StoryGraph Saturday: Project Hail Mary

StoryGraph Saturday is a weekly thing where I randomly choose a book from my To Read pile on StoryGraph and show it off to both remind myself that it’s there and to show it to you, Dear Reader, in case you might find it interesting, too.

Project Hail Mary
by Andy Weir
Science Fiction
496 pages
Published May, 2021, by Ballantine Books

From The StoryGraph:

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, he realizes that an impossible task now confronts him. Alone on this tiny ship that’s been cobbled together by every government and space agency on the planet and hurled into the depths of space, it’s up to him to conquer an extinction-level threat to our species.

And thanks to an unexpected ally, he just might have a chance. Part scientific mystery, part dazzling interstellar journey, 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.

On a recent episode of the podcast, Imaginary Worlds, Eric Molisnky interviewed Andy Weir, author of The Martian, about his new novel, Project Hail Mary. Weir was as personable and interesting as ever and he got me far more interested in reading his new book than the (generally positive) reviews I’ve seen for it since it came out. So I requested it from the library, and I’m currently 64th in line for the hardcover. There was a long line for the digital copy, too. But those tend to arrive more quickly, as people can’t keep them past the due date. So maybe I’ll request it digitally, too.

Anyway. In the interview, Weir talked about how he’s been learning about character and pacing with each of his books. In The Martian, for example, Mark Watney doesn’t have a character arc or much in the way of flaws, while the heroine of Weir’s second book, Artemis, was too flawed (and drove readers away). So he’s hoping he’s achieved a better balance between features and flaws of his new main character, Ryland Grace. I hope he’s achieved it, too, because The Martian is so engaging and fun. I passed on Artemis because of the negative reviews, though I might look into it now that I know a little more about it.

4 thoughts on “StoryGraph Saturday: Project Hail Mary

  1. I loved the Martian but I haven’t been able to read any of his other books yet. However I bought this book for my best friend for Christmas and I think he liked it.

  2. I thoroughly enjoyed The Martian and remember some interviews back at the time which kept me interested in Weir and what he might try in the future. Like you I haven’t yet read Artemis because of the negative reviews, but I am becoming more curious about this one. I hope you enjoy it!

  3. I am definitely curious about this one, thanks to something of a spoiler for something that happens fairly early in the book (apparently). And Weir just sounds like a personable person in general, and that makes me want to read his books.

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