Ballantine, 496 pages, $28.
It’s no surprise: Project Hail Mary, Andy Weir’s latest science fiction space adventure, is a bestseller. Like The Martian and Artemis, the book has a propulsive story line and is filled with the cool science and witty banter you expect from Weir, a software engineer who turned his love of aerospace and the hard sciences into a cottage industry. In his latest outing, Weir uses a common sci-fi trope — a protagonist who must discover who he is and what’s going on and, oh, also save humanity. It’s a fun idea, and Weir knows how to ratchet up the excitement, but the novel seems written to be a movie (and in fact is being made into one, starring Ryan Gosling). Perhaps just wait for that?
A friend of mine, who teaches scriptwriting, talks about “refrigerator logic” — elements that don’t bother you until after