books like project hail mary

12 Books Like Project Hail Mary (Best Sci-fi Stories)


Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir is one of my favorite books of all time.

It’s a science fiction story that offers an exciting mix of adventure, thrill, action, and my favourite part — bromance.

I think it’s a safe bet that you probably think the same, and you want to experience reading such an amazing story again.

So, if you’re looking for other science fiction books like Project Hail Mary, I have curated a list for you to get started.

Books Like Project Hail Mary

The Martian by Andy Weir

the martian book cover

If you’ve read Project Hail Mary, there’s a big chance you’ve also read The Martian by the same author. But just in case you haven’t, it’s the closest book you can find that is similar to Project Hail Mary.

The Martian is the story of Mark Watney, a NASA astronaut who becomes stranded on Mars during an ill-fated mission. He must use all his skills and ingenuity to survive until his crew returns to rescue him.

Much like Project Hail Mary, the main character is mostly alone throughout the story.

Bobiverse Series by Dennis E. Taylor

we are legion book cover (one of the books like project hail mary)

Bobiverse Series is slightly less scientific and fantastical than Project Hail Mary, though it still has a lot in common. The tone of the book is similar — there’s lots of humour and heart in both.

Not only that, the books in the series have a first-person narrator’s nerdy ramblings and pop culture references that will remind you more of Project Hail Mary.

Bob Johansson is excited to be free at last. He has a lot of plans for the future, and he can’t wait to get started.

But just as he is starting to enjoy his new life, he is killed in a car accident and wakes up centuries later.

Now, he is property of the state, and he must serve as the main AI on an interstellar probe that will colonize new planets.

If Bob refuses, he will be turned off, and other countries will have a chance at reaching these planets first. But if he agrees to this mission, there are many dangers that could kill him.

Cast Under an Alien Sun by Olan Thorensen

cast under the alien sun book cover

The first book in a series called Destiny’s Crucible, Under an Alien Sun, is not quite as fast-paced as Project Hail Mary. Its protagonist is a little different, too: he’s not nearly as smart as Ryland Grace in the Andy Weir’s book.

However, both books are still similar in some sense, and the story builds slowly but surely.

On a planet called Anyar, Joe Colsco was found unconscious on a beach and taken care of by the natives.

He woke up to a strange new world that was similar to Earth about three hundred years ago.

Although he struggled to accept his new life at first, he eventually found ways to use his knowledge of chemistry to help his new community — as long as he didn’t introduce too much new knowledge too soon.

Blind Lake by Robert Charles Wilson

blind lake book cover

Blind Lake is one of the books like Project Hail Mary where the story could really happen in our real world. The book is hard to put down because it’s riveting and has a clever sense of humour.

In Blind Lake, Minnesota, scientists study the behaviour of lobster-like aliens on a distant planet. They can’t communicate with the aliens who have their own language or understand what they are doing. All the scientists can do is watch them from afar and record their actions.

Then, without warning, a military cordon is imposed on the Blind Lake site. All communication with the outside world is cut off. The scientists at Blind Lake are not allowed to leave, and their food and other vital supplies are delivered by remote control. No one knows why.

Scientists continue their research despite the difficult conditions and the negative feelings between Ray and Nerissa.

Ray believes that culture is arbitrary and that the aliens will remain an enigma forever; however, Nerissa believes there is a commonality of sentient thought. She thinks the failure to understand the aliens is due to human ignorance rather than a fact of nature.

The alien she has been observing seems to be developing an elusive narrative logic — and she comes to feel that it somehow knows that they are observing it.

The Revenant by Michael Punke

the revenant book cover

The Revenant is historical fiction and belongs to the Crusoe sub-genre, which often features a solitary main character, as does Project Hail Mary.

In 1823, a young frontiersman named Hugh Glass was mauled by a grizzly bear on a scouting mission for the Rocky Mountain Fur Company.

When two of his fellow trappers decided to leave him for dead and steal his rifle and hatchet, Glass was driven to survive by one all-consuming desire: revenge.

He set out on a 3,000-mile journey across the harsh American frontier — an epic physical and spiritual journey that tested his body beyond its limits, nearly costing him his life many times.

Sentenced to Prism by Alan Dean Foster

sentenced to prism book cover (one of the books like project hail mary)

Among the best stories of man vs. nature, Sentenced to Prism will delight you with its creativity and originality.

Evan Orgell is a smart, self-confident problem-solver.

When he is assigned to investigate a missing survey team on Prism, a fabulously rich planet manned by living jewels, he sees no problems with success. But what could possibly go wrong?

In this novel, the world is silicon-based instead of carbon-based. As a result, many strange and wonderful things are possible.

Concrete Island by J.G. Ballard

concrete island book cover

If you like Project Hail Mary, you know what you’re getting into.

On a day in April, after three o’clock in the afternoon, Robert Maitland’s car crashes over the concrete parapet of a high-speed highway onto an island below. He is injured and trapped on this doomed terrain.

Concrete Island is the story of Maitland’s quest to find others on the island and his realization that the island has turned into a reflection of his mind.

Seveneves by Neal Stephenson

seveneves book cover

If you enjoyed Project Hail Mary for its believable science and characters, you might like Seveneves as well.

However, this book has a different style of narration and there is no bromance that’s reminiscent of Grace and Rocky’s relationship.

In the distant future, when a catastrophic event threatens to destroy all life on Earth, people begin a feverish race to leave the planet in order to ensure their survival.

Five thousand years later, their descendants returned to Earth, only to find it transformed by cataclysm and time.

Old Man’s War by John Scalzi

old man's war book cover

The human race finally made it into interstellar space. But our new home isn’t as well suited to us as we thought.

There are few planets that can support human life, and the alien races that live there don’t want us around. So we fight. To defend Earth and stake our own claim to planetary real estate.

When John Perry reached retirement age, he joined the Colonial Defense Force. He will be taken off of Earth and never allowed to return.

Perry will serve two years at the front, and if he survives, he will be given a generous homestead stake of his own on one of their hard-won colony planets.

Children of Hope by David Feintuch

children of hope book cover

Though this is the seventh book of the Seafort Saga series, this novel offers the same great first contact story found in Project Hail Mary: first attempts at shared concepts and basic ideas, growing vocabulary, etc.

Children of Hope continues the story of Captain Nicholas Seafort, who has survived alien wars and planetary rebellions — but now he may be destroyed by something much more ordinary: vengeance.

Pushing Ice by Alastair Reynolds

pushing ice book cover

In 2057, Bella Lind and the nuclear-powered ice miner Rockhopper crew, mining comets and other objects in space.

But when one of Saturn’s moons, Janus, leaves its orbit and heads out of the solar system at high speed, Bella is assigned to follow it for a few days before it falls forever out of reach.

Accepting this mission sets them on a collision course with destiny, for many surprises await her and her crew.

2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke

2001 book cover (one of the books like project hail mary)

2001: A Space Odyssey is very scientific and was extremely accurate when it came out in 1968. I put this one on the list because it has a similar sense of humour as Project Hail Mary, so I think you will enjoy reading it.

In the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, scientists discover a new enigma on the Moon.

Its discovery sends men on a mission deep into our solar system. But things go horribly wrong before the ship reaches its destination.

Wrapping Up

Project Hail Mary is ridiculously fun and exciting but also heartful. It takes the sci-fi elements and blends them with mystery and a beautiful story.

All books listed above have similar tones and elements, and I hope it helps you find a book that you’ll enjoy as much as Project Hail Mary.

Lastly, if you feel sorrowful and need a good reason to cry, why don’t you check out my recommendations on books like A Little Life.

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