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Heavy Planet: The Classic Mesklin Stories [Kindle Edition]

Hal Clement
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $22.99
Kindle Price: $7.59
You Save: $15.40 (67%)
Sold by: Macmillan

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Book Description

Discover MESKLIN - Gravity: 3g at the equator, 700g at the poles!

Hal Clement is a Grand Master of SF, and the one most associated with the subgenre of hard SF. From his classic stories in Astounding in the 1940s through his novels of the 1950s and on to the recent Half Life, he has made a lasting impression on SF readers, and on writers, too. For many of them, Clement's work is the model of how to write hard SF, and this book contains the reasons why. Here are all the tales of bizarre, unforgettable Mesklin: the classic novel Mission of Gravity and its sequel, Star Light, as well as the short stories "Under"and "Lecture Demonstration." Also included is "Whirligig World," the famous essay Clement published in Astounding in 1953. It describes the rigorous process he used to create his intriguingly plausible high-gravity planet, with its odd flattened shape, its day less than eighteen minutes long, and its many-limbed, noble natives. Come to Mesklin and learn why The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction called Mission of Gravity "one of the best loved novels in SF."

At the publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management software (DRM) applied.


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Editorial Reviews

Review

"For well over half a century, Hal Clement has been a towering, even decisive figure in our special literature. He deserves to be properly appreciated. . . . There's nobody like him. He's been a tremendous force in science fiction, receiving honors for it but not nearly enough."--Poul Anderson

"Hal Clement--who was anointed the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America's 1998 Grand Master--has been writing for the last half century. In that time he has defined the "hard SF" subgenre and established it as his own."--Analog

About the Author

Hal Clement lives in Milton, Massachusetts.

Product Details

  • File Size: 808 KB
  • Print Length: 416 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 076530368X
  • Publisher: Orb Books; First Edition edition (May 15, 2007)
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000FA5UAK
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #343,579 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful interplay between species March 12, 2010
Format:Paperback
Clement's classic hard SF novellas here about alien contact, Mission of Gravity and Star Light, with a couple of connected short stories thrown in, make for wonderful reading, and some free education in elementary physics and chemistry. MG hardly suffers from being so old that the humans employ slide rules and photographic film, and the author wisely continues it in the more recent SL. It's also almost unnoticeable that there is, as other reviewers of his other books have pointed out, no sex and no violence---not even a sharp argument between the humans and the aliens.

Instead, the stories move along on resolving the inevitable hazards as the hydrogen-breathing Mesklinites (variously described as grotesque worms, caterpillars or centipedes about three feet long) explore their own high-gravity planet and, later, a similar one three parsecs away, as contract employees (and, simultaneously, students and respected friends) of the humans.

What makes it work is the interplay between the species and the way Clements' aliens mimic human emotions and behavior, including occasional paranoia and deception, despite their significant physiological differences. I was sad to finish. It's a pity the author is no longer alive to continue this rich story of human scientists, linguists and administrators hesitantly helping the Mesklinites gradually move from being sailors on methane seas in ammonia storms to pilots of interstellar spacecraft.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
Take THAT, Ringworld. Long before Mr Niven was inserting tons of science into science-fiction, Hal Clement was coming along and giving us the rather interesting world of Mesklin, a world with such a high spin that the planet essentially becomes flattened out and its gravity in some places is high enough to make a person pancake flat if they happened to land without protection. And yet life does exist here. And it sails. And it turns out to be really curious.

Hard science is interesting because it proves to us in an entertaining fashion that the universe on its own is a fairly fascinating and exciting place and you don't have to invent hyperspace and teleportation beams to really have fun with the story, you can take the natural quirks of science to create fascinating scenarios and have it be justified as more than just a flight of the imagination. At its best, it stretches the mind and instills wonder at how vast and variable the universe we live in really is. At its worst, it reads like a science lecture you didn't intend to sign up for. Generally that has nothing to do with the degree of the author, there are perfectly good authors who sport doctorates in physics. Hal Clement was one of them.

The collection consists of two big novels, a short story and an essay where he takes us through the process of designing such a bizarre planet. "Mission of Gravity" is the first and the acknowledged classic, where Mesklin trader Barlennan is sailing and exploring areas he has never been able to venture into before due to the help of his new human friends.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Si fi from when si fi was fun March 22, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I read the first part this book in the 50's and loved it. I got a good many of my friends and family to read it. They liked it also.

These little critters that look like large centipedes are some of the most lovable in all of si fi (and I've been reading si fi for about 65 years). The planet is out of this world and the science involved is great.

This over-large planet that spins so fast that it is shaped like a frisbee and the gravity is so weird that at the rim (equator) the gravity is about 3Gs and at the poles about 600Gs. The technology was good for the 50's but don't let that get you down. Read it for fun. Read it to see what si fi was like during it's golden age.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
Hal Clement was a guy who understood that you could tell an engaging story, where you don't have to ignore the actual science in order to make it interesting. In fact, by paying attention to the science, he made the stories come to life. He paid attention to every detail of the worlds he created, and it made them seem all the more real. The world of Mesklin, though, was surely his crowning glory. It is incredibly massive, but it also has a high spin, so the force of gravity at the poles is far higher than at the equator. As a result, the mesklinites all know their world to be shaped like a bowl. It's details like this that make a book come alive.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Great, but also disappointing... April 9, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I love hard science fiction, so when I found out I was missing one of the classic authors, I was very excited. But I'm halfway through this collection, and I have a problem. What no one seems to tell is... The first book ("Mission of Gravity") has no ending! It's great, then there's the much vaunted twist, then a bunch of new stuff is set up to be explored... And it just ends. Skips ahead to "Lecture Demonstration", a short story set years later, and as far as I can tell never again returns to resolve the original characters.

What.

The.

Heck.

I just feel like everyone who may buy this should know that while the book is interesting, you can't get invested in the story, because ultimately it goes nowhere. I haven't decided for sure whether I want to read the other short story and short novel included, because the ending (or lack of one) in the first is such a disappointment. And the shame is, it was SO GOOD.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Interspecies adventure and communication in "Hard S-F"
I obtained and read the first novel in this collection, “Mission of Gravity,” previously. As is true of many of the books I come across, it appeared that that book became part of a... Read more
Published 13 days ago by Tim Jovick
4.0 out of 5 stars Unusual world
Good read and interesting story.

Unusual idea of world so dense and quick rotating that gravity varies 300 times form equator to pole. Read more
Published 24 days ago by tomkus
5.0 out of 5 stars Great real science here.
This KINDLE book is a really great science fiction story for those mature readers who study and are interested in science and physics. Read more
Published 5 months ago by D. Dukky
1.0 out of 5 stars A book not finished.
I have read the book in paperback. It was a great read. But, this story left me sadden as there was no ending to each of the different parts of the book. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Orval O Darrow Jr
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book - good scan
The only reason this doesn't get five stars is that many of the italics (especially ship names) don't scan well, causing a hiccup in the reading.
Published 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Love my science fiction and loved this.
I have read a great deal of science fiction and love anything that stretches my imagination. This book is a classic for a reason. A very good book. Read more
Published 11 months ago by L. Corcoran
5.0 out of 5 stars Hal Clement at the peak of his career
What am I saying, he shot up to the top and stayed there until he had to go write for the angels.

These books are about a race of creatures that look like short... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Trelligan
4.0 out of 5 stars Heavy Planet
I would highly recommend this book. The writer weaves a compelling tale about life on another planet and the beings themself.
Published on October 12, 2008 by Earl P. Henderson
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