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🚀👨‍🚀 Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir

Not a Book Report

I enjoy reflecting on the movies, TV, books and other media that I consume. I’m notoriously sentimental. This series documents the books that I read. These aren’t reviews or recommendations. Just a list. For me. Mostly so that I can page through what I read, where I was, and when.

Why did I read it?

I picked up a Tom Clancy book in the Stockholm Central train station a couple months ago and it made me remember how fun these can be. So I rewound in the series by about a decade and picked up at Book 10 in the run. I have been spending a lot of time wading through some complex, but interesting, challenges at the office - all good problems, but the kinds of things that leave me beat at the end of the day and ready to jump into a novel about spies and special forces for 30 minutes before I fall asleep.

What is it?

Category Value
Title Project Hail Mary
Author Andy Weir
Year Published 2021
Format Kindle
Pages 482

Publisher Summary

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.

How did I read it?

Category Value
Date Started June 8, 2024
Date Finished June 9, 2024
Places Read Sintra

Notes - No Spoilers

  • I loved reading The Martian - just absolutely loved it. The book was recommended to me by colleagues at Trilogy/ESW, which was high praise because that was a bunch of brilliant people who also loved books.
  • I read Weir’s next novel, Artemis, a few years later and came away disappointed. Artemis abandoned a lot of the geeky “let’s engineer a solution” flow of The Martian and replaced it with some murder and intrigue. I still enjoyed it but not nearly as much as The Martian.
  • It appears that Weir got the message and went back to the original with Project Hail Mary. I had seen that it was published a couple of years ago but after my experience with Artemis I skipped it.
  • I was wrong. I added it to my list after seeing that filming just started for a movie adaptation starring Ryan Gosling. I looked up the Wikipedia page for the book and after about one paragraph forced myself to stop - I wanted to finish the plot summary section so badly that I just went and bought the book itself.
  • This book was a return to how much fun The Martian was. The conceit is obviously pretty similar (single astronaut, stranded/abandoned, trying to apply engineering solutions to each subsequent problem). The introduction of Rocky, though, made it so much fun.
  • Fun to see an exploration of aliens as either, more or less, algae or a kind of similar version to ourselves. Not the malicious or creepy aliens of other series.
  • Strat is a concept that feels a whole lot like Three Body Problem’s Wallfacers.
  • I do really, really wish we had an epilogue about what played out on earth other than the final result for Sol.
  • I am going to buy tickets the first minute that I can to see this in theaters.

Published Jun 9, 2024

Austinite in Lisbon. Emerging Tech at Cloudflare.Sign up for emails