Mission of Gravity

mission-of-gravityby Hal Clement
Pyramid Books, 1962
Originally published in Astounding Science Fiction, 1953
Price I paid: 75¢

The giant, disk-shaped world of Mesklin was an Earthman’s nightmare―so cold that the seas were liquid methane and the snow frozen ammonia, with crushing gravity up to 700 times that of Earth. No human being could explore Mesklin’s surface.

Yet―a desperately needed research rocket was down on Mesklin. Someone had to go after it. That someone was the strangest explorer ever to appear in science-fiction―the Mesklinite merchant seaman, Barlennan―fifteen inches long, thirty-six legs, weighing hundreds of pounds. And, as it turned out, the sharpest trader an Earthman ever met!

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Cycle of Fire

Cycle of Fire by Hal ClementTurn left at Jim Wilson's gas station and then keep going 'til you see a big field with a tree in it
Ballantine Books, 1957
Price I paid: 50¢

Nils Kruger was the Earthman. A castaway with a smashed spaceship on the parched surface of the inhospitable planet Abyorman.

Dar was his non-human castaway companion. But Nils, a latter-day Robinson Crusoe, quickly learned that his intended Man Friday was a superior creature.

They would both die.

Typically, Nils the Human opted to do something about it. Typically, Dar, who knew the day, date, and hour of his death in advance, opted to do nothing.

Which of them was right?

Or, perhaps both of them were!

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