Hal Clement - Mission of Gravity

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Posted by Sulkyblue (19th Nov 2004, 10:20)

The final of 2004's Retro-hugo nominees that I've read for a book group. It can't really be compared with books like Farenheit 451 and Childhood's End, because it's not trying to be that sort of book. This is a book about a scientific concept, it's not particularly trying to tell a story, make a point, or make you think about issues. It's trying to describe a world that's completely foreign to us in a fictional way. It's a fun read and a very interesting concept, but it's not a great literary work. I heartily recommend it and enjoyed it a great deal more than the other 'better' books. I mean it has foot long caterpillars as it's main characters for crying out loud, how could you not love it!?

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read biography for - Dave

 Dave ( 21st Nov 2004, 17:59, Rank: Green Drazi )  reply

The name is actually Clement, not Clements. And there's no relation :-)

I read this book many years ago, and while I like hard SF, I found it very difficult to empathise with any of the characters in this. The hard SF ideas were great, it was just that the story and characters didn't work for me.

read biography for - Sulkyblue

 Sulkyblue ( 22nd Nov 2004, 10:06, Rank: Nazgul )  reply

oops! Thanks for pointing that out Dave, I've corrected it now.

I was a bit put off at first by the scary introduction that came with my version (a Master SF works one, not sure which year) stating how characters and plots were largely irrelevant in true hard sf. (paraphrasing somewhat). So maybe as I wasn't expecting much from those aspects I was just happy to see any attention paid to them ;0)

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