Hal Clement was a towering figure in hard science fiction, probably best known for his seminal novel, Mission of Gravity, recently reissued as part of Heavy Planet: The Classic Mesklin Stories. I was awed by his work when I read it as a young adult, and I still point to Mission of Gravity as a classic example of SF world-building in the truest sense of the word. Hal’s real name was Harry C. Stubbs, and his life experiences ranged from World War II bomber pilot to high school science teacher. He lived in the Boston area, where he had more friends than wildflowers in a meadow. Not long after his death a couple of years ago, a particularly close-knit group of his friends, a writing group called “Hal’s Pals,” put forth the idea of a memorial anthology which would include essays about people’s memories of Hal, as well as short stories in the Hal Clement tradition.
That book is now a reality. Called Hal’s Worlds, it has just been released by Wildside Press in trade paperback. I’m happy to have been asked to contribute a piece, and so it includes a short essay I wrote on my personal interactions with Hal. I held the book in my hands at Readercon, but don’t yet have a copy of my own. It’s a fine-looking volume, with quite a lineup of writers who wanted to offer a tribute to Hal. You can buy a copy directly from the web site of Wildside Press.
All author and editor royalties from the book are being donated to two charities selected by Hal’s widow.