Harry Clement Stubbs, better known by the pen name Hal Clement, was an American science fiction writer and a leader of the hard science fiction subgenre. He painted astronomically oriented artworks under the name George Richard. In 1998 Clement was inducted by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame and named the 17th SFWA Grand Master by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. Harry Clement Stubbs was born in Somerville, Massachusetts on May 30, 1922, he went to Harvard, graduating with a B. S. in astronomy in 1943. While there he wrote his first published story, "Proof", which appeared in the June 1942 issue of Astounding Science Fiction, edited by John W. Campbell, his further educational background includes an M. Ed. and M. S. in chemistry. During World War II Clement was a pilot and copilot of a B-24 Liberator and flew 35 combat missions over Europe with the 68th Bomb Squadron, 44th Bomb Group, based in England with 8th Air Force. After the war, he served in the United States Air Force Reserve, retired with the rank of colonel.
He taught astronomy for many years at Milton Academy in Milton, Massachusetts. From 1949 to 1953, Clement's first three novels were two-, three-, four-part Astounding serials under Campbell: Needle and Mission of Gravity, his best-known novel, published by Doubleday's Science Fiction Book Club; the latter novel features a land and sea expedition across the superjovian planet Mesklin to recover a stranded scientific probe. The natives of Mesklin are centipede-like intelligent beings about 50 centimeters long. Various episodes hinge on the fact that Mesklin's fast rotational speed causes it to be deformed from the spherical, with effective surface gravity that varies from 3 gn at the equator to 700 gn at the poles. Clement's article "Whirligig World" describes his approach to writing a science fiction story: Writing a science fiction story is fun, not work....the fun...lies in treating the whole thing as a game.... He rules must be quite simple, they are. For the author, the rule is to make as few such slips as he can...
Certain exceptions are made, but fair play demands that all such matters be mentioned as early as possible in the story... Clement was a frequent guest at science fiction conventions in the eastern United States, where he presented talks and slide shows about writing and astronomy. Clement died in Massachusetts at the Milton Hospital on October 29, 2003 at age 81, he died in his sleep, most due to complications of diabetes. Clement has been honored several times for his cumulative contributions including 1998 Hall of Fame induction, when Clement and Frederik Pohl were the fifth and sixth living persons honored, the 1999 SFWA Grand Master Award. For the 1945 short story "Uncommon Sense" he received a 50-year Retro Hugo Award at the 1996 World Science Fiction Convention. Mission of Gravity, first published as a serial during 1953, was named best foreign novel by the Spanish Science Fiction Association in 1994 and it was a finalist for a 50-year Retro Hugo Award in 2004; the Hal Clement Award for Young Adults for Excellence in Children's Science Fiction Literature is presented in his memory at Worldcon each year.
Wayne Barlowe illustrated two of Clement's fictional species, the Abyormenites and the Mesklinites, in his Barlowe's Guide to Extraterrestrials. Planets created by Clement feature unique astronomical or physical aspects, they include: Abyormen -- A planet circling a dwarf star. This produces a hot and a cold season, each of 65 years' duration; the native intelligent life forms undergo a seasonal mass death. From Cycle of Fire. Dhrawn – A high-gravity world settled by Mesklinites in Star Light. Habranha - A planet, tidally locked with its sun, such that the dark side is a mix of solid CO2, solid methane, ice, the sunlit side ocean, in Fossil. Hekla – An ice-age planet in "Cold Front". Kaihapa – An uninhabited ocean planet, twin of Kainui, in Noise. Kainui – An inhabited ocean planet in Noise. Mesklin — A planet with ultra-high gravity in Mission of Gravity. Clement corrected his model of Mesklin and determined that the maximum surface gravity would be "only 250 gravities". Sarr – An hot planet with an atmosphere of gaseous sulfur, little liquid, in Iceworld Tenebra – A high-gravity world with a corrosive atmosphere consisting of water vapor near its critical point, in Close to Critical.
Enigma 88 - A small planet near η Carinae in Still River. The interior of the object is honeycombed with caves, due to evaporation of accreted ice-rich planetoids. Unusually for Clement, Enigma's structure is not consistent with the laws of physics. "Proof". Short story. Published in Astounding. Collected in The Essential Hal Clement Volume 2, Possible Worlds of Science Fiction, SF: Author's Choice 2, Where Do We Go From Here?, The Great SF Stories 4, First Voyages, The Golden Years of Science Fiction, Ascent of Wonder and Wondrous Beginnings. Impediment. Novelette. Published in Astounding. Collected
Star Light is a science fiction novel by American writer Hal Clement. It is the sequel to one of Mission of Gravity; the novel was serialized in four parts in Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact Magazine from June to September 1970. Star Light was first published as a paperback book by Ballantine Books in September 1971. Star Light is set several decades after the events of Mission of Gravity, it takes place on the supergiant planet Dhrawn, which some suspect of being a failed star. The planet has an ammonia/water atmosphere with some oxygen, at temperatures ranging from 70 Kelvins to the freezing point of water; the planet rotates slowly, taking around two months for one revolution. It has a long eccentric orbit around its star, a red dwarf, Lalande 21185. Much of the planet's heat seems to come from within; the gravity at the surface is 40 times the Earth's. Everything about the planet defies scientific theory, including its size, lack of hydrogen, its temperature, the presence of free oxygen in its atmosphere.
A consortium of spacefaring races, including humans, recruits Mesklinites, the centipede-like natives of the high-gravity planet Mesklin, to explore Dhrawn. The recruits include Barlennan and Dondragmer the Captain and First Mate of the Bree, a merchant vessel of Mesklin, which sailed to Mesklin's south pole to rescue a probe sent by humans. Now, thanks to institutes of learning set up on Mesklin, the natives have produced capable explorers who can go where other races cannot. Barlennan is in command of the main base on Dhrawn while Dondragmer commands a "land cruiser", the Kwembly; this is a tracked vehicle about 30 meters long, the same wide. It is designed to move like a large worm on independently steerable trucks; the power is supplied by self-contained fusion generators but the controls are simple pulley-and-rope systems using Mesklinite materials which the crew can repair by themselves. There are several more cruisers, each has audio/video links for communication with satellites; the humans and others are on a satellite in synchronous orbit above the explorers on the ground.
The planet's slow rotation means that they are about 10 million kilometres above the surface, signals take over 30 seconds to travel to the satellite. Real-time conversations are therefore impossible. On the satellite are linguist "Easy" Hoffman and her son Benj, both an engineer and a linguist. Both speak fluent Stennish, the Mesklinite language, have formed close personal relationships with the explorers on the surface, they are joined on the satellite by Ib Hoffman, Easy's husband and Benj's father. One of the cruisers, the Esket, has suffered a catastrophe and all the crew have vanished, much to Easy's dismay; the cruiser's communicators still function. In reality, Barlennan is executing a complicated deception. A wily negotiator who coerced the humans into setting up a College to teach science to the Mesklinites in the previous novel, Mission of Gravity, he has been secretly arranging for an independent Mesklinite colony to be set up on Dhrawn using the Esket as a base; this has been proceeding for several months.
Soon, the Kwembly is in real trouble. As the planet warms, the complex phase transitions of water and ammonia mixtures at these low temperatures mean that a frozen lake can melt in seconds, carry the ship off in a flood, suddenly leave it hung up on large rocks, unable to move as the liquid around it freezes again, trapping some of the crew below the surface in their protective suits. A few of the Kwembly's crew are dispatched to report on the condition of the surroundings, but come across one of the crew from the Esket, doing in one of the dirigibles that Barlennan is clandestinely using to move his men and matériel around, he momentarily is recognized by Easy. While the other humans believe that she is mistaken, Ib begins to suspect that something underhanded is going on; the Hoffmans would prefer to deal with the Mesklinites, but they have to deal with the prejudices, not only of fellow humans with political motives, but with the more paranoid of the non-human supervisors of the mission.
Having an inkling of what Barlennan is after, Ib Hoffman breaks the deadlock by convincing the human administrators that they should treat the bug-like creatures as equals rather than hired hands. The novel ends with the Mesklinite colonies receiving clandestine help and communication with the Hoffmans, but it is not revealed whether Barlennan's machinations remain secret from the other humans; the main theme revolves around hard science the physics and thermodynamics of mixtures. While water should be in the form of ice at all times on Dhrawn, the effect of ammonia in the atmosphere is to cause it to become a liquid under certain conditions of temperature and pressure, because of the formation of a eutectic mixture which melts and freezes at a much lower temperature than water. Although the scientists on the satellite attempt to supply weather forecasts for the Mesklinites, they are using tools designed for Earth's weather to predict conditions in a two-component water/ammonia system instead of Earth's one-component system.
Local effects, such as liberation of latent heat from mixtures undergoing freezing or condensation, can produce drastic changes in conditions. Solid surfaces can liquefy under the pressure of the land cruisers as individual Mesklinites can walk on them in complete safety; the novel posits that full disclosure is best in a situation whe
Iceworld is a science fiction novel by American writer Hal Clement. It was published in 1953 by Gnome Press in an edition of 4,000 copies; the novel was serialized in the magazine Astounding in 1951. The novel concerns an interplanetary narcotics agent, forced to work on an cold world — so cold that the atmosphere he breathes is a yellow solid; the planet is in fact Earth, he teams up with natives of the alien planet in his attempt to stop the smuggling of a dangerous drug to Sirius. Although the story involves both aliens and humans, it is told from an alien perspective. Galaxy reviewer Groff Conklin characterized Iceworld as "believable and satisfying." Boucher and McComas gave the novel a mixed review, saying that while it was "thinly plotted and characterized hardly stirs wonder or any other emotion of good fiction," that Clement had "never done a better job of making plausible and scientifically convincing every detail of the physiology and technology of an alien race... so absorbingly created and described that you may well put up with an unfair amount of novelistic tedium."
P. Schuyler Miller reported that "As an intellectual puzzle, it's top-rank stuff," but concluded that the difficulty in identifying with the alien protagonist would limit the novel's appeal." Chalker, Jack L.. The Science-Fantasy Publishers: A Bibliographic History, 1923-1998. Westminster, MD and Baltimore: Mirage Press, Ltd. p. 302. Tuck, Donald H.. The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction and Fantasy. Chicago: Advent. P. 412. ISBN 0-911682-22-8. Iceworld title listing at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
Ace Books is an American specialty publisher of science fiction and fantasy books. The company was founded in New York City in 1952 by Aaron A. Wyn and began as a genre publisher of mysteries and westerns, it soon branched out into other genres, publishing its first science fiction title in 1953. This was successful, science fiction titles outnumbered both mysteries and westerns within a few years. Other genres made an appearance, including nonfiction, gothic novels, media tie-in novelizations, romances. Ace became known for the tête-bêche binding format used for many of its early books, although it did not originate the format. Most of the early titles were published in this "Ace Double" format, Ace continued to issue books in varied genres, bound tête-bêche, until 1973. Ace, along with Ballantine Books, was one of the leading science fiction publishers for its first ten years of operation. With the death of owner A. A. Wyn in 1967, the company's fortunes began to decline. Two prominent editors, Donald A. Wollheim and Terry Carr, left in 1971, in 1972 Ace was sold to Grosset & Dunlap.
Despite financial troubles, there were further successes with the third Ace Science Fiction Specials series, for which Carr was the editor. Further mergers and acquisitions resulted in the company becoming a part of Berkley Books. Ace became an imprint of Penguin Group. Editor Donald A. Wollheim disliked his job. While looking for other work, he tried to persuade A. A. Wyn to begin a new paperback publishing company. Wyn was a well-established publisher of books and pulp magazines under the name A. A. Wyn's Magazine Publishers, his magazines included Ace Mystery and Ace Sports, it is from these titles that Ace Books got its name. Wyn delayed for several months. Pyramid mistakenly called Wyn's wife Rose for a reference; when Rose told her husband that Wollheim was applying for another job, Wyn made up his mind: he hired Wollheim as an editor. The first book published by Ace was a pair of mysteries bound tête-bêche: Keith Vining's Too Hot for Hell, backed with Samuel W. Taylor's The Grinning Gismo, priced at 35 cents, with serial number D-01.
A tête-bêche book has the two titles bound upside-down with respect to each other, so that there are two front covers and the two texts meet in the middle. This format is regarded as an innovation of Ace's. Books by established authors were bound with those by lesser-known writers, on the premise that this would help new writers gain readers; the main drawback of the "Ace Double" format was. Despite the tag "Complete and Unabridged" on the cover, books so labeled were sometimes still abridged; some important titles in the early D-series novels are D-15, which features William S. Burroughs's first novel and many novels by Philip K. Dick, Robert Bloch, Harlan Ellison, Harry Whittington, Louis L'Amour, including those written under his pseudonym "Jim Mayo"; the last Ace Double in the first series was John T. Phillifent's Life with Lancelot, backed with William Barton's Hunting on Kunderer, issued August 1973. Although Ace resumed using the "Ace Double" name in 1974, the books were arranged conventionally rather than tête-bêche.
Ace's second title was a western: William Colt MacDonald's Bad Man's Return, bound with J. Edward Leithead's Bloody Hoofs. Mysteries and westerns alternated for the first thirty titles, with a few books not in either genre, such as P. G. Wodehouse's Quick Service, bound with his The Code of the Woosters. In 1953, A. E. van Vogt's The World of Null-A, bound with his The Universe Maker, appeared. Another sf double followed in 1953, sf established itself, alongside westerns and mysteries, as an important part of Ace's business. By 1955, the company released more sf titles each year than in either of the other two genres, from 1961 onward, sf titles outnumbered mysteries and westerns combined. Ace published a number of lurid juvenile delinquent novels in the 1950s that are now collectible, such as D-343, The Young Wolves by Edward De Roo and D-378, Out for Kicks by Wilene Shaw. By the late 1950s, Ace's output was approaching one hundred titles a year, still dominated by the primary genres. All the books were 35 cents, though some slim single volumes were 25 cents, a handful were half a dollar.
In the early'60s, rising costs forced an increase in the price of the books, more books appeared at 40 cents, 45 cents and higher. A few thick volumes, such as the 1967 paperback of Frank Herbert's Dune, were priced at 95 cents. With Ballantine Books, Ace was the dominant American science fiction paperback publisher in the 1950s and 1960s. Other publishers followed their lead, catering to the increasing audience for sf, but none matched the influence of either company. Market dominance was not only reflected in numbers of books published—Ace published, during this period, the first novels of authors such as Philip K. Dick (Solar Lottery, 1955, D-103, bound with Leigh Brackett
Needle is a 1950 science fiction novel by American writer Hal Clement published the previous year in Astounding Science Fiction magazine. The book was notable in that it broke new ground in the science fiction field by postulating an alien lifeform, not hostile, which could live within the human body. Published as From Outer Space, the book would, in 1978, spark the sequel Through the Eye of a Needle; the Hunter, an alien lifeform with the ability to live in symbiosis with and within another creature, is in hot pursuit of another of his kind. Both crash their ships into Earth, in the Pacific Ocean, both survive the crashes; the Hunter makes its way to shore and takes up residence in the nearest human being it can find without letting the human being know. By the time it has figured out enough of what goes on inside a human being to look through Bob's eyes, it is shocked to find itself within an air vessel, being carried further away from its quarry every second; as it happens, Bob is returning to a New England boarding school from his home on an industrial island in the Western Pacific.
Once Bob arrives at school, the Hunter sees no alternative to communicating with his host. After initial attempts produce panic in the boy, the Hunter finds a way to convince Bob of his presence. Bob is accepting of his guest beyond what would be expected of a teenage boy who learns another entity is inside him, observing his every move; the two plot a way to return home. The puzzle distracts Bob from his studies, leading to a decline in grades that the school authorities ascribe to homesickness, he is sent home for the remainder of the term. Upon arrival, the two begin to seek out their quarry. Bob is injured by an accident; the Hunter is able to hold the wound together, but he can't stop Bob from limping, Bob is sent to the island doctor. They see no alternative to confiding in the doctor and the doctor becomes an ally in their search. Which of the many humans on the island is the host to their quarry? It is worse than a needle in a haystack because a needle at least looks like a needle, not a piece of straw.
The Hunter is able to solve the riddle by observing the behavior of the island people. Bob's father, known for his attention to detail and safety, has been taking amazing risks, he is at least unconsciously aware. The quarry resides within him; the Hunter confirms this, Bob and the alien have a new puzzle—how to get the alien out of Mr. Kinnaird's body without harming the man? This time, Bob comes up with the solution, he places himself in the middle of a large number of oil cans, uses a little actual oil to start a small fire, making it look like there will be a huge explosion shortly, calls his father for help. The fugitive alien, fearful of being killed in the explosion, knocks out his host and removes himself from Mr. Kinnaird's unconscious body; as soon as the alien is a few feet away from Bob's father, the boy grabs the one full oil can, races over to the alien, pours oil over it, lights it on fire. He brings his father to the doctor. Bob wishes to know the Hunter's plans; the Hunter knows the chances of returning home are minuscule, hopes to stay with Bob.
Bob is happy for this to happen, at least for now, as there is a more immediate problem at hand: Mr. Kinnaird is fine, but they had better come up with a good story, or the Hunter will have to use the net he has laid under Bob's skin to assuage the pain of a spanking; the novel ends without revealing. L. Sprague de Camp praised its "well written" story. Despite faulting the plotting as "thin" and having the antagonist act "improbably stupid," he concluded the novel was "a good sound entertaining yarn." The novel was reprinted in Volume 1 of NESFA's three-volume collection of Clement's works, The Essential Hal Clement. It was reissued as an e-book through Gollancz's SF Gateway. 7 Billion Needles a 2008 manga adaptation The Brain from Planet Arous a 1957 film with a similar plotline The Hidden a 1987 film with a similar plotline Needle title listing at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database http://www.sf-encyclopedia.com/entry/clement_hal
In biology, a mutation is the permanent alteration of the nucleotide sequence of the genome of an organism, virus, or extrachromosomal DNA or other genetic elements. Mutations result from errors during DNA replication or other types of damage to DNA, which may undergo error-prone repair, or cause an error during other forms of repair, or else may cause an error during replication. Mutations may result from insertion or deletion of segments of DNA due to mobile genetic elements. Mutations may or may not produce discernible changes in the observable characteristics of an organism. Mutations play a part in both normal and abnormal biological processes including: evolution and the development of the immune system, including junctional diversity; the genomes of RNA viruses are based on RNA rather than DNA. The RNA viral genome can be double single stranded. In some of these viruses replication occurs and there are no mechanisms to check the genome for accuracy; this error-prone process results in mutations.
Mutation can result in many different types of change in sequences. Mutations in genes can either have no effect, alter the product of a gene, or prevent the gene from functioning properly or completely. Mutations can occur in nongenic regions. One study on genetic variations between different species of Drosophila suggests that, if a mutation changes a protein produced by a gene, the result is to be harmful, with an estimated 70 percent of amino acid polymorphisms that have damaging effects, the remainder being either neutral or marginally beneficial. Due to the damaging effects that mutations can have on genes, organisms have mechanisms such as DNA repair to prevent or correct mutations by reverting the mutated sequence back to its original state. Mutations can involve the duplication of large sections of DNA through genetic recombination; these duplications are a major source of raw material for evolving new genes, with tens to hundreds of genes duplicated in animal genomes every million years.
Most genes belong to larger gene families of shared ancestry. Novel genes are produced by several methods through the duplication and mutation of an ancestral gene, or by recombining parts of different genes to form new combinations with new functions. Here, protein domains act as modules, each with a particular and independent function, that can be mixed together to produce genes encoding new proteins with novel properties. For example, the human eye uses four genes to make structures that sense light: three for cone cell or color vision and one for rod cell or night vision. Another advantage of duplicating a gene is. Other types of mutation create new genes from noncoding DNA. Changes in chromosome number may involve larger mutations, where segments of the DNA within chromosomes break and rearrange. For example, in the Homininae, two chromosomes fused to produce human chromosome 2. In evolution, the most important role of such chromosomal rearrangements may be to accelerate the divergence of a population into new species by making populations less to interbreed, thereby preserving genetic differences between these populations.
Sequences of DNA that can move about the genome, such as transposons, make up a major fraction of the genetic material of plants and animals, may have been important in the evolution of genomes. For example, more than a million copies of the Alu sequence are present in the human genome, these sequences have now been recruited to perform functions such as regulating gene expression. Another effect of these mobile DNA sequences is that when they move within a genome, they can mutate or delete existing genes and thereby produce genetic diversity. Nonlethal mutations increase the amount of genetic variation; the abundance of some genetic changes within the gene pool can be reduced by natural selection, while other "more favorable" mutations may accumulate and result in adaptive changes. For example, a butterfly may produce offspring with new mutations; the majority of these mutations will have no effect. If this color change is advantageous, the chances of this butterfly's surviving and producing its own offspring are a little better, over time the number of butterflies with this mutation may form a larger percentage of the population.
Neutral mutations are defined as mutations whose effects do not influence the fitness of an individual. These can increase in frequency over time due to genetic drift, it is believed that the overwhelming majority of mutations have no significant effect on an organism's fitness. DNA repair mechanisms are able to mend most changes before they become permanent mutations, many organisms have mechanisms for eliminating otherwise-permanently mutated somatic cells. Beneficial mutations can improve reproductive success. Mutationism is one of several alternatives to evolution by natural selection that have existed both before and after the publication of Charles Darwin's 1859 book, On the Origin of Species. In the theory, mutation was the source of novelty
Small Changes is a collection of science fiction short stories by Hal Clement, published by Doubleday in 1969. It was issued in Great Britain by Robert Hale Publishing, reprinted in paperback by Dell Books as Space Lash. "Dust Rag" "Sunspot" "Uncommon Sense" "Trojan Fall" "Fireproof" "Halo" "The Foundling Stars" "Raindrop" "The Mechanic" Algis Budrys praised the collection, saying that "There is a charm to these stories... which defies critical analysis in the usual sense." Index to Science Fiction Anthologies and Collections