In that spirit, we’d like to suggest some great Martian reads for healthcare travelers to get you into the Martian spirit and maybe ever help you feel a little closer to home by comparison!
The Martian by Andy Weir
This one’s kind of a no-brainer. A fictional astronaut becomes stranded on Mars and must figure out how to survive on the inhospitable planet. If you want to get a great mental image of what it must be like for the Perseverance Rover right now, this is a great pick! If you’re more of a movie buff, this was adapted into a movie by the same name in 2015 and it stars Matt Damon in the lead role.
Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein
Robert A. Heinlein is frequently referred to as the father of the science fiction genre. In this unique novel, Heinlein imagines what would happen if a human child was raised by Martians and then came back to Earth. What would he be like? What would the Martians have taught him? How will he assimilate into human society?
The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells
Martians invading Earth! There have been countless books, TV shows, and movies based on this trope. However, it’s safe to say that this was one of the earliest. Although it was written in 1897, it reads like it could have been published this century. As proven by the movie starring Tom Cruise, it easily adapts from 1897 to our current day.
The Ender Saga by Orson Scott Card
It’s always great to get wrapped up in a series! Although not specifically “Martian,” this series imagines a universe where an alien race has attacked Earth and humans have started identifying smarter than average children to train as military commanders to use in the war against these invaders. Eventually, humans start colonizing distant planets that these alien invaders have already tamed. Again, if you prefer the movie option, the first book of the series, Ender’s Game, was released cinematically in 2013.
If you want to get into the Martian mood, you can’t go wrong with any of these picks! Snag one of these books and start to empathize with the Perseverance Rover, sitting there 38.6 million miles away (when Mars is at its closest to Earth) all alone on that dusty, red planet. That ought to help you feel a little less alone on your travel healthcare assignment!