Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A few good stories of Hal Clement

Another post that is best not buried in a comment thread.

Most of his fiction is still under copyright. I know of only one or two of his online short stories, as part of some of the magazine scans I've linked; will get to their ToC sometime.

Pretty much everything of him is worth reading, but not continuously; need to leave a few weeks between different stories of his - many of them need time absorbing. His work has some of the craziest science fiction ideas, presented in a plausible way.

Some of his now rarely quoted short stories are among the science fiction's very best: try locating "Dust Rag", "Longline", "Bulge", & "A Question of Guilt".
Caution: Last one is very dark - his only dark story I've seen so far.

"Needle" is probably his easiest-to-read novel. "Mission of Gravity" is very famous, but isn't really for everyone. I don't think I've seen any of his novel I won't rate A, & the only short story of his that didn't work for me was "The Foundling Stars" (but I got the idea sometime later; had read it when I wasn't very experienced at reading sf).

Related: Stories of Hal Clement.


Rich said...

You're right about the time needed! His books are so other-worldly that it takes a while to grasp it all.