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Not fire or smelting, probably no formed metals or fuels that burn.


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The Rantans use a type of cement they have developed, but it crumbles, leaving their dams and aqueducts damaged, and they have become overdependent on this failing invention. Why do they insist on living in a flooded city? The Rantans explain that the oceans are unsafe and polluted. But how could that be, since this planet has no industry?

An excellent review of some older classics.

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He was a gentleman, finest kind, and his work reflected his careful, systematic thinking. Thank you for bringing such a fine collection to attention. Like Like.

SFS 43 - Ocean On Top by Hal Clement

Redhead January 14, at pm. Although their writing is completely different, i had a similar experience with Clement as I did with Cordwainer Smith — after reading one collection I will buy anything with his name on it. I have to say, the cover made me laugh. Clement has been on my TBR for a while, I hope to read some of his stuff this year. It sounds delightful. How could I not buy a book that had a cover like this?

You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Google account. You are commenting using your Twitter account. You are commenting using your Facebook account. Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. Here are my thoughts on some of my favorites: Impediment — Aliens have landed in a remote area of North America, hoping to find a particular element with which to recharge their weaponry. Like this: Like Loading Like Like Reply. Redhead January 14, at pm Although their writing is completely different, i had a similar experience with Clement as I did with Cordwainer Smith — after reading one collection I will buy anything with his name on it.

Redhead January 14, at pm How could I not buy a book that had a cover like this? Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:. Email required Address never made public. Name required. Tag Cloud action adventure aliens alternate history anthology aritificial intelligence authors blogging books classic conventions dark epic fantasy funny future give away graphic novel guest post historical fiction horror Interview interviews Locke Lamora magic manga mystery mythology new weird politics post apocalyptic read-a-long read along reading religion robots romance science fiction series short stories space opera steampunk supernatural suspense thriller time travel urban fantasy vintage Vintage SciFi YA.

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There's also a hardcover edition. My first one! New story day! These stories are an excellent look into the sub-genre and his writing. Feb 21, Nate rated it really liked it. May 07, John rated it it was amazing. There are bits in a few of the stories that feel a little dated but overall even the older stores seem very modern.

Especially good if you like non-traditional protagonists in stories. It is also refreshing to read a story where the central conflict is not entirely because of the stupidity of the characters or unmotivated maliciousness of a bad guy. Sep 12, Erik Wennermark rated it really liked it. Sort of Martian-esque, in short form.

Epub The Best Of Hal Clement 1979

Feb 16, Jerry rated it really liked it. I came into this expecting that Clement would try to ground his stories in what was possible and was not disappointed. This makes his best stories that much better. However, many of the older stories highlight the problem with hard science fiction.

A Logic Named Clement (or Open the Pod Bay Doors, Hal)

Most of the time this is trivial: it was funny reading about characters in a space station having to deal with thousands of tu I came into this expecting that Clement would try to ground his stories in what was possible and was not disappointed. Most of the time this is trivial: it was funny reading about characters in a space station having to deal with thousands of tubes in their computers Clement himself notes, in the afterword, that he was wrong in assuming analog would beat digital in computer technology.

But in Mistaken for Granted , the whole story hinges on two problems that a less-grounded author would have assumed would be solved: that our tendency to measure time in hour increments creates dangerous ambiguities, that lack of positional and directional awareness is also very dangerous and costly, and that the protective suits necessary to move about on the moon will also hide personal information devices such as watches. On the moon in that story, there are no GPS satellites circling the moon, no communications satellites circling the moon, no digital watches, and no heads-up displays.

And the lack of each of those are critical to the course of the story. And while the problem of locating people and equipment precisely is perhaps less obviously critical, the lack of compasses was not. The same with the inability to read a wristwatch in a spacesuit. Some form of heads-up display or simply building a time-piece into the suit should have been assumed.

Obviously, this would have made the story more difficult to write, and in his defense, according to the very interesting afterword he thought up this story around a Boy Scout campfire. His best stories are the ones where he goes furthest afield: Stuck With It , for example, about an intelligent race that lives mostly underwater, and so has developed different building styles and different technologies to deal with their environment. Sep 03, Eero rated it really liked it.


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Impediment : a classic problem story. A certain lack in the alien's knowledge of physics is extremely implausible given their level of technology compare to a similar implausibility in the much later story Neutron Star by Larry Niven. However, the central idea of communication and assumptions made is very clever and carries the story despite the clunky and dated prose which may be part of its charm.

Technical Error : the crew of a wrecked spaceship, stranded on an airless asteroid Impediment : a classic problem story. Technical Error : the crew of a wrecked spaceship, stranded on an airless asteroid, come across an abandoned ancient alien ship and they have to puzzle out its workings to survive. This seems to be a story written for engineers. We don't really learn what the aliens looked like or what they were doing in the Solar System, although there are some clues that are left hanging Uncommon Sense : The theme so far seems to be downed spacecraft.

This time, the protagonist is alone on an airless, hot planet with only his spacesuit and must find a way to get his ship back before his treacherous crew take off, leaving him to die. Assumption Unjustified Sort-of-comedy-of-errors about alien tourists secretly messing with Earth people for reasons of their own. The cover of one of the editions is based on this story.

Answer Space-based "supercomputer" tackles psychology. Lots of attention to details that appear very dated to a contemporary reader but are technically correct. Dust Rag Another physics puzzle set on the Moon; the characters exist just as vehicles for the neat idea. Bulge A rather well constructed hostage thriller set on a space station. Mistaken for Granted Juvenile or "young adult" although it does not have the YA tropes we all know and The writing seems to get slicker and more entertaining through the decades.

Somehow it almost escaped me that Question was supposed to be a vampire story of sorts there are no vampires at all, although the main character does mess about with blood, with the best intentions but with imperfect understanding.


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  5. Stuck I had read before in some best of the year anthology or another. What struck me was that I had big difficulties picturing the world for myself from the author's descriptions. Born in Massachusetts in , he graduated from Harvard with a BSc. A former B 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 The World According to Anna.

    Wheels of Terror. The Abyssinian Proof. The Light of Evening. The Unfinished Novel and Other stories. From the Place in the Valley Deep in the Forest.