Hal Clement

Vivid imagination meets hard science fiction.

May 30, 1922 – October 29, 2003

Hal Clement's writing is characterized by the inclusion of complex physical science ideas, lending a seriousness to “hard” science fiction.

Clement's first story was published in Astounding Science Fiction magazine in 1942, during the Golden Age of science fiction. His most famous work thereafter is the series beginning with the novel Mission of Gravity (1953) and loosely followed by Close to Critical (1958) and Star Light (1971).

Mission of Gravity is set on the intriguing planet of Mesklin, whose high-gravity conditions profoundly affect life on its surface. The plot concerns the efforts of the centipede-like Mesklinite Captain Barlennan as he assists a human team with recovering a vital component from a crashed space probe.

The vividness of imagination so evident in Mission of Gravity informed much of Clement's subsequent work. This quality, coupled with his evident sense of wonder at the marvels of the universe, has made him a figure of enduring importance to the genre.

1998 Inductee