Skip to content

Radio 2 Book Club - Project Hail Mary

The next book to be featured on the Radio 2 Book Club with Steve Wright will be Project Hail Mary, a science-based thriller from bestselling author Andy Weir. The book will be released on 4 May and Andy will be on the show on Wednesday 5 May.

We have the chance for you to win 10 copies of this fantastic novel for your reading group! Please enter by Friday 14 May.

Not yet a member of Reading Groups for Everyone? Sign up now.

Project Hail Mary

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 crew mates dead, his memories fuzzily returning, he realises 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.

Selection panel review

The book was selected with the help of a panel of library staff from across the UK. Our readers loved Project Hail Mary – here are some of their comments:

“I’ve really enjoyed Andy Weir’s other books and this is a brilliant addition to his catalogue. It’s the tale of Dr Ryland Grace, who awakens to find he’s lost his memories and his crewmates have died, and he needs to save the Earth from an extinction level event. It’s full of mystery due to Ryland’s lack of memories, which are slowly filled in as time goes on, and it’s thoroughly exciting. Now, it’s full of what I’m presuming is accurate and well-researched science, which I think is a brilliant thing to have, and it’s so well-explained that even if a lot of it goes over your head you can still appreciate this as a brilliant bit of science-fiction.”

“I LOVED this book. Normally I’d give anything like this a wide berth but can I just say that after the first line I was addicted, and like any other addict it was all I could focus on for the duration. My eyes were out on stalks. Practically every waking moment was spent reading this book and when I did manage to get some sleep I was dreaming about the thing. Did I say I really enjoyed it? Like any of his previous stories, there’s loads of ‘sciencey’ bits (the majority of which meant nothing to me) but that DOESN’T matter! They simply add to the sheer drama of the situation the two protagonists find themselves in. I was literally in tears by the time I’d finished, not just because of the plotline but more to do with the fact that it had ended. How the hell was I going to enjoy reading anything else after being immersed in the zero-gravity world of Project Hail Mary? This book is a MUST read.”

“Such a great new book from Andy Weir – I laughed, I cried, I appreciated detailed scientific equations! The slow discovery of Ryland’s memories means we go on the journey with him, and as you piece things together it’s fascinating to find things aren’t quite what they seem. I can’t say too much without giving things away but I definitely recommend this high-paced, high-concept, high-octane thrill ride!”

About the author

Andy Weir built a two-decade career as a software engineer until the success of his first published novel, The Martian, allowed him to live out his dream of writing full-time. He is a lifelong space nerd and a devoted hobbyist of such subjects as relativistic physics, orbital mechanics, and the history of manned spaceflight. He also mixes a mean cocktail. He lives in California.

Get involved

Tune in to the Steve Wright show on Wednesday 5 May to hear a live interview with Andy.

Have you read Project Hail Mary, or any of Andy’s other novels? You can share your thoughts with us on Twitter using #R2BookClub and you can also follow Andy

Planning to buy Project Hail Mary for your group? Buy books from Hive or and support The Reading Agency and local bookshops at no extra cost to you.

Want to make sure you get the latest news? Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

You can join the Radio 2 Book Club Facebook group


Log in or Sign up to add a comment


Keeping your reading group active while social distancing

Are you wondering how your reading group can continue to meet, even while you’re social distancing? With many people at home with family, flatmates or on their own, we know that books are so important to provide comfort, solace and escapism. Staying socially connected, and keeping your regular reading group meetings in your diary, is going to be very important in keeping up morale and supporting everyone’s mental health as we adjust to a new way of living.


How to start a reading group

Interested in joining a reading group or starting one of your own? Download our quick guide to getting started.


Hive and The Reading Agency

The Reading Agency loves books, in every form, and we know you do too. We love it when people borrow books in every format from their brilliant local libraries. We love it when reading groups get exclusive free proofs from our publisher partners. We love it when readers pick up a pre-loved book from a second-hand bookshop for a song. And we also love it when you buy yourself or someone else a brand new book from a high street bookshop. We also know that buying online is quick and convenient...

View our other programmes