Project Hail Mary – Andy Weir

Oh thank God. I can’t imagine explaining “sleep” to someone who had never heard of it. Hey, I’m going to fall unconscious and hallucinate for a while. By the way, I spend a third of my time doing this. And if I can’t do it for a while, I go insane and eventually die. No need for concern.

The book follows the story of the sole survivor of a human crew in their interstellar voyage to find a cure for the microbes that infect the sun and threaten the future of humanity. The narrative is a mix of hard science fiction with comedy.

What a book! For hard science fictions fans this is an almost perfect combination of hard astronomy and physics lessons, a very credible plot, humour, aliens and survival in space. I could not leave the book from my hands.

The story starts with an unexpected dimming of the sun that quickly is determined to be by an infection with some mysterious microbes that simply take energy from the sun and then travel to the highest carbon dioxide-heavy planet (it’s not Earth) to reproduce, return to the sun and restart the cycle. On the other hand, the microbes store immense energy, which changes all interstellar travel paradigm. The dimming of the sun will have rather quickly catastrophic effects on Earth, in only a few decades. All stars around our solar system dim, except one.

A crew is quickly assembled to find if this star has any solutions to Earth’s problems, but only our protagonist survives. And the quest begins.

What is most engaging in this book is that there is no secret recipe, no luck involved, just hard work and using existing tools offered by science and environment. Problems come one after another, but through determination and team work, they are gradually resolved.

A superb book by the author of “The Martian”! I really enjoyed it.

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