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Project Hail Mary: A Novel Hardcover – May 4 2021
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ONE OF THE YEAR’S BEST BOOKS: Bill Gates, GatesNotes • New York Public Library • Kirkus Reviews • “An epic story of redemption, discovery and cool speculative sci-fi.”—USA Today
“If you loved The Martian, you’ll go crazy for Weir’s latest.”—The Washington Post
Ryland Grace is the sole survivor on a desperate, last-chance mission—and if he fails, humanity and the earth itself will perish.
Except that right now, he doesn’t know that. He can’t even remember his own name, let alone the nature of his assignment or how to complete it.
All he knows is that he’s been asleep for a very, very long time. And he’s just been awakened to find himself millions of miles from home, with nothing but two corpses for company.
His crewmates dead, his memories fuzzily returning, Ryland realizes that an impossible task now confronts him. Hurtling through space on this tiny ship, it’s up to him to puzzle out an impossible scientific mystery—and conquer an extinction-level threat to our species.
And with the clock ticking down and the nearest human being light-years away, he’s got to do it all alone.
Or does he?
An irresistible interstellar adventure as only Andy Weir could deliver, Project Hail Mary is a tale of discovery, speculation, and survival to rival The Martian—while taking us to places it never dreamed of going.
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“Weir spins a space yarn in a way only he can. Fans of his earlier works won’t be disappointed.”—Newsweek
“Andy Weir proves once again that he is a singular talent. Project Hail Mary is so fascinating and propulsive that it’s downright addictive. From the first page as Ryland wakes up not knowing who or where he is, I was hooked.”—Taylor Jenkins Reid, New York Times bestselling author of Daisy Jones & The Six
“Reading Project Hail Mary is like going on a field trip to outer space with the best science teacher you’ve ever had—and your class assignment is to save the world. This is one of the most original, compelling, and fun voyages I’ve ever taken.”—Ernest Cline, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Ready Player One
“Two worlds in peril, a competent (but flawed and human) man, a competent alien, unending scientific puzzles to unravel, with humanity itself at risk, this one has everything fans of old school SF (like me) love. If you like a lot of science in your science fiction, Andy Weir is the writer for you.”—George R. R. Martin, New York Times bestselling author of A Game of Thrones
“I loved The Martian, but I actually find Project Hail Mary to be Mr. Weir’s finest work to date. It’s somehow both exciting, yet also personal. I’m constantly amazed by how well Mr. Weir continues to write wonderfully accessible science fiction without compromising either the science or the fiction.”—Brandon Sanderson, New York Times bestselling author of the Stormlight Archive series
“Brilliantly funny and enjoyable . . . one of the most plausible science fiction books I’ve ever read.”—Tim Peake, ESA astronaut and internationally bestselling author of Limitless
“Thrilling doesn’t even begin to describe Project Hail Mary, which is undisputedly the best book I’ve read in a very, very long time . . . I cheered, I laughed (a lot), I cried, and when the twist arrived and the book revealed its true target, my jaw hit the floor. Mark my words: Project Hail Mary is destined to become a classic.”—Blake Crouch, New York Times bestselling author of
Recursion and Dark Matter
“A joy to read . . . with Project Hail Mary, Weir is leaning hard into all that made The Martian kick.”—Locus
“Readers may find themselves consuming this emotionally intense and thematically profound novel in one stay-up-all-night-until-your-eyes-bleed sitting. An unforgettable story of survival and the power of friendship—nothing short of a science fiction masterwork.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
About the Author
- Publisher : Ballantine Books (May 4 2021)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 496 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0593135202
- ISBN-13 : 978-0593135204
- Item weight : 744 g
- Dimensions : 16 x 3.81 x 24.23 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: #343 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from Canada
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The earth is facing annihilation in the not-too-distant future. Alien microorganisms, astrophages, are absorbing energy from the sun. The sun is cooling, and it is predicted that this will lead to an ice age, famines, wars for resources, and the eventual extinction of most of the life on earth. There seems to be a glimmer of hope on a planet, Tau Ceti, in a distant solar system. This is the only place discovered where astrophages are being destroyed.
The Petrova task force has been set up consisting of the worlds' greatest minds from many nations. They establish Project Hail Mary under the leadership and authority of the director (dictator) Eva Stratt. She is driven to save the world from impending catastrophe at all costs. What she possesses in authority puts her on a power trip. She is cold-hearted, lacks scruples and willing to set aside legalities, morality and ethics to achieve her goals. She will select a three-person crew of the best scientists and astronauts capable of withstanding a prolonged coma on their long one-way suicide journey into interstellar space.
Sometime in the future, aboard the spaceship Hail Mary, Ryland Grace awakens from an induced coma. Tubes, electrodes and IV lines are attached to his body. Nearby are the mummified bodies of his two crewmates. He cannot recall his name, where he is, or why he is there. As his physical body gains strength, he recovers snippets of memory of the past.
He was a dedicated, enthusiastic, and popular Junior High science teacher whose work was inspiring to his students. He had few friends. How did he come to be selected for this mission, and for what purpose? He is horrified to learn he is somewhere in deep space with no way back to earth. He knows he doesn't want to die, but there is no way home with insufficient food and fuel. His two crewmates could have explained the mission and helped him, but they are dead. He realizes this will soon be his solitary fate. As bits of his memory and thoughts begin to clarify, we learn more about his life and how he got to be on this mission into outer space. If only he could remember what he is supposed to do now!
He makes contact with a masterful engineer and mechanic named Rocky. To say more about this endearing and wonderful character would be a spoiler.
Ryland Grace has a snide, witty, and sarcastic sense of humour, usually directed at himself. It is a wild, exciting journey towards his destination, Tau Ceti. The ride is full of danger, twists and excitement. Through his tireless ingenuity, he manages to overcome obstacles never before faced by anyone. Does Grace muddle through and save the earth? What difficult choice must now face him? Of all the endings I could envision, I never thought of its fantastical conclusion which was most unexpected and satisfying for me.
The book isn’t so much a novel as a series of vignettes, half of them going through the years prior to the opening scene. The second half, interleaved with the first, are the chronicles of the protagonist, going on from that first scene. For those familiar with The Martian, we again see the universe, and Murphy, working together to present endless challenges which our hero defeats (for the most part) with the diligent application of Science. The book is wrtten almost entirely in the first person. Each of the scenes are easy reads, and many I read multiple times, because they’re fun! (Court battle.)
While this format is distracting it is entertaining. It probably slowed my reading down, which could be good or bad.
The author uses foreshadowing ... alot. At least half the twists i saw coming. Between that, and Murphy, you knew when things were going well, it was going to crash.
But it was STILL an easy and very entertaining book.
I was a huge fan of The Martian. I especially liked how Andy Weir "did the math" in that story to describe technical problems and their solutions. Even though I'm terrible at math and it was my worst subject in school, the author makes it so approachable and interesting. So when I learned that Andy Weir had written an interstellar, alien first-contact novel, I was concerned that he would focus on the dramatic and get less into the guts of individual problems and the details of their solutions. I am pleased to say that my concerns were unfounded.
The story is compelling from start to finish and, although it includes the techie stuff that I like, character development was superb, the drama was intense, and the emotional aspects of the story were compelling.
Overall, Project Hail Mary is the best book that I have read this year, and possibly ever!
It is a fun and fast moving book. There is a fair amount of science and technical jargon but not enough to put off the average reader.
It is a well told story and even though it isn’t the Martian, it is a very worthwhile read.
Top reviews from other countries
"The Martian" was a great story. "Artemis" was a great story. This one is better than either of those. If you like science fiction with actual science, this is for you. If you like stories with interesting, well developed characters, this also has that. If you want excitement and a thrilling plot, here you go. If you want romance and sex, well, there you're completely out of luck. But if that was the kind of book you wanted I doubt you'd be reading this review anyway. Speaking of, why *are* you still reading this review? Go read the book!! It's way better than this.
To be frank, I believe in climate change. I believe the climate changes every three months (roughly); they're called seasons. What I don't believe in is soft science and doomsday predictions based on data that's easily manipulated by activists to say anything they want.
The second problem I have with the book so far is that it reads too much like the The Martian, but without the emotion. There's no reason to like or dislike the characters beyond the superficial aspects of their personalities. Everyone is two-dimensional. The main protagonist spends his days dodging his emotions, and every supporting character on Earth is a stereotype--without enough personality for me to care about any of them.
Maybe things will get better as I continue to read, but only if the author puts away his soapbox and get's back to story-telling.
1. The characters are individualized and (mostly) likeable. It’s really nice to have a male protagonist in a sci fi book who’s compassionate, caring, and human.
2. Plot twists and turns kept me reading in spite of some long tedious sections.
3. Alien life forms are creatively and imaginatively rendered.
4. A bit of humor here and there helped enliven the story.
1. The author is mainly concerned with engineering solutions to survival problems–one after the other after the other. Some of these are exciting, but there were just too many.
2. The plot drags on and on as one technical problem after another takes center stage. If you’ve been dealing with computer, electrical or mechanical problems in your own life, you might find the endless series of equipment disasters a bit frustrating to read about.
He has to work out why he’s there, and what he has to do, from scratch. And then work miracles. Or in the words of Mark Witney in the Martian, ‘science the s*** out of it’.
Written in a similar style to the Martian, with sections alternating between Ryland-on-Earth and Ryland -in-Space, it’s hard not to picture Matt Damon as Ryland, but though they share the same love of science trivia, and self-deprecating humour, they are very different.
There’s loads of geeky science as he McGyvers his way from one situation to another. Maybe a little too much if you’re not a science nerd or sci-fi fanatic but I loved it.
I loved the quirky characters of all the ‘supporting actors’ (This is so definitely going to be a film!), especially Rocky. Oh, Rocky! Just... read it, ok?