Project Hail Mary – Bookcast #33

Project Hail Mary 2021 by Andy Weir

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.

Read and listen to “Project Hail Mary on Amazon!


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Overview of Project Hail Mary

  • A very brief description of “Project Hail Mary”
    • Don’t want to ruin the story but basically an 8th grade science teacher wakes up from a coma in space and has to save the world.
  • What Weir sets out to do / Purpose of the book
    • Best example of edutainment Ive ever seen
    • A survival story
  • The intended audience of the book / Who will benefit most
    • People who love science fiction
    • Space exploration / NASA lovers
    • People who love to be inspired
    • People who Science
  • Who probably WON’T like “Project Hail Mary”
    • People who can’t deal with math things (or biology/physics/
    • People who don’t like sci-fi
    • People who suck
  • How does this book specifically benefit Men? 
    • Great example of how a man can overcome SPECTACULARLY DIFFICULT circumstances and be successful
    • Also a great example of what a “hero” is – and what his journey is. Grace did not start out 
  • Is this book Easy, Average or Difficult to read? / How long is it?
    • Easy to read
    • Print: 496 pages – about 10 hours
    • Audio: 16h 10m
  • What are the overall book reviews? Is the book well-known? Popular? Significant?
  • Book-To-Movie Translation 
    • En route as we speak!

Bio of Andy Weir

  • Weir was born and raised in California, the only child of an accelerator physicist father and an electrical-engineer mother.
  • Weir grew up reading classic science fiction such as the works of Arthur C. Clarke and Isaac Asimov.
  • At the age of 15, he began working as a computer programmer for Sandia National Laboratories.
  • He studied computer science at UC San Diego, although he did not graduate. He worked as a programmer for several software companies, including AOL, Palm, MobileIron and Blizzard, where he worked on the video game Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness.
  • Andy Weir released The Martian one chapter at a time on his website. When fans asked him to put it on Amazon, he did for 99 cents. It sold 35,000 copies in three months and got the attention of an audiobook publisher, which then got the attention of a print publisher. Weir released the book online for free in 2011, and on January 2013, it debuted on the New York Times hardcover bestseller list.
  • Has written 3 novels
    • The Martian
      • Movie staring Matt Damon
    • Artemis
      • Future movie rights purchased by Fox/ New Regency
    • Project Hail Mary
      • Future move to star Ryan Gosling
  •  As well as numerous short and long stories and graphic novels.

Breakdown of Themes

Survival and Resilience

  • Earth is at the brink of an ice age that will worsen over time unless the space program finds a solution. Humanity has to survive until the mission is successful hence have to put their faith and hope on Project Hail Mary. In space, Grace has to cope with the harsh environment and his state of mind trying to figure out the mission. The original team was prepared for the suicide mission—since there is no returning to Earth—with the survival of the human race on their backs. Grace has to fight for survival at every turn with several setbacks occurring with each experiment.

Collaboration

  • The UN task force that ensures the success of Project Hail Mary is the first display of collaboration in the narrative. As the head of the operation, Stratt has to approve the suicide mission alongside other significant decisions before launch. Though the spaceship launches with an entire team, Grace finds himself as the sole survivor of the trip. He has to use his wits to comprehend the situation.

Utilitarianism

  • Altruism is at the core of this tale with characters risking their lives for the greater good of their civilization. On Earth, the task force suffers casualties but the rest of the team still works to undertake the suicide mission. As a disgraced scientist, Grace lost his way but now has the chance to do something good for human civilization. However, in the beginning, he is barely a noble protagonist since he refuses to take on the mission as a crew member. On arrival the lack of memory in the first few days allows him to place the assignment before his needs. Gradually, he learns to be selfless and puts his life on the line to ensure that Project Hail Mary succeeds.

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Project Hail Mary – Bookcast #33 1

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