Mission of Gravity

Hal Clement
Mission of Gravity Cover

Mission of Gravity


Read this in an Anthology which also contains Star Light, a short story and a pair of essays. This has the Science of Science Fiction - an adventure story about earthly contact with the 18 inch centipedes of Mesklin.

Certain facts (their size, the length of their day, and so on) are discovered over the first few chapters, though contact has been going on for a while before the story opens. Through their journeys, we examine some interesting facts about high gravity worlds and the effects on biology, chemistry, and physics.

Being two difference groups (species), each has their own motivations also, and this comes out well. Barlennan is a savvy trader, the ideal explorer in an unknown land. The human crew is kept busy in an Apollo 13 like scramble to solve various problems.

Overall a quick read and fairly fun, a worthy milestone in the 1950s reading challenge. The sequel (collected in 1970, published in 1971) will suffice for the 1970s reading challenge that I will start soon enough. For the right (technically minded) audience, recommended!