First edition, Second printing
Page count: 504
Book Size: 5-1/2" x 8-1/2"
Music of Many Spheres
The Essential Hal Clement, Volume 2
by Hal Clement
"Proof" was nominated for the 1943 Best Short Story Retro Hugo!
Short SF by Hal Clement
Volume 2 contains seventeen of Hal Clement’s stories. They range from near-future earth to the distant Magellanic Cloud. Their protagonists are tachyonic aliens and teen-aged humans, retired explorers and beings so vast and slow that they don’t even notice mankind, criminals, pirates and teachers.
Hal Clement’s stories, like his novels, show that the natural world contains wonders and possibilities which hardly require any additional invention—yet he supplies it, creating stories which turn on scientific puzzles or which lead us to look at old notions in a new light.
Table of Contents
- Introduction: Hal Clement by Ben Bova
- Cold Front
- Sun Spot
- The Mechanic
- Technical Error
- Probability Zero: Avenue of Escape
- Status Symbol
- The Logical Life
- Stuck with It
- Uncommon Sense
Hal Clement was the pseudonym of the exemplar of hard science fiction, Harry C. Stubbs. He created the pseudonym while working for his Master’s degree in Astronomy at Harvard, fearing his professor would not want him to be "wasting" his time. He did not know that this same professor submitted science fiction to Hugo Gernsback’s magazines. Hal’s first published story was "Proof" which appeared in the June 1942 issue of Astounding Science Fiction. Then, as with many other SF writers, the War intervened.
Following bomber combat duty in Europe with the Army Air Corps in World War II, Harry returned home, learned to drive a car, became a high-school chemistry teacher, and wrote Hugo-winning science fiction.
Hal was a fixture at many SF conventions, where he always had time to talk to his fellow fans.
Cover art by George Richard
Cover design by Lisa Hertel
Introduction by Ben Bova