112 pages 3 hours read

Andy Weir

Project Hail Mary

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 2021

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Chapters 1-4Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Chapter 1 Summary

In the near future, middle-school science teacher and molecular biologist Dr. Ryland Grace wakes up in the dormitory of the Hail Mary interstellar spaceship. Experiencing total amnesia, Grace has no idea who or where he is and assumes he is in a high-tech hospital, as he is connected to an IV, a catheter, and many sensors. Grace feels weak and groggy but is otherwise in excellent physical condition and attempts to remove his IV. A computerized voice asks for his name, and robotic arms extend from the ceiling to reattach his IV and sedate him when he is unable to answer.

Grace regains consciousness while being tended to by the robotic arms. He rolls off the bed to escape, ripping out his catheter in the process. A “thin red line” of blood causes a memory to flash through his mind (9): While eating at a San Francisco diner, Grace gets an email from an Astronomy Curiosities message board. Russian scientist Dr. Irina Petrova has discovered a “faint but detectable line” of infrared light emission stretching in an arc from the top of the sun to Venus (10).

Grace explores the dormitory, dodging the robotic arms.

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