|Harry Clement Stubbs, who under the pen name of Hal Clement wrote science fiction for 60 years and was named a Grand Master, died in his sleep at his home in Milton, Mass., Oct. 29, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America reported. He was 81.|
Clement, considered an exemplar of science-based "hard science fiction," was best known for 1954's Mission of Gravity, about Mesklin, a vast and fast-spinning planet with varying gravity, the SFWA reported. Clement's other work included two more Mesklin novels, Close to Critical and Star Light, as well as Iceworld, Cycle of Fire, The Nitrogen Fix, Still River and Half Life. He also wrote short story collections. His most recent novel, Noise, was published earlier this year by Tor.
In 1999, the SFWA named Clement a Grand Master, in recognition of a lifetime of achievement in the field.
A retired high-school science teacher, World War II pilot and scout leader, Clement began writing science fiction in the 1940s, his publisher, Tor, reported. He held a bachelor's degree in astronomy from Harvard and master's degrees in education and chemistry.
Clement published his first short story, "Proof," in Astounding in 1942, considered the first successful melding of SF with the mystery genre. After a stint in the Army Air Force in World War II, he published his first novel, Needle, as a serial in Astounding in 1949. Clement was also a familiar and beloved figure at SF conventions.
Clement is survived by his wife, Mary; two sons, George and Richard Stubbs; and a daughter, Christine Heusel.
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