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Hal Clement Books In Order

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Publication Order of Mesklin Books

Mission of Gravity (1954)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Close to Critical (1964)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Star Light (1971)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Heavy Planet (2001)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Needle Books

Needle (1949)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Through the Eye of a Needle (1978)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of The Essential Hal Clement Books

Trio for Slide Rule and Typewriter (1999)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Music of Many Spheres (2000)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Variations on a Theme by Sir Isaac Newton (2000)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Isaac's Universe Books

The Diplomacy Guild (By:Isaac Asimov,Martin H. Greenberg) (1990)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Phases in Chaos (By:Isaac Asimov,Martin H. Greenberg) (1991)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Unnatural Diplomacy (By:Isaac Asimov,Martin H. Greenberg) (1992)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Fossil (1993)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Murder at the Galactic Writers' Society (By:Janet Asimov) (1995)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Iceworld (1951)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Ranger Boys in Space (1956)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Cycle of Fire (1957)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Ocean On Top (1967)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Nitrogen Fix (1980)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Still River (1987)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Half Life (1999)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Noise (2003)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Short Stories/Novellas

Attitude (1943)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Green World (2010)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Planet for Plunder (2012)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Hot Planet (2016)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Collections

Natives of Space (1965)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Small Changes (1969)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Best of Hal Clement (1979)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Intuit (1987)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Left of Africa (1976)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Anthologies

The Ascent of Wonder(1994)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Hal Clement
Hal Clement is the pen name of Harry Clement Stubbs, an American science fiction author born in 1922. The talented author held chemistry, education, and astronomy degrees from Harvard, and he worked as a chemistry teacher and a b-24 pilot for a good portion of his life. Clement is listed among the most astounding science fiction authors, and his debut novel, Mission of Gravity, proves this all too well. Before his death in 2003, Clement had over 120 published works to his name.

Mission of Gravity
The mission of Gravity is the first in the Mesklin series. This book introduces the reader to a new planet named Mesklin. The planet is an oblate spheroid, which means that gravity levels are different in the poles compared to the equator. Even with the variances, the minimum Gravity on this planet is still three times what we have on earth, and the highest levels amount go up to about 700g. As an adaptation to these conditions, Mesklinites have centipede-like bodies that allow them to stay close to the ground. In this plane, a drop as small as a foot can be fatal, especially in the high gravity areas.

Barlennan is an adventurer who sails across uncharted waters into Mesklin. The man would brave any alien for the right amount. While the Mesklinites never knew there were other planets but theirs, they do not respond as bad to aliens. They do not know that Barlennan plans to use their body shapes and giant sizes to his advantage. While the Mesklinites are more advanced in technology, their bodies make it impossible for them to fly. All the science and attention to detail make this story sound real while enhancing the sense of wonder. What would happen if the Mesklinites were forced to fly?

Perhaps the most outstanding thing about this book is the world-building. The author has done an excellent job of creating a planet filled with aliens that is a lot like our planet, but it still has unique characteristics that set it apart. This book was first published in 1953. However, the real world that Clement describes in the story is still valid today. It is also refreshing how intriguing the story is from start to finish. Told from Hunter the alien point of view, the story allows you to interact with Barlennan, a cunning yet likable captain, and The Bree. Imagine a world where throwing or flying is unheard of, and everyone is afraid of height?

Mission of Gravity is a good-natured story that introduces you to another planet and its inhabitants. Mesklinites are quite intriguing, and it is admirable how adaptable they are when it comes to working with the humans. The plot revolves around a dangerous mission where Barlennan and his crew are tasked with retrieving a stranded rocket containing valuable information. There are loads of adventures on this journey, and Barlennan enjoys every minute of his crew’s exploration. Will the crew manage to retrieve the rocket? This book is about 175 pages, so you can gobble it all in one sitting. There will be no advanced weapons blasting aliens into pieces, but the content here is fascinating and a welcome break from the ordinary.

Needle
Needle comes first in the Needle series. The book stars Hunter, the good alien, and the rogue one he has been racing through space. When their ships collide in one of the earth’s oceans, Hunter and his enemy survive, but they have to find suitable hosts who would enable them to continue their mission. See, Hunter and his kind are sentient protoplasm blobs who need to live in a host in order to function. The only rule governing these creatures is that they are to do right by their host, and this includes promoting the host’s immune system and ensuring that their safety is guaranteed. My Hunter is following the rogue alien because he keeps on breaking this rule and harming his host without any sense of remorse.

From the shipwreck, Hunter binds himself to a shark. When he gets to the shore, he finds an excellent host in 15-year-old Robert Kinnaird. Hunter offers Robert solutions for his problems if he also allows him to get inside his body. This marks the beginning of an exciting period for both Hunter and Robert. The author takes you on a journey to a boarding school in Massachusetts where Robert goes to school and then brings you back to South Pacific, where the hunt for the rogue alien intensifies. Will Robert and hunter manage to hunt down the alien? How does Robert’s change when Hunter gets into his body?

This is yet another intriguing science-fiction story by Hal Clement. Unlike his other stories, this one is set on earth though most of the action happens deep in the ocean. The author gives a detailed account of Hunter and Robert’s symbiotic relationship and really gets into its science. You will also enjoy trying to figure out which of Robert’s friends, the rogue alien convinced to host him. The author had done a good job with the human-alien interactions, and it is amazing that none take advantage of the other. How does this story end for Robert and the Hunter? You will have to read the book to the end to find out.
Needles was first published in 1950, and science fiction stories were not as popular as they are today. The information here may be dated, but the story will hold your attention from the start to the end. There is a lot of humor here, and the events unfold like this is a mystery story. It is incredible how the author explains the science in detail so anyone can understand the relationship between the protagonist and his host. This book is slightly more than 200 pages. The story flows well, so do not be surprised if you get lost in Hunter’s world as he scouts the South Pacific in search of an enemy without a face.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Hal Clement

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