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Project Hail Mary: A Novel
by Andy Weir

Published: 2021-05-04T00:0
Hardcover : 496 pages
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#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From the author of The Martian, a lone astronaut must save the earth from disaster in this “propulsive” (Entertainment Weekly), cinematic thriller full of suspense, humor, and fascinating science—in development as a major motion picture starring Ryan ...
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#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From the author of The Martian, a lone astronaut must save the earth from disaster in this “propulsive” (Entertainment Weekly), cinematic thriller full of suspense, humor, and fascinating science—in development as a major motion picture starring Ryan Gosling.

HUGO AWARD FINALIST • ONE OF THE YEAR’S BEST BOOKS: Bill Gates, GatesNotes, New York Public Library, Parade, Newsweek, Polygon, Shelf Awareness, She Reads, Kirkus Reviews, Library Journal • “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.

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Discussion Questions

1. There are so many novels and movies about space. What is it about space that fascinates people around the world?
2. Did you read The Martian? How did Project Hail Mary compare to it? Which one did you like better?
3. We meet Ryland when he wakes up all alone on the spaceship. He’s suffering from select amnesia and is slowly piecing together what happened. Why do you think the author decided to tell the story in this way? How did the slow reveal help build tension?
4. We eventually learn that Ryland is a science teacher after he left his career as a molecular biologist. Let’s talk about why Ryland left that field and found solace in teaching.
5. Why did Stratt recruit Ryland to help with the task force of finding out what is dimming the sun?
6. It is discovered that an organism is absorbing the sun’s energy, which will be devastating to earth and create a new ice age. Ryland nicknames the organism ‘Astrophage’ and discovers that it can reproduce and uses light energy to migrate from Venus to the sun. What did you think about this discovery? Could this organism exist in the real world?
7. The entire world comes together to try and solve this huge issue. What did you think about this behind the scenes look at the countries working together?
8. While it seems that Ryland is going to be a man alone—big surprise— he encounters an alien creature who is also trying to solve the Astrophage issue. What did you think about the alien appearance?
9. Let’s talk about the friendship between Ryland and Rocky. Despite all the differences, in what ways were they similar?
10. What did you think about all the science details on solving the Astrophage problem?
11. We eventually find out that Ryland didn’t volunteer for the mission—he got forced against his will by Stratt. How did that change how Ryland perceived the mission? Do you think he was a coward like Stratt accused him of or was he simply scared?
12. Ryland makes a huge choice in the end—go back to earth or save Rocky and his people. Let’s talk about Ryland’s decision.
13. Do you think he will ever go back to earth? In your opinion, what has happened to earth?
14. Hollywood is making a movie version of the book with Ryan Gosling playing Ryland. Which scenes do you hope are included in the novel? How do you think the movie version will handle the Rocky character?

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