“Project Hail Mary” by Andy Weir

Proyecto Hail Mary [Project Hail Mary]

I loved The Martian and skipped Artemis (which seems to be available only in electronic format), so I was optimistic about enjoying Project Hail Mary. And, yes, I liked it! 

SPOILER ALERT! If you’re sensitive about plot and plan to read the book, stop here. 

The assumptions made in Project Hail Mary are even more extreme (silly) than those on which The Martian was based, but Weir writes a very engaging adventure story. I particularly like the description of his protagonist Ryland Grace learning to speak the language of the space alien he nicknames Rocky. Rocky’s language is musical. 

Once one can speak to an alien, cultural issues arise. Weir takes on two big ones, food and sleep. Humans socialize over food. Not so the alien in this story! Humans can sleep alone, but Rocky considers that frightening. Initally, Grace is confused by Rocky’s offer to “observe” his sleep. It turns out the aliens can’t be roused while sleeping, and may need help.

In what ways does Project Hail Mary (published in 2021) reflect our contemporary experience of Covid? Both our human protagonist and his alien buddy are ALONE in space. Each has lost his crewmates. Each is from a planet suffering an existential threat. Their life support requirements are radically different, but they find ways to be “together”.

After finishing Project Hail Mary, I went back to the beginning to see how it “felt” from that perspective. Fifteen minutes later, I realized I had been, briefly, completely unaware of my surroundings. Weir can really get me engaged!


2 thoughts on ““Project Hail Mary” by Andy Weir

    1. #1 – I’m really bad about housework. My dust kittens have dust.
      #2 – I “cheat” read and use various shortcuts, like reading the last paragraph of a book to decide if I want to read the whole book. I skip around.
      #3 – Sometimes I post about books I just plain didn’t read. I’m generally up front about it. A book can be important and interesting and maybe I’m not going to read it (now). But I want to keep some information about it. I blog for my own use.
      #4 – I make liberal use of Amazon.com and Wikipedia to read reviews. I try to credit anything I borrow appropriately.
      #5 – I’m close to zero on watching TV. I don’t know ANYONE who watches less TV than me. I don’t know how to turn the damn thing on…

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