A brilliant and mind-bending depiction of alien life that still stands as a landmark of hard SF.
Mesklin is a vast, inhospitable, disc-shaped planet, so cold that its oceans are liquid methane and its snows are frozen ammonia. It is a world spinning dizzyingly, a world where gravity can be a crushing 700 times greater than Earth's, a world too hostile for human explorers.
But the planet holds secrets of inestimable value, and an unmanned probe that has crashed close to one of its poles must be recovered. Only the Mesklinites, the small creatures so bizarrely adapted to their harsh environment, can help.
And so Barlennan, the resourceful and courageous captain of the Mesklinite ship Bree, sets out on an heroic and appalling journey into the terrible unknown. For him and his people, the prize to be gained is as great as that for mankind...
Hal Clement's MISSION OF GRAVITY is universally regarded as one of the most important and best loved novels in the genre. The remarkable and sympathetic depiction of an alien species and the plausible and scientifically based realisation of the strange world they inhabit make it a major landmark in the history of hard SF.
The best account of alien life on another planet
A popular and long-lived work ... an impressive feat of world-building ... a touching adventure story ... written with hearty conviction - SCIENCE FICTION: THE 100 BEST NOVELS
One of the best-loved novels in SF ... intriguingly plausible - THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF SCIENCE FICTION
Remains a great favourite
Hal Clement (1922 - 2003)
Hal Clement is the nom de plume under which Harry Clement Stubbs wrote science fiction. Born in Massachusetts in 1922, he graduated from Harvard with a BSc. in astronomy, and later added degrees in chemistry and education. A former B-24 pilot who saw active service during the Second World War, he worked for most of his life as a high-school science teacher. He made his reputation as an SF writer with the work that appeared in Astounding, where his best-known novel, Mission of Gravity, first appeared in serialised form in 1953.