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Project Hail Mary
Cover of Project Hail Mary
Project Hail Mary
A Novel
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A lone astronaut must save the earth from disaster in this “propulsive” (Entertainment Weekly) new science-based thriller from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The...
A lone astronaut must save the earth from disaster in this “propulsive” (Entertainment Weekly) new science-based thriller from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The...
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Description-

  • A lone astronaut must save the earth from disaster in this “propulsive” (Entertainment Weekly) new science-based thriller from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Martian.
    “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.

Excerpts-

  • From the book Chapter 1

    “What’s two plus two?”

    Something about the question irritates me. I’m tired. I drift back to sleep.

    A few minutes pass, then I hear it again.

    “What’s two plus two?”

    The soft, feminine voice lacks emotion and the pronunciation is identical to the previous time she said it. It’s a computer. A computer is hassling me. I’m even more irritated now.

    “Lrmln,” I say. I’m surprised. I meant to say “Leave me alone”—a completely reasonable response in my opinion—­but I failed to speak.

    “Incorrect,” says the computer. “What’s two plus two?”

    Time for an experiment. I’ll try to say hello.

    “Hlllch?” I say.

    “Incorrect. What’s two plus two?”

    What’s going on? I want to find out, but I don’t have much to work with. I can’t see. I can’t hear anything other than the computer. I can’t even feel. No, that’s not true. I feel something. I’m lying down. I’m on something soft. A bed.

    I think my eyes are closed. That’s not so bad. All I have to do is open them. I try, but nothing happens.

    Why can’t I open my eyes?

    Open.

    Aaaand . . . open!

    Open, dang it!

    Ooh! I felt a wiggle that time. My eyelids moved. I felt it.

    Open!

    My eyelids creep up and blinding light sears my retinas.

    “Glunn!” I say. I keep my eyes open with sheer force of will. Everything is white with shades of pain.

    “Eye movement detected,” my tormenter says. “What’s two plus two?”

    The whiteness lessens. My eyes are adjusting. I start to see shapes, but nothing sensible yet. Let’s see . . . can I move my hands? No.

    Feet? Also no.

    But I can move my mouth, right? I’ve been saying stuff. Not stuff that makes sense, but it’s something.

    “Fffr.”

    “Incorrect. What’s two plus two?”

    The shapes start to make sense. I’m in a bed. It’s kind of . . . oval-­shaped.

    LED lights shine down on me. Cameras in the ceiling watch my every move. Creepy though that is, I’m much more concerned about the robot arms.

    The two brushed-­steel armatures hang from the ceiling. Each has an assortment of disturbingly penetration-­looking tools where hands should be. Can’t say I like the look of that.

    “Ffff . . . oooh . . . rrrr,” I say. Will that do?

    “Incorrect. What’s two plus two?”

    Dang it. I summon all my willpower and inner strength. Also, I’m starting to panic a little. Good. I use that too.

    “Fffoouurr,” I finally say.

    “Correct.”

    Thank God. I can talk. Sort of.

    I breathe a sigh of relief. Wait—­I just controlled my breathing. I take another breath. On purpose. My mouth is sore. My throat is sore. But it’s my soreness. I have control.

    I’m wearing a breathing mask. It’s tight to my face and connected to a hose that goes behind my head.

    Can I get up?

    No. But I can move my head a little. I look down at my body. I’m naked and connected to more tubes than I can count. There’s one in each arm, one in each leg, one in my “gentlemen’s equipment,” and two that disappear under my thigh. I’m guessing one of them is up where the sun doesn’t...

About the Author-

  • Andy Weir built a two-decade career as a software engineer until the success of his first published novel, The Martian, allowed him to live out his dream of writing full-time. He is a lifelong space nerd and a devoted hobbyist of such subjects as relativistic physics, orbital mechanics, and the history of manned spaceflight. He also mixes a mean cocktail. He lives in California.

Reviews-

  • Booklist

    December 1, 2020
    For those who found Artemis (2017) to be something of a letdown after his much-loved The Martian (2014), Weir returns with gusto. The sun is dying, abruptly and rapidly. Within decades, humanity is going to be wiped out. Survival of the species depends on a lone astronaut who is far from home, unsure of where he is or how to tackle the monumental task that lies before him. Weir's scientific and technical savvy lends the proceedings an air of authenticity, and his portrayal of an ordinary man full of fear and self-doubt thrust into the role of humanity's last hope strikes just the right note. In many ways, this is a thematic sequel to The Martian; both are stories of individuals battling for survival against extraordinary odds and dealing with loneliness and desperation. In Artemis, it seemed like Weir was trying too hard, but here his writing flows naturally, and his characters and dialogue crackle with energy. Weir is no longer the self-published wunderkind of The Martian; with this novel, he takes place as a genuine star in the mainstream sf world.HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Weir returns to the style and themes of his mega-hit debut, The Martian.

    COPYRIGHT(2020) Booklist, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Kirkus

    March 1, 2021
    Weir's latest is a page-turning interstellar thrill ride that follows a junior high school teacher-turned-reluctant astronaut at the center of a desperate mission to save humankind from a looming extinction event. Ryland Grace was a once-promising molecular biologist who wrote a controversial academic paper contesting the assumption that life requires liquid water. Now disgraced, he works as a junior high science teacher in San Francisco. His previous theories, however, make him the perfect researcher for a multinational task force that's trying to understand how and why the sun is suddenly dimming at an alarming rate. A barely detectable line of light that rises from the sun's north pole and curves toward Venus is inexplicably draining the star of power. According to scientists, an "instant ice age" is all but inevitable within a few decades. All the other stars in proximity to the sun seem to be suffering with the same affliction--except Tau Ceti. An unwilling last-minute replacement as part of a three-person mission heading to Tau Ceti in hopes of finding an answer, Ryland finds himself awakening from an induced coma on the spaceship with two dead crewmates and a spotty memory. With time running out for humankind, he discovers an alien spacecraft in the vicinity of his ship with a strange traveler on a similar quest. Although hard scientific speculation fuels the storyline, the real power lies in the many jaw-dropping plot twists, the relentless tension, and the extraordinary dynamic between Ryland and the alien (whom he nicknames Rocky because of its carapace of oxidized minerals and metallic alloy bones). 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.

    COPYRIGHT(2021) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Library Journal

    Starred review from April 16, 2021

    Waking up and not knowing where you are, but knowing that you have been asleep for a long time, would be challenging to anyone. Waking up with all of that, plus two dead people and no idea who you are? Even worse. But Ryland Grace will slowly gain his memory back and realize that he may be the last chance for Earth and humanity to survive. Now years and galaxies away from home, he will need to use everything at his disposal in his small ship to find a way to reverse the planet's looming extinction all by himself. Then he discovers he's not the only one looking for a solution. The book's witty narrator, hard science, and flashbacks all blend into a high-stakes adventure of galactic proportions, while presenting some exciting twists and strong themes of collaboration and friendship. VERDICT Weir brings back the pace, intelligence, and humor of The Martian and increases it exponentially. Scientific mysteries and survival instincts abound in this compelling and exciting novel.--Kristi Chadwick, Massachusetts Lib. Syst., Northampton

    Copyright 2021 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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