October 31, 2003

Hal Clement, RIP

Another of the golden age hard-SF authors has passed on. (Link via Jerry Pournelle).

Hal Clement, the pen name of Harry Clement Stubbs, began writing science fiction in the 1940s. He blazed the trail of science fictional world-building that was both scientifically accurate and internally consistent in his best-known work, Mission of Gravity (1954), which was first serialized in Astounding Stories magazine (the forerunner to today's Analog).

According to editors David Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer (in The Ascent of Wonder: The Evolution of Hard SF), Clement's Mission of Gravity "redefined the game of hard sf as an exercise in interrelating the sciences to achieve a created world that would plausibly withstand rigorous examination from many angles."

His was a well-lived life. He graduated from Harvard with an astronomy degree in 1943 and went into the US Army Air Corps where he piloted and copiloted B-24 Liberators for the remainder of World War II. He taught for more than 38 years. He is survived by his wife, three children, and a grandchild. Requiem aeternam dona ei Domine, et lux perpetua luceat ei.

Posted by JohnL at October 31, 2003 09:40 PM
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