If you liked The Martian by the same author, Project Hail Mary is better – especially if you’re listening. If you didn’t much care for The Martian you might not like this, although it’s been widely praised.
Project Hail Mary
by Andy Weir – 2021
read by Ray Porter – 16h 10m
rating: A++ / Sci-Fi
This page-turning tale opens with 1st person Ryland Grace waking up in his space craft and finding himself to be the lone survivor of a three-person mission into the far reaches. Then the narrative switches to a 1st person teacher in his classroom. We figure out that these two are the same guy and that teaching junior high school science is something Dr. Grace, the astronaut, did in part of his past. His future is in that space craft.
As the story unfolds in its two parts, we come to understand there are problems in space as well as on earth and, as in The Martian, a lot of the answers are common sense as well as human decency.
How a science teacher got to the point of being the only human on a long term space mission is one story. His challenges are the second story and include an alien with entirely different everything – almost.
There are times this novel is funny as all get-out, but there are other times when it’s very, very touching. Weir knows how to explain the science without ever getting dull. And this is, after all, first and foremost, *science* fiction. Enjoy.