Hal Clement

Natives of Space

"Well known as the author of Mission of Gravity, Cycle of Fire, Close to Critical and for his many other extraordinary realistic creations of extraterrestrials, it is remarkable that Hal Clement's novelettes have never appeared in book form before. Here are three of the best - each dealing with a different aspect of communication with creatures so alien to mankind that the first thing to do is throw speech out the window! What happens next is strictly up to the ingenuity of writers like Mr.Clement, who visualizes a lively time for mankind among his counterparts from other planets."

Original Publication: Ballantine, April 1965
This Edition: Ballantine, April 1965
Cover Art: Richard Powers
Format: Paperback

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Contents: Assumption Unjustified, Technical Error and Impediment by Hal Clement

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Star Light

"The fascinating sequel to "Mission of Gravity". "Mission of Gravity," Hal Clement's first novel, instantly rocketed him to a top position in the field of hardcore science fiction. He had created life-forms and extraterrestrial conditions so realistically that humans could not only understand them, but shared in the tense and terrifying experiences of his alien heroes. Now, Captain Barlennan, that indomitable and taciturn, Masklinite, is back, along with a host of other believable and wholly sympathetic characters, caught by the titanic forces of the planet Dhrawn."

Original Publication: Ballantine, September 1971
This Edition: Ballantine, September 1971
Cover Art: Dean Ellis
Format: Paperback

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Iceworld

"Planet of Death. The world was cold. The crew of the spaceship could feel the chill in their bones even as they hung in orbit, fifty planetary diameters away. It was a frightening prospect, for even the rays from this system's sun were weak, lifeless; it seemed impossible that such a bleak and icy globe could ever have produced intelligent life....or so it seemed to a race that breathes gaseous sulfur and drank molten copper chloride - for the world of ice was earth!"

Original Publication: Gnome Press, 1953
This Edition: Lancer Books, May 1970
Cover Art: Jim Steranko
Format: Paperback

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Close to Critical

"Crisis on Tenebra.Shrouded in eternal gloom by its own thick atmosphere, Tenebra was a hostile planet.a place of crushing gravity, 370-degree temperatures, a constantly shifting crust and giant drifting raindrops. Unpromising - yet there was life, intelligent life on Tenebra. For more than 20 years, Earth scientists had studied the natives from an orbiting laboratory...and had even found a way to train and educate a few of them. Then the unexpected happened! A young Earth girl and the son of a powerful, hot-tempered alien diplomat were marooned in a bathyscape, drifting toward the planet's deadly surface. Only the primitive Tenebrans could rescue them!"

Original Publication: Ballantine, July 1964
This Edition: Ballantine, July 1975
Cover Art: Dean Ellis
Format: Paperback

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Cycle of Fire

"Nils Kruger was the Earthman. A castaway with a smashed spaceship on the parched surface of the inhospitable planet Abyorman. Dar was his non-human castaway companion. But Nils, a latter-day Robinson Crusoe, quickly learned that his intended Man Friday was a superior creature. They would both die. Typically, Nils the Human opted out to do something about it. Typically, Dar, who know the day, date and hour of his death in advance opted to do nothing. Which of them was right? Or, perhaps both of them were!"

Original Publication: Ballantine, April 1957
This Edition: Ballantine, December 1975
Cover Art: Gray Morrow
Format: Paperback

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Mission of Gravity

"Captain Courageous - For a profit - and adventure - Barlennan would sail the Bree thousands of miles across uncharted waters, into regions where gravity itself played strange tricks. He would dare the perils of strange tribes and stranger creatures - even dicker with those strange aliens beyond the skies, though the concept of another world was unknown to the inhabitants of Mesklin. But in spite of the incredible technology of the strangers and without regard for their enormous size, Barlennan had the notion of turning the deal to an unsuspected advantage for himself...all in all a considerable enterprise for a being very much resembling a fifteen-inch caterpillar! Mission of Gravity - The giant disk-shaped planet of Mesklin and its bizarre yet completely believable inhabitants stand as a unique creation possible only in science fiction at its very best. As a bonus, Hal Clement's classic article "Whirligig World" - in which he described the origin and development of this fantastic planet - is included in this special edition."

Original Publication: Doubleday, January 1954
This Edition: Del Rey/Ballantine, January 1978
Cover Art: H.R. Van Dongen
Format: Paperback

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The Nitrogen Fix

"2000 years from now - the Earth has *acid oceans *mutating, exploding plants *silent, tentacled Observers *doomed Hill cities *nomad Outcasts *vicious, power-mad rebels - the Earth does not have *oxygen; its all been trapped in The Nitrogen Fix - a novel of the ultimate ecological disaster."

Original Publication: Ace, September 1980
This Edition: Ace, September 1980
Cover Art: David B. Mattingly
Format: Trade Paperback

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Half Life

"Hal Clement is a grand old man of SF, one of the last of the classic writers of the 1940s and '50s, the golden age of SF adventure. A new Clement novel is an event, and a really good one is a major event, and this is a really good one: fast-paced, full of ideas, with the fate of the human race at stake. He is one of the great living SF writers, the model for all contemporary hard SF writers, from Poul Anderson to Larry Niven to Gregory Benford, Robert L. Forward, Greg Bear and David Brin. Half Life is his first novel in this decade and very much upholds his own high standard. About two centuries from now, the human race on Earth is in trouble, perhaps even facing extinction, because of the rapid evolution of diseases. A crew of young men and women travel to the moons of Saturn, to Titan, to investigate the biochemistry of the pre-life conditions there in the slim hope of discovering something that might save Earth. Nearly half of the crew die on the way. They have to do most of their exploration in virtual-reality machinery. The whole story runs at high speed, as they race to find answers across the surface of an alien landscape with death close behind, and gaining. Half Life is pure hard-SF adventure, and Clement is the genre's best. This is one of the hard-SF novels of the decade."

Original Publication: Tor, September 1999
This Edition: Tor, September 1999
Cover Art: The Chopping Block, Inc.
Format: Hardback

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