5 Space Opera Books Like Project Hail Mary

Space Adventure Books

Hello, space enthusiasts and lovers of cosmic mysteries! Are you still adrift in the awe-inspiring universe of “Project Hail Mary”? If the blend of thrilling space exploration, mind-bending science, and unlikely camaraderie has left you craving more, you’re in luck! We’re going on an interstellar journey to discover books that capture the spirit of adventure, innovation, and friendship found in Andy Weir’s masterpiece.

From tales of solitary astronauts to galactic quests for survival, we’ve curated a list of reads that will satisfy your hunger for space odysseys and scientific intrigue. So, fasten your seatbelts and prepare to launch into the vast expanse of the cosmos, where each book is a new world waiting to be explored!

5 Books Like Project Hail Mary (Space Fiction)

“Project Hail Mary” features a gripping and intricately plotted storyline that keeps us on the edge of our seats. Like “Project Hail Mary,” similar books show hard science fiction, where scientific accuracy and plausibility are prioritized. Readers appreciate the detailed explanations of scientific concepts and the exploration of space exploration, biology, physics, and other scientific disciplines.

They have complex plots with twists, turns, and unexpected developments that challenge readers’ expectations and keep them engaged from start to finish. Here are five similar space fiction books. They feature well-developed characters with depth, complexity, and distinct personalities, allowing us to become emotionally invested in our journeys. Let’s read!

NameKey FocusRating (Goodreads)
Sentenced to Prism by Alan Dean FosterA man falls trapped in an alien world and struggles for it.3.9/5
Old Man’s War by John ScalziA military force and an old man start space exploration, where they find aliens and other mysteries.4.2/5
Fuzzy Nation by John ScalziA corporation discovers a new planet and shows its lives.4.1/5
Network Effect by Martha WellsArtificial intelligence is on a mission and discovers feelings.4.4/5
Concrete Island by J.G. BallardA man survives on an island.3.6/5
Books Like Project Hail Mary List

1. Sentenced to Prism (Humanx Commonwealth)

Sentenced to Prism is a space opera fantasy book. The book cover is self-explanatory. You have a man (Evan) trapped in a suit in an alien world, which is how the book starts. He is recruited to go looking through an alien world. It’s a lot of crystals and a whole ecosystem of the gist of it. Partway through, his suit powers down after taking some damage, and he’s trapped there.

So it goes through many different sci-fi themes as Project Hail Mary. At first, it starts with a horrific scene where Evan tries to figure out what’s happening. He is hired into the latest suit to go through the world and discover what happened to some scientists researching the world. He finds out that many of them are dead and tries searching for survivors. After that, he becomes a survivalist who does not know how to survive.

Then it goes into a sci-fi where Evan meets intelligent life. It gets into good detail about everything. Alan Dean Foster did a fantastic job ascribing this new civilization by showing its strengths and weaknesses. While the main protagonist starts as arrogant, it quickly breaks him down to the fact that he doesn’t know anything about this planet. Overall, it’s out of all the vintage sci-fi, fancy books I’ve gotten. My only complaint is that the story starts to slow down for about chapter two, but there’s enough to keep you interested.

Sentenced to Prism

Author: Alan Dean Foster
Publisher: Open Road Media Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Tropes: First Contact Sci-fi, Space Exploration, Aliens, Adventure
Number Of Pages: 277
Available: Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle | Mass Market Paperback

2. Old Man’s War

Old Man’s War is military fiction with space opera, which is short but packed with exciting ideas. We focus on the main character who is called John Perry. He’s a very old man, around 70, and he lives in a world where space exploration has completely started and has become fairly commonplace. We have big, epic armies in space training to fight against other invading alien forces. So aliens are real, space is inhabited, and people are sent to space to become part of the army. When we pick up this story, John Perry is very old.

They do things in this world: you can either live your life and die at that age or enlist in the army in space. You can go up when you’re around 70, and what you can do is work for them for five or ten years. When you go up and work for them, you get an entirely new body enhanced, and it becomes extra crazy, awesome, everything, and you get to start life afresh. So you have your memory still, but your body is entirely new.

The book was a lot easier for me to get into than John Scalzi’s other book I’ve read, which was a Lock In. I connected with the characters a little bit more in this one. Not only are we following John Perry, but we also follow a couple of other people he meets in the storyline, and some of them are interesting people from his actual life on Earth who he meets again.

The military and the army are a big part of the story because that’s what John Perry is going up there to do. But it’s not the only thing that’s going on. We do have emotional moments with our characters. Moreover, we do have some exciting training scenes with our characters. Overall, it was a good space adventure story similar to Project Hail Mary, and I would love to continue the series.

Old Man's War

Author: John Scalzi
Narrator: William Dufris
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Tropes: War, Fantasy, Adventure, Classic, Literature
Number Of Pages: 318
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle

3. Fuzzy Nation (Fuzzy Sapiens)

Fuzzy Nation is a space adventure and fantasy book in the Fuzzy Sapiens series. It won the Audie Award and Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Science Fiction. Author John Scalzi is the king of modern science fiction. I always expect to be impressed, but I would never expect to tear up, laugh out loud, stand up, and cheer at the end of this book. All of those things happened by the end of the story. It’s a reboot of a 1963 Hugo nominee called Little Fuzzy. We follow a guy named Beam Piper.

Fuzzy Nation has a sixties science fiction vibe like Project Hail Mary but is very modern. In the far-off future, corporations can buy the rights to excavate and exploit the resources of distant planets. There’s no sentient life on the planet. ZaraCorp owns the rights to excavate and explore on Zara23. They’re particularly thrilled that an obscenely large source of the universe’s most rare and valuable mineral was discovered there. On the same day, they make their discovery, and the lead prospector discovers it also finds the fuzzies.

They don’t look demonic or creepy, and they’re strangely intelligent. There are some deeper political or treehugger themes in there. I loved the drama, characters, and the world. Fuzzy Nation is a unique place to start, and I highly recommend everyone.

Fuzzy Nation

Author: John Scalzi
Narrator: Wil Wheaton
Publisher: Audible Studios
Tropes: Fantasy, Humor, Adventure, Friendship
Number Of Pages: 303
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle

4. Network Effect (The Murderbot Diaries)

Network Effect is number five in The Murderbot Diaries series. It is the first full-length cyborg novel in that series; the rest are all novellas. In this series installment, we are coming into the story after the events of the last novella. Murderbot is living on Preservation with Dr. Mensah. Her family and Murderbot are trying to figure out its role and how it fits within the community. Throughout the flashbacks, we learn some interesting things have happened. The relationship between Murderbot and Dr. Mensah has gone in an exciting direction.

Dr. Mensah wants some space. So Murderbot is on a survey mission with some of Dr. Mensah’s family. On the way home from that survey mission, we encounter some trouble. The humans that it is contracted to protect are kidnapped. That’s where the story takes off, and I don’t want to give anything away. There’s a lot of fun stuff that happens in this book. We have alien tech and hostile humans.

We also encounter another company or corporation, which is fun because Preservation is outside the system. So they have different values than these companies and care for other humans. You get some interesting conversations about business ethics and profit over people.

The theme and plot are similar to Project Hail Mary. We also continue to see Murderbot grow as a character, which I loved in the last couple of novellas. I found some quality problems with the hardcover, but the paperback is excellent for cover, font size, color, binding, and paper quality.

Network Effect

Author: Martha Wells
Narrator: Kevin R. Free
Publisher: Recorded Books
Tropes: LGBTQ, Arc, Thriller, Artificial-intelligence, Fun
Number Of Pages: 350
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle | Audio CD

5. Concrete Island

Concrete Island is dystopian horror fiction. This book is technically about a wealthy office worker whose car crashes in London and over on a strip of land underneath some highway overpasses, and he finds himself trapped there. So it’s a survival story similar to Project Hail Mary. The story does work in that regard. But I would like to change some things about the story because specific stuff gets stretched too long. Maitland is the protagonist in the story.

You see how he struggles to survive down this stretch of land that he describes as 200 yards long. I’m surprised because there are a lot of people who drive by every single day, but none of them can stop for him. So he’s trapped there and can’t get out because his legs are broken. Then, eventually, he explores every inch of the island multiple times.

So we’re watching Maitland explore the island and trying to figure out ways that he can escape. It takes until halfway through the story before we meet the other characters. It was too slow-paced for me. I liked some of the ideas he tried to get off the island. He tried climbing himself out even though he had a broken leg. The pacing could have been faster if it had been a short story. If you’re interested in it, try to read it.

Concrete Island

Author: J.G. Ballard
Narrator: William Gaminara
Publisher: Audible Studios
Tropes: Psychological, British Literature, Horror, Magic-realism, Satire, Classics
Number Of Pages: 176
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle

Those are my space fantasy and adventure books like Project Hail Mary.

If you enjoyed Project Hail Mary, here are some other science fiction novels you might enjoy:

The Martian by Andy Weir: An astronaut stranded on Mars and his struggle to survive.

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline: In a dystopian future, most people spend their time in a virtual reality world, OASIS, and follow the protagonist’s quest to find a hidden Easter egg.

The Three-Body Problem by Liu Cixin: A Chinese science fiction novel follows humanity’s first contact with an alien race.

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card: A young boy is sent to a military academy in space to train for a future alien invasion.

Foundation by Isaac Asimov: A mathematician creates a science called psychohistory to predict the future of humanity.

The Expanse series by James S.A. Corey: In the future, humanity has colonized the solar system, and a crew of characters navigates politics and threats from other civilizations.

Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky: The evolution of a species of intelligent spiders on a terraformed planet and the last remnants of humanity on a generation ship.

We hope this expedition has provided you with a constellation of new titles to fuel your passion for space exploration and boundary-pushing narratives. Each book we’ve ventured through offers a unique glimpse into the wonders and challenges of the cosmos, promising adventures that are as boundless as space itself. The universe is a vast place, ripe with mysteries to unravel and new horizons to reach.

So, keep your telescopes polished and your curiosity ignited because the journey through the stars is far from over. Until our next cosmic adventure, happy reading, and may your travels through the pages be as enlightening as the stars themselves!

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Pauline Jackson

I like to talk about popular books. My book review inspires you to read and save time. Also, I summarize the book and give you the best lessons or ideas that can change your life. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

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