When I was a kid, one of my favorite things was the Scholastic Book Fair. The teacher would send home the notice and I would do extra chores and scrounge my change so I could buy myself a new book. I would visit the little shop every chance I could during the three days it was at school, perusing all the books and thinking hard about which one I would buy.
A great sadness of adult life is that there isn’t anything like a Scholastic Book Fair.
Until there is!
Our local, indie book store (Schuler Books) held an Adult Sci-Fi and Fantasy Book Fair at a local pub a few weeks back.. and I went. This time, I indulged in two books I’ve been eyeing for a very long time. Babel by R.F. Huang and Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir, who also wrote The Martian.
Project Hail Mary was everything I wanted it to be: fun, fast, thought-provoking, and ultimately, not actually as predictable as I had anticipated. And since every book can be a book to talk about, this week, I want to talk about Project Hail Mary.
From the Back Cover: 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.
I think any book could be a book to talk about. Perhaps some may think that Science Fiction isn’t as fun or easy to have discuss unless you are really into space. However, Project Hail Mary is a book about more than just a last ditch attempt to save Earth. I think there is a lot to be discussed about integrity, friendship, and well, space.
So here are 9 questions to use to discuss Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir.
- Do you read a lot of science fiction? What do you like about it/not like about it?
- There are so many novels about space? What is it about space that is so fascinating to people?
- Ryland Grace is a Middle-School Science teacher. How does his being a teacher help him on the mission?
- The major plot twist in this book is an unexpected and life-saving friendship. What did you think of the relationship between Ryland Grace and Rocky?
- What did you think about all the science that was a part of this novel? Was it understandable? Was it believable?
- The entire world comes together to solve the life-threatening problem of the Astrophage. Did this seem like a realistic description of the world coming together to solve the problem?
- At the beginning of the novel, Ryland wakes up alone on a space ship VERY far from home. What are your initial feelings for him as he begins to remember and uncover the nature of his mission?
- Eventually we learn that Ryland Grace did not volunteer for the assignment, but was forced onto the ship. How does that change his perception of himself? How does this change your perception of him?
- Did you find the ending satisfying? Why or why not?
This was such a fun book to read that I am sure it will be an excellent one to discuss. Want to put it on your TBR? You can grab it on Amazon by clicking the button below.