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Interview: Andy Weir Is on a Mission to Create an Unpausable Story

'I'm like, ''Wait a minute! Disasters are where books come from!'''
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  • Project Hail Mary
  • 'I'm like, ''Wait a minute! Disasters are where books come from!'''

Publisher's Summary

Number-One Audible and New York Times Audio Best Seller

A lone astronaut must save the earth from disaster in this incredible new science-based thriller from the number-one New York Times best-selling author of The Martian.

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, he realizes that an impossible task now confronts him. Alone on this tiny ship that's been cobbled together by every government and space agency on the planet and hurled into the depths of space, it's up to him to conquer an extinction-level threat to our species.

And thanks to an unexpected ally, he just might have a chance.

Part scientific mystery, part dazzling interstellar journey, 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.

PLEASE NOTE: To accommodate this audio edition, some changes to the original text have been made with the approval of author Andy Weir.

©2021 Andy Weir (P)2021 Audible Studios

What listeners say about Project Hail Mary

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Pure Science Fiction

I grew up reading Asimov in the golden age of SF. I am writing this because there were no reviews for this brand new book. I am mowing my lawn listening to it and feel compelled to encourage people who love the science in SF to give this book a chance. I enjoyed both versions of the Martian (film and book). Don’t let paucity of reviews scare you this has been, so far, a compelling book.

531 people found this helpful

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Fist My Bump!

I enjoyed both The Martian and Artemis so I pre-ordered this one and started it immediately. It did not disappoint. Andy Weir is one of my favorite authors and Ray Porter is one of my favorite narrators so this combination is a win-win. The narration is superb and the writing is great. I recommend this book. Don't over think it. This is worth the price of admission.

Disclaimer: My enjoyment of the narrator is based on my listening speed. I only leave 5 stars for books I've listened to or will listen to multiple times.

369 people found this helpful

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I love Andy Weir and Ray Porter

Andy Weir is at his absolute best when he’s spouting off insane scientific technobabble with a main character that feels simply like a smarter version of the rest of us. Maybe not even smarter, maybe simply more knowledgeable. Space and the science related to it are his happy place and we’re all the better for it. Ray Porter has so much ability to not only narrate a story but make us feel as if we’re the ones experiencing it. If you haven’t yet had the pleasure of listening to the entire Bobiverse line of audiobooks then finish this and immediately go to them. Perfect narrator for a perfect setting. I haven’t quite finished the book yet, so no spoilers or definitive reviews of the story but I absolutely love where it’s going and can’t wait to hear the rest. Keep the hits coming Mr. Weir.

229 people found this helpful

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Sorry Johansson, here there is no disco

On the other hand, similarities with The Martian include a lone man in space science-ing the sh!t out of life-threatening circumstances. Weir’s trademark blend of science and humor occasionally had me hearing astronaut Mark Watney instead of MC Ryland Grace, even with the different, phenomenal narrator that is Ray Porter. But, don’t pass on this book thinking it’s just a Martian variation. This story is spectacularly fresh, full-credit worthy, and dare I say better than The Martian! This is Bill Nye the Science Guy as the hero in Armageddon, with (mostly) real science delivered in an entertaining manner only possible from Andy Weir. Oh, and we may not get disco, but we do get a little Beatles, and the greatness of Rocky. That’s all you get- anything more would spoil this outstanding story.

177 people found this helpful

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Can we just have Ray Porter narrate EVERYTHING? even my grocery list?

Ah, what a joy this book was!
The story is as fantastic and entertaining as any of Weir's books, but what really knocks it off the park is Ray Porter's narration. He’s just the perfect (and only, in my opinion!) narrator choice for this book.

148 people found this helpful

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Cant stop listening

This is only the second book I have read from this author (I don't know if there are more) but I remember loving the first one I read (The Martian) and decided to check this new book out.
I just started a few hours ago with the hopes of listening a little and going to sleep. It is now 2:30am and I am wide awake hanging on every word!

Great story!
Great Narration!
Definitely reccomend!

133 people found this helpful

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Absolutely Great... way better than Artemis

Awesome story telling. Great build up of the characters and universe. Can't compare to The Martian as that was novel/unique, but this absolutely crushes Artemis. Reminds me of a cross between Old Man's War and the Three Body Problem (but slightly less cerebral than the latter).

103 people found this helpful

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Highest Order of Geekgasm Medal

Let me start off by saying that I strongly enjoyed The Martian and Artemis (please, please don't let the negative comments of others dissuade you from reading Artemis). Until yesterday, American Gods was my unrivaled favorite; as of finishing Project Hail Mary, it is now tied for my very favorite. I will not provide spoilers, but if you enjoy good science fiction (Scalzi, Taylor, Adams) and understand that what makes good science fiction is good science, get Project Hail Mary.

As for Ray Porter, I fell in love with his narration of We Are Legion (We Are Bob) and its sequels. His enthusiastic, geeky, humorous, witty, and sarcastic tones are an absolute delight to my ears. No other narrator could have done as well or better.

I don't regret preordering both the audiobook and a signed copy of Project Hail Mary in the slightest. To the contrary, I am elated and am looking forward to listening to this audiobook many, many times.

89 people found this helpful

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A fantastic return to form

In this new title Andy Weir is coming back home to what made the martian such a breakout hit. One smart guy, in an impossible, incredibly hostile situation that has to "science" it out. And while it maintains that same DNA there's enough different here in context and objective that the problems our protagonist deals with remain novel and engaging.

There's not much I can say negative about it. The only thing maybe is that this book is structured in present day/flashback style and while the present day story is always highly engaging and interesting the flashbacks can drag a bit to the point where anytime the story cuts to the past you get a little upset.

Other than that, just a really fantastic and fun story.

62 people found this helpful

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Good, but not at Martian level

While the Martian is quite scientifically correct, this story is more about fantasy than science. And as a fantasy sci-fi, it does not really stand out as the story is not really novel nor innovative.

If you haven't read a lot of sci-fi, this book could be a good pick. If you have, the story could be a bit boring

61 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-06-21

A return to form

Every review of this book will have a mention of The Martian in it so let’s get the name out of the way now! The Martian was my first audio book and it was incredibly performed with an amazing, involving story. You couldn’t help but be swept away and engaged with it. The story was science faction at its best with twists and turns to keep you on your toes.
Project Hail Mary: Ctrl c, ctrl v!
It’s not a copy but it does follow a similar path. A huge problem needs to be solved. You solve one problem and move to the next, if you solve enough problems you get to go home. The Martian interspaced this with what was going on in the Hermes and Earth, this time it’s Graces memory returning. Whilst it can be a little convenient with his memory returning in chronological order there is an explanation for this and I was willing to accept it.
The reader, Ray Porter, read another series of books called the Bobiverse series and I have to admit this was very similar but in a good way. Dennis E Taylor’s writing style is very similar to Andy’s with hard science interspersed with humour and an engaging story. I can recommend both.
In conclusion this was an excellent story, well researched with good character development. The special audio effects (no spoilers) add a depth that I have not heard before and do nothing but enhance the experience, once you get used to them. This will be going in my top ten favourites and I cannot recommend it highly enough, well done Andy!

69 people found this helpful

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  • Rafael Pimpao
  • 05-05-21

Definitely not what I was expecting, in a good way

I must admit it felt a bit dull at the beginning, or maybe I wasn't ready for it. We can see a definite evolution in Andy's story telling, in a good way. I was expecting another Martian and got something more along the lines of what we would expect from Heinlein, but with the usual great science description we learn to love. Great story twists. Ray Porter was also the perfect voice (same voice in The Bobverse) for this book. I'm sure I will listen to this book several more times.

46 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-16-21

Very good narration. Poor prose and storyline.

The narrator is good good good and the story is bad bad bad.

The story starts fairly interesting and then descends into something boring at best and annoying at worst. The books reads like it's written by someone with a lot of hobbies who enjoys his hobbies intensely and spends his time imaging how these hobbies would come in handy in space survival adventures. I cannot comment on the physics side of this attemp at hard science sci-fi as I'm not a physicist, but I am a bioinformatician, and the lack of realism and knowledge regarding biology really would have taken me out of the story if I wasn't already utterly bored by the narrator's voice. The prose is shockingly poor. If you want to spend 17h listening to someone who sounds like their every sentence ends with an exclamation mark and who says things like 'yeah, relativity physics is super weird' and 'science is awesome' then this is a book for you. There will be no character development and no reason to feel invested in the character. You don't care if he dies a horrible death or not and you don't even care if the whole of Earth will perish.

26 people found this helpful

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  • K0k1ch1
  • 05-05-21

Amazing

Absolutely brilliant. I’m very impressed all round. Just couldn’t stop listening, and also couldn’t wipe the smile off my face:)

26 people found this helpful

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  • James Walker
  • 05-06-21

Such a good book

I love all Andy weir books and I especially love ray porters performances ! This was an incredible experience to listen to I can’t recommend it enough

18 people found this helpful

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  • Matthew K.
  • 05-05-21

Another weir great

Fan of weir,
Fan of Porter...

Another great novel from Andy Weir... the narration from Ray Porter will help you to suspend your belief to far flung solar systems... I had to check a couple of times to make sure I wasn’t listening to other books with similar themes also narrated by Porter, though this is great and in the same vein!

Enjoy!

16 people found this helpful

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  • Adam
  • 05-09-21

Entertaining, but not quite as good

I was glad to pick up another Andy Weir offering, and a lot of what made The Martian so much fun is here again.

That said, I felt that a lot of the humour felt very formulaic and forced. That is not to say that you should give it a miss. If you enjoyed The Martian, you will liklely enjoy this as well.

Narration is good, story is OK (if a little less believable than The Martian) but doesnt quite have that special something that made The Martian a book that I return to again and again.

14 people found this helpful

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  • Steve Bennett
  • 05-06-21

A triumph of an audiobook

I wasn't sure what to expect and that's not always a bad thing, and as such I'm not even going to mention the story here other than to say it is a return to story style of The Martian. It's clear it took more production to make this audiobook than normal and Ray Porter is very safe hands, in fact, as good as he usually is anyway, he is phenomenal here.

13 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-06-21

Fantastic book

One of the previous reviews said it was not what was expected in a good way- couldnt agree more

This is one of my new favourite books especially with Ray Porter as lucky one reading it out.

If you like Dennis E Taylors BOBIVERSE you will love this

the writing is amusing and self critical. The main character is an everyman who ends up trying to save the world

Cant praise the book enough. I enjoyed this one more than The Martian

13 people found this helpful

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  • Jonathan Griffin
  • 05-05-21

better than the Martian

excellent. finished in 2 days. very technical, good pacing, and can't wait for more like this. great narrator.

12 people found this helpful

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  • Susan
  • 05-06-21

Disappointing

Could not stick with it. Wildly over acted reading, biasing interpretation of book towards goofy.

18 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-08-21

Not the Martian but just as good

Don't go into this book with expectations based on the Martian, yes there is similarities but it has qualities the Martian doesn't. Spot on character development for the main character. Still the Andy Weir classic of every small side character has to be rememberable with weird traits and personality flaws but they detract from the story way less. Great read highly recommended

16 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-06-21

Amazing read!

I loved it! I loved it as much as I loved The Martian! Simply Awesome! I will be recommending this book to everyone!

15 people found this helpful

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  • MadHatter
  • 05-13-21

Outstanding in every way. And funny!

There is a ridiculous amount of science and maths in this book, none of which I know, but it doesn’t matter. The story was interesting, funny and unpredictable (except when he says “what could go wrong?”). I absolutely loved it and have already recommended it to everyone around me.
The narrator can make or ruin an audible book, no matter how good it is. Happily, Ray Porter is a genius at what he does. His delivery is perfect and he does comedy very well. I listened at 1.2x speed for it to sound natural to me.

11 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-13-21

SCIENCE Fiction

It's good. Downloaded yesterday and ten hours in a day later....hooked. Andy Weir has almost created a new genre...it's Science Fiction with emphasis on the Science'. Loved 'The Martian' - I think this is better. Can't wait for the film....in production now apparently.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-13-21

Loved this!

This was an excellent tale of struggle, sacrifice, teamwork and friendship in the fight against world ending destruction. Both the story and performance of the audiobook were top calibre. A must read, particularly if you enjoyed The Martian.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-13-21

Fantastic!!

Another great book!

I love that New Zealand got a mention!

Great narration as well.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Philippa
  • 05-15-21

Awesome!

Such a ride. I’m sad it’s finished. A great mix of science and adventure and humour. Perfect narration.

5 people found this helpful

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  • cameron brennan
  • 05-18-21

Andy you legend

another fantastically written and read book about space, science, the human psyche, and so much more. i actually find myself smiling and happy when Mr grace is happy. you can only get this with great writing . bravo. and please don't take too long writing another one of these marvels .

3 people found this helpful

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  • mark
  • 05-06-21

Charming and Fun

Really enjoyed this one, R was an all time fave character. Great audio performance.
Thanks

3 people found this helpful