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[[ Read pdf ]] Mission of GravityAuthor Hal Clement – Blockdiagramwiring.co

Cover Artist Ed Emshwiller Mission Of Gravity Is An Sf Novel By Hal Clement The Title Is A Play On Words, One Meaning The Force Which Pulls The Other Being Extremely Serious Or Important It Was Serialized In Astounding Science Fiction, Its St Cloth Publication Was In It Was St Published In Paper In Along With The Novel Itself, Many Editions Most Recent Editions Of The Book Also Include Whirligig World, An Essay On Creating The Planet Mesklin That Was Published In The Astounding He Published Two Sequels, A Novel Called Star Light A Short Story Called Lecture Demonstration Mission Of Gravity Was Nominated For A Retro Hugo Award For For A Profit Adventure Barlennan Would Sail Thousands Of Miles Across Uncharted Waters, Into Regions Where Gravity Played Strange Tricks He D Dare The Perils Of Strange Tribes Stranger Creatures Even Dicker With Those Aliens From Beyond The Skies, Though The Concept Of Another World Was Unknown To The Inhabitants Of The Planet Of Mesklin But In Spite Of The Incredible Technology Of The Strangers Without Regard For Their Enormous Size, Barlennan Had The Notion Of Turning The Deal To An Unsuspected Advantage For Himself A Considerable Enterprise For A Being Very Much Resembling A Caterpillar


10 thoughts on “Mission of Gravity

  1. says:

    This is one of those novels that I must firmly place in the Interesting idea category without having it really grace the realm of great story.Indeed, I loved the way that Hal Clement literally built a world from scratch, not merely creating 15 inch long aliens, but making a damn interesting planet that had different pulls of gravity depending on how close you were to the poles versus the equator, because the whole planet was flattened, was roughly 5k times the mass of earth, and the surface pull of gravity meant that we measly humans needed very heavy augmentation just to visit or we d be crushed.Even the author sent out a call in the afterword, which to my opinion was even better than the main tale, to anyone out there to use his creation as they see fit and improve the math or write in the setting, and I appreciate that, because I keep wondering how much better it might have been if we had spent all our time in the heads of the humans rather than the aliens Don t get me wrong, I appreciate the attempt, but I did get rather bored with all the haggling and trading and industrial espionage that revolved around techs that could handle so much gravity or the gradual and immense differences between the equator and the pole during the travels Like I said, it was very cool in concept.That being said, I kinda wish that all the awesome nuts and bolts of the world had been introduced or interspersed throughout the novel, from the human s point of view, so as to awe me in the context other than the density of the lifeforms or the fear of flying or falling and what might result with a splat of 300 gravities It was fun for what it was, and it does rather show that it was written back in 53, but the focus on making sure there was good science as far as Hal, himself, could manage it, was both admirable and ambitious, so that s where I m placing all my stars.


  2. says:

    Hello, this is Mesklin Advance calling Earth, do you read me Coming in loud and clear, MA So what s up Well, we ve got a little problem here now we ve reached the transition point to the polar zone Our boats Ah, let me see, is their cross section an arc of a circle subtending an angle of 3 2 That s right, how did you guess And you re floating on a sea of an ideal fluid with density Correct And the velocity of the boat is v, where v is given by Oh, wait, I just found it in the instructions It says the answer is given in Chapter 4, exercise 6 Sorry No problem These things happen Anything else Yeah what sexual positions work best at two hundred times Earth gravity What was that You re breaking up Ah, nothing Just my little joke about 50s hard science SF Well, I m sure I ll be back soon with another physics problem Any time Thanks Over and out Over and out.


  3. says:

    Mission of Gravity is, I believe, the granddaddy of hard science fiction It is often mentioned when discussions of hard sf come up For some reason the label hard sf usually lead me to expect serious moody novels For no good reason I tend to equate serious science with serious stories, imagine my surprise when Mission of Gravity turns out to be something of a romp, a good one too Another point worth mentioning is that while the book was first published in 1953 it still holds up well today because the real world science Clement employs is still valid today.The main attraction of the book for hard sf fans is probably the world building The planet Mesklin is an oblate spheroid in shape resulting in different gravity levels from the poles to equator The minimum gravity there is still three times that of earth 3g and the max is all of 700g The native intelligent race of this planet, the Mesklinites , is consequently centipede like in shape to stay close to the ground where a small drop of a foot in a high gravity area can be fatal Building on this great scenario Hal Clement creates a culture where the concept of flying and throwing is unheard of and all the natives are afraid of height The science makes all these details very plausible without sacrificing the sense of wonder, enhancing it even.Another great gimmick of this novel is that the narrative is mostly told from an alien point of view, one specific alien protagonist named Barlennan A rather roguish, cunning, and likable captain of a raft called The Bree.character The Mesklinites remind me a little of the primitive aliens in Le Guin s The Word for World Is Forest and Little Fuzzy by H Beam Piper Fortunately they are gifted linguists and adaptable to new concepts and experiences so they are able to work with and learn from the humans I really love this kind of good natured sf story where species learn to work together for mutual benefits Stories where hideous aliens are blasted to smithereens by super weapons are fun but a change is as good as a rest.The plot mainly concerns a mission to retrieve a stranded manmade rocket containing valuable information which accidentally landed on one of the planet s poles Barlennan and his crew undertake to retrieve this rocket in exchange for knowledge for the advancement of their people A lot of exploration and adventure ensues and while the ending is not exactly unpredictable I find it quite pleasing Mission of Gravity is a short novel of less than 200 pages in length The book by itself is out of print but as part of the Heavy Planet The Classic Mesklin Stories omnibus volume which contains a sequel called Star Light, some short stories and an essay all for the price of one book An offer you can t refuse I think I m looking forward to reading the rest of the volume soon Great fun and educational, what s not to like


  4. says:

    2.5 stars Interesting concept of a world where gravity is 700 times that of Earth at the poles and only 3 times Earth at the equator Ultimately, the story was not interesting enough to keep me engaged, but the scientific explanations were interesting Nominee Hugo Retro Award for Best Science Fiction Novel


  5. says:

    This book surely must be the record holder for having the most endearing arthropodic character in fiction and possibly for weirdest planet in fiction Of course the two are connected if a planet has a surface gravitational pull never less than three times that of Earth and varying up to 700x that of Earth, intelligent life isn t going to look just like a human with maybe a weird looking forehead or nose.Clement has very carefully worked out what the consequences of his rapidly spinning, exceedingly cold planet are and built a jolly adventure story round them, with a somewhat piratical, canny, mischievous explorer trader as the protagonist asked to rescue the science probe visiting humans have lost and are unable to rescue themselves.Long considered a genre classic and deservingly so.


  6. says:

    He disfrutado de la parte hard y he conseguido leer la parte novela.Cl sico ya de CF Hard no me parece muy recomendable a quien no disfrute de este subg nero porque ni por especies ni por personajes ni por tensi n narrativa vale demasiado.Pero ah , los conceptos de un planeta con una velocidad de rotaci n bestia, con un achatamiento de casi 3 1, con mares de metano y mareas exageradas y con gravedades de 3 a 700 g le permite a Clement crear esta peque a joya para los rarunos de la CF.Disfrutadla, rarunos.


  7. says:

    La historia transcurre en el planeta Mesklin, sometido a las m s extremas condiciones La elevada rotaci n del planeta hace que la gravedad var e desde los 3 g en el ecuador, a los 700 grs en los polos Tormentas apocal pticas, fr o extremo, oc anos de metano, esto es a lo que se enfrentan sus habitantes En el planeta se encuentra un grupo de cient ficos humanos que se ven en un aprieto deben recuperar una costosa sonda que se ha estrellado en uno de los polos Para ello contar n con la ayuda de los mesklinitas, en concreto del capit n Barlennan y su grupo de tripulantes Misi n de gravedad Mission of Gravity, 1953 , del estadounidense Hal Clement, es un cl sico de la ciencia ficci n hard El autor sabe imbricar muy bien los conceptos f sicos en la trama, sin que estos abrumen al lector En realidad se trata m s bien de una novela de aventuras en un planeta ex tico, con los m s peculiares protagonistas Clement no entra en la psicolog a de los personajes, ni tan siquiera nos cuenta c mo llegaron los humanos al planeta Mesklin En resumen, interesente libro del pionero de la ciencia ficci n hard, sin duda una de las m s estimulantes ramas del subg nero.


  8. says:

    Often cited as one of the bedrock works of hard science fiction, this extremely well constructed little novel paints wonders of chemistry, biology, and physics, but crowns its triumph with a touching and developed portrait of an alien species with their own peculiar neuroses and ambitions The gravity of the planet Mesklin is far beyond that of Earth At Mesklin s equator, humans in power assisted suits can temporarily tolerate the 3 Gs found there, but at the planet s poles centrifugal force ratchets this up to hundreds of Gs When a human scientific probe goes down in a polar region, the only possible way to retrieve it is to enlist an expedition of the native Mesklinites.These enterprising little creatures, shaped something like centipedes, sail, fight, and explore their way across their harsh planet, all the while learning to overcome their ancestral fears and limitations for example, Mesklinites are pathologically afraid of heights, and of even the concept of an object being held above them, due to the severity of any fall in such a high gravity environment What I find most laudable about Clement s Mesklinites is that they re not content to be used as brainless fetch its by humans When they become convinced that the humans are witholding information about the probe, they threaten to keep it for themselves This allows them to re negotiate the terms of their service and secure a fairer future for the partnership between the species Hardly The Autobiography of Malcolm X, but nonetheless a very welcome portrait of extraterrestrial autonomy and dignity in an era when the right of fictional human beings to kick little green men around for their own purposes was not what you d call deeply examined.


  9. says:

    Mission of Gravity was a fun, imaginative work that holds up well even though its sixty three years old Obviously, because of the age, one has to be willing to make certain allowances for dated material That happens, however, far less than you might think Hal Clement did a great job of creating a world that is to this day one of the most interesting ones we see in science fiction It s a bit hard to imagine I had to look it up to see if anyone could put the shape clearly to me , but the concept is fascinating A world where gravity varies so dramatically that the only way life could make it would be in a form drastically different than the bipedal one we humans enjoy.The Mesklines are written in such a way that it s hard to remember that they are actually only several inches long and a few inches high Most of the time you find yourself not even thinking about their shapes and how gravity plays a part in things Then the author introduces something, or mentions a way of movement that brings home how extremely physically different these characters are They re a likable lot, even Barlennan, even though he s a bit of a rascal.Mission of Gravity is a hard science fiction novel Clement did his best to present a realistic view of how gravity, physics, etc, work on Mesklin From a layman s point of view, he didn t miss anything However, I will say it felt like he hammered points home a little too much at times On the other hand, if I was a couple inches high in eight times earth gravity, and aware exactly how quickly even a small drop would kill me I d probably not be eager to look over cliffs, jump, or anything like that too As much as it is a hard science fiction novel, though, it s also an adventure story If you took away the men in the spaceship, and replaced the Mesklines with humans on Earth, it would be the tale of a long, strenuous journey There s encounters with natives, stops for trading haggling, situations where its Mesklines against Mother Nature, etc Overall, Mission of Gravity was a good read, but it does get a little laborious at times You don t have to have a background in science to understand what s going on However, a love of science will probably help you in being a little bit enad with the long stretches dealing with those particular details than I was.I would probably be pretty particular about who I recommend this book to, especially when it comes to people who haven t read much science fiction It s interesting and well imagined, but not a quick and easy read.


  10. says:

    If you are about my age, you probably first met this book through the picture of the Mesklinite in Barlowe s Guide to Extraterrestrials They are our high density low temperature hydrogen breathing pals who are fun to be with What struck me re reading it this time is how Mission of Gravity is a paean to science.First of all, it is proper science fiction Not indistinguishable from magic science fiction Not some rubbish latte land love triangle with spaceships and aliens Not flip through this week s New Scientist and grab a few dodgy interpretation of Quantum Mechanics articles science fiction Just Newtonian Physics pushed to the edge.Second, the motivation of the largely offstage human characters is all science all the time They want to know stuff They are part of a project spending a fortune to find stuff out Completely fundamental blue sky no applications need apply stuff It s all they care about They never talk about anything else Which is how it ought to be, because next to a world like Mesklin everything else is pretty boring.Third, the narrative arc of the novel is the conversion of the Mesklinite characters to the scientific worldview Barlennan, the main character, is the Han Solo or Vasco de Gama of his world As the story begins he is all about the phat lewtz But as it goes on like Han Solo he becomes aware of a higher purpose A higher purpose that might enable him primarily to get phat lewtz, true, but a higher purpose Again and again, the scientific skills of the humans are shown to be of practical use in solving problems Barlennan realises that he wants what they re having At the climax of the novel he refuses to help the humans any unless they teach him science This is the sort of standoff situation people like me dream of And there is this beautiful interchange that encapsulates the wonder and the sheer utility of the scientific method in a way that I haven t seen anywhere else.