From 1949 to 1953, Clement's first three novels were two-, three-, and four-part Astounding serials under Campbell: Needle (Doubleday, 1950), Iceworld (Gnome Press, 1953), and Mission of Gravity (1954), his best-known novel, published by Doubleday's Science Fiction Book Club (established 1953). The latter novel features a land and sea expedition across the superjovian planet Mesklin to recover a stranded scientific probe. The natives of Mesklin are centipede-like intelligent beings about 50 centimeters long. Various episodes hinge on the fact that Mesklin's fast rotational speed causes it to be considerably deformed from the spherical, with effective surface gravity that varies from approximately 3 gn at the equator to approximately 700 gn at the poles.
Clement's article "Whirligig World" describes his approach to writing a science fiction story:
Writing a science fiction story is fun, not work. ...the fun...lies in treating the whole thing as a game.... [T]he rules must be quite simple. They are; for the reader of a science-fiction story, they consist of finding as many as possible of the author's statements or implications which conflict with the facts as science currently understands them. For the author, the rule is to make as few such slips as he possibly can... Certain exceptions are made [e.g., to allow travel faster than the speed of light], but fair play demands that all such matters be mentioned as early as possible in the story...
Clement was a frequent guest at science fiction conventions, especially in the eastern United States, where he usually presented talks and slide shows about writing and astronomy.
Clement died in Massachusetts at the Milton Hospital on October 29, 2003 at age 81. He died in his sleep, most likely due to complications of diabetes.
Awards and honors
Clement has been honored several times for his cumulative contributions including 1998 Hall of Fame induction, when Clement and Frederik Pohl were the fifth and sixth living persons[a] honored, and the 1999 SFWA Grand Master Award.
For the 1945 short story "Uncommon Sense" he received a 50-year Retro Hugo Award at the 1996 World Science Fiction Convention. Mission of Gravity, first published as a serial during 1953, was named best foreign novel by the Spanish Science Fiction Association in 1994 and it was a finalist for a 50-year Retro Hugo Award in 2004.
The Hal Clement Award for Young Adults for Excellence in Children's Science Fiction Literature is presented in his memory at Worldcon each year.
Planets created by Clement typically feature unique astronomical or physical aspects. They include:
Abyormen – A planet circling a dwarf star (Theer), which in turn circles a blue giant. This produces a hot and a cold season, each of 65 years' duration. The native intelligent life forms undergo a seasonal mass death. From Cycle of Fire.
Dhrawn – A high-gravity world settled by Mesklinites in Star Light.
Habranha - A planet that is tidally locked with its sun, such that the dark side is a mix of solid CO2, solid methane, and ice, and the sunlit side completely ocean, in Fossil.
Hekla – An ice-age planet in "Cold Front" (a short story in Astounding July 1946).
Kaihapa – An uninhabited ocean planet, twin of Kainui, in Noise.
Mesklin — A planet with ultra-high gravity (up to 700 g) in Mission of Gravity. Clement later corrected his model of Mesklin and determined that the maximum surface gravity would be "only 250 gravities".
Sarr – An extremely hot planet with an atmosphere of gaseous sulfur, and little liquid (the natives occasionally need to drink a bit of molten copper chloride), in Iceworld
Enigma 88 - A small planet near η Carinae in Still River. The interior of the object is honeycombed with caves, due to evaporation of accreted ice-rich planetoids. Unusually for Clement, Enigma's structure is not fully consistent with the laws of physics.
Impediment (aug 1942). Novelette. Published in Astounding. Collected in Natives of Space, The Best of Hal Clement and The Essential Hal Clement Volume 2.
Avenue of Escape (nov 1942). Published in Astounding's series Probability Zero. Collected in The Essential Hal Clement Volume 2.
"Attitude" (September 1943). Novella. Published in Astounding. Collected in The Essential Hal Clement Volume 2 and Travellers of Space (1951).
Technical Error" (January 1944). Novelette. Published in Astounding. Collected in Natives of Space, The Best of Hal Clement and The Essential Hal Clement Volume 2.
"Trojan Fall" (June 1944). Short story. Published in Astounding. Collected in Small Changes.
"Uncommon Sense" (September 1945). His most famous short story. Part of the Laird Cunningham Series. Hugo Award for Best Short Story of 1945. Published in Astounding. Collected in Small Changes, The Best of Hal Clement, Intuit, The Essential Hal Clement Volume 2, The Old Masters (1970), Out of This World 10 (1973) and Nebula Awards Showcase 2000 (2000).
"The Mechanic" (September 1966). Novelette. Published in Analog. Collected in Small Changes, The Essential Hal Clement Volume 2 and Analog: Writers’ Choice, Volume II (1984).
"Bulge" (September 1968). Novelette. Published in If. Collected in Small Changes and The Essential Hal Clement Volume 2.
'"Planetfall" (1972). Original version of "Planet for Plunder" (1957). Published in Strange Tomorrows (1972). Collected in The Essential Hal Clement Volume 2.
"Lecture Demonstration" (1973). Short story from the Mesklin Series (of Mission of Gravity fame). Published in the book Astounding (1973). Collected in The Essential Hal Clement Volume 3, Heavy Planet and Mission of Gravity (1978).
"Mistaken for Granted" (January/February 1974). Novella. Published in Worlds of If. Collected in The Best of Hal Clement.
"The Logical Life" (1974). Second short story in the Laird Cunningham Series. Published in Stellar #1 (1974). Collected in Intuit and The Essential Hal Clement Volume 2.
"Stuck with It" (1976). Novelette innthe Laird Cunningham Series. Published in Stellar #2 (1976). Collected in The Best of Hal Clement, Intuit and The Essential Hal Clement Volume 2].
"Longline" (1976). Novelette. Published in Faster than Light (1976). Collected in The Essential Hal Clement Volume 2.
"Seasoning" (September/October 1978). Novelette set in Harlan Ellison's Medea world. Not included in any of Hal Clement's compilations. Published in IASFM. Collected in Medea: Harlan's World (1985) and Aliens and UFO's (1993).
"Status Symbol" (1987). Novelette, the last story in the Laird Cunningham Series. Published in Intuit. Collected in The Essential Hal Clement Volume 2.
Probability Zero! (nov 1942). Published jointly with Malcolm Jameson, Harry Warner Jr., Dennis Tucker and P. Schuyler Miller in Astounding. About Probability Zero, Harry Harrison said in the John Campbell Memorial Anthology:
"In the early 1940s, in Astounding, there was a small department called Probability Zero! that ran short-short stories. Or items. Or lies. Things. These things were usually funny and always impossible - echoing the description of the title."
Whirligig World (jun 1953). About how to write science fiction, and specifically, about how he wrote Mission of Gravity. Published in Astounding. Collected in The Essential Hal Clement Volume 3, Heavy Planet and Mission of Gravity (1978).
Some Notes on Xi Bootis. Published by Advent Publishers.
Gravity insufficient (nov 1961). Published in Analog Science Fact.
^""Henry Clement Stubbs"". Archived from the original on July 20, 2008. Retrieved 2006-05-30.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link). Rosetta Books (rosettabooks.com). Archived 2008-07-20. Retrieved 2013-03-23.
^Hal Clement at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database (ISFDB). Retrieved 2013-04-04. Select a title to see its linked publication history and general information. Select a particular edition (title) for more data at that level, such as a front cover image or linked contents.
The 47th World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon), also known as Noreascon 3 (or "... Three", or "... III"), was held August 31–September 4, 1989, at the Sheraton-Boston Hotel, Hilton Hotel, Boston Park Plaza, and the Hynes Convention Center in Boston, Massachusetts, United States.The chairman was Mark L. Olson. The Guests of Honor were Andre Norton, Ian & Betty Ballantine (pro), and The Stranger Club (fan). Seven surviving members of the latter group—the first known science fiction club in the Boston area, and responsible for organizing Boskone I, New England's first science fiction convention, in 1941—attended, including Harry Stubbs (Hal Clement). Total attendance was 6,837, of 7,795 paid memberships.
7 Billion Needles (Japanese: 70億の針, Hepburn: 70 Oku no Hari) is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Nobuaki Tadano and published in North America by Vertical. It was inspired by the 1950 science fiction novel Needle by Hal Clement.
Close to Critical is a science fiction novel by American writer Hal Clement. The novel was first serialized in three parts and published in Astounding Science Fiction magazine in 1958. Its first hardcover book publication was in July 1964.
DNA Publications was an American publishing company which existed from 1993 to 2007 and was run by the husband-and wife team of Warren Lapine and Angela Kessler, who met at a science fiction convention in Virginia. Initially based in Massachusetts, DNA Publications relocated to Radford, Virginia. As of 2004 it was the second-largest genre magazine publisher in the US. Its first publication, in 1993, was the magazine Harsh Mistress, which Lapine produced in collaboration with Kevin Rogers and Tim Ballon.
DNA Publication distributed or published Aboriginal SF, Absolute Magnitude, Artemis, Dreams of Decadence, Fantastic Stories, Mythic Delirium, The Official KISS Magazine, Science Fiction Chronicle, and The Whole Cat Journal. It also published the book imprints Spyre Books and Wilder Publications. For their work on the magazines, DNA Publications was a 2000 World Fantasy Award nominee, in the "special award: professional" category. Absolute Magnitude was a 2002 Hugo Award nominee in the semiprozine category. Notable authors published by the DNA Publications magazines include Chris Bunch, Hal Clement, Harlan Ellison, Alan Dean Foster, and Allen Steele.
DNA Publications collapsed in early 2007. Weird Tales had been bought in 2005 by Wildside Press and Mythic Delirium, which parted with DNA Publications around the same time. Wilder Publications is now part of Tir Na Nog Press.
The Edward E. Smith Memorial Award for Imaginative Fiction, or "Skylark", annually recognizes someone for lifetime contributions to science fiction, "both through work in the field and by exemplifying the personal qualities which made the late "Doc" Smith well-loved by those who knew him." It is presented by the New England Science Fiction Association at its annual convention, Boskone, to someone chosen by a vote of NESFA members. The trophy is a large lens mounted on a simple plinth.The award was inaugurated in 1966, the year after Smith's death. Fifty-one people have been honored in 49 years to 2015 (Hal Clement received the award twice, in 1969 and 1997).
Fossil is a science fiction book written by Hal Clement and first printed in November, 1993. Copyright was reserved to him under his real name, Harry C. Stubbs and the company he associated himself with, Tomorrow, Inc..
The Golden Duck Awards for Excellence in Children's Science Fiction were given annually from 1992 to 2017. The awards were presented every year at either Worldcon or the North American Science Fiction Convention (NASFiC). In 2018 they were replaced by Notable Book Lists of the same names sponsored by the Library and Information Technology Association (LITA).
The Golden Duck Awards were funded by Super-Con-Duck-Tivity, Inc., the sponsor of the U.S. midwest regional science fiction convention DucKon. Winners were selected by a group of teachers, librarians, parents, high tech workers and reviewers.
Iceworld is a science fiction novel by American writer Hal Clement. It was published in 1953 by Gnome Press in an edition of 4,000 copies. The novel was originally serialized in the magazine Astounding in 1951.
The MIT Science Fiction Society (or MITSFS) of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is a student organization which maintains and administers a large publicly-accessible library of science fiction, fantasy, and science fantasy books and magazines.
Mission of Gravity is a science fiction novel by American writer Hal Clement. The novel was serialized in Astounding Science Fiction magazine in April–July 1953. Its first hardcover book publication was in 1954, and it was first published as a paperback book in 1958. Along with the novel itself, many editions (and most recent editions) of the book also include "Whirligig World", an essay by Clement on creating the planet Mesklin that was first published in the June 1953 Astounding.
Clement published three sequels to Mission of Gravity: a 1970 novel called Star Light, a 1973 short story called "Lecture Demonstration", and a 2000 short story, "Under". Mission of Gravity was nominated for a "Retro Hugo" Award for the year 1954.
Needle is a 1950 novel written by Hal Clement, originally published the previous year in Astounding Science Fiction magazine. The book was notable in that it broke new ground in the science fiction field by postulating an alien lifeform, not hostile, which could live within the human body. Also published as From Outer Space, the book would, in 1978, spark the sequel Through the Eye of a Needle.
Planetary romance is a subgenre of science fiction or science fantasy in which the bulk of the action consists of adventures on one or more exotic alien planets, characterized by distinctive physical and cultural backgrounds. Some planetary romances take place against the background of a future culture where travel between worlds by spaceship is commonplace; others, particularly the earliest examples of the genre, do not, and invoke flying carpets, astral projection, or other methods of getting between planets. In either case, it is the planetside adventures which are the focus of the story, not the mode of travel.The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction mentions two caveats as to the usage of the term. First, while the setting may be in an alien world, its nature is of little relevance to the plot, as is the case of James Blish's A Case of Conscience. Second, hard science fiction tales are excluded from this category, where an alien planet, while being a critical component of the plot, is just a background for a primarily scientific endeavor, such as Hal Clement' s Mission of Gravity, possibly with embellishments.
A significant precursor of the genre is Edwin L. Arnold's Lieut. Gullivar Jones: His Vacation (1905).In Science Fiction: The 100 Best Novels (1985), editor and critic David Pringle named Bradley and Anne McCaffrey two "leading practitioners nowadays" for the planetary romance type of science fiction.There is a significant overlap of the genre with that of sword and planet.
Small Changes is a collection of science fiction short stories by Hal Clement, published by Doubleday in 1969. It was issued in Great Britain by Robert Hale Publishing, and reprinted in paperback by Dell Books as Space Lash.
Star Light is a science fiction novel by American writer Hal Clement. It is the sequel to one of Clement's earlier books, Mission of Gravity. The novel was serialized in four parts in Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact Magazine from June to September 1970. Star Light was first published as a paperback book by Ballantine Books in September 1971.
The Nitrogen Fix is a 1980 science fiction novel by Hal Clement, and illustrators David B. Mattingly, and Janet Aulisio. The plot revolves around a nomadic family in a future where all oxygen in the Earth's atmosphere has combined with nitrogen, so the atmosphere is mostly nitrogen with traces of water, nitrogen oxides and carbon dioxide, and the seas are very dilute nitric acid.
"Uncommon Sense" is a 1945 science fiction short story by American writer Hal Clement. In 1996, it was retrospectively awarded the 1946 Hugo Award for Best Short Story.
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