(1922 — October 29, 2003)
Hal Clement was a long-time fan, author, and artist, whose real name was Harry Stubbs. He received the SFWA Grandmaster Award and is best known for his classic hard SF novel Mission of Gravity. He began publishing while an astronomy grad student at Harvard with the story “Proof,” and went on to publish numerous hard science fiction novels and stories.
He was active in fandom in the Boston area and was a member of the Stranger Club. After serving as a bomber pilot in WW II, he returned to the Boston area for further schooling at Harvard. He adopted his Hal Clement pen name to hide the fact that he was writing and selling SF from his professors there, particularly Robert S. Richardson — who himself secretly published SF under the pen name Philip Latham!
(He once told friends that he had learned to fly before he learned to drive. After the war he was taking driving lessons in one of the dual control cars where the instructor also has a brake pedal. The car in front stopped abruptly and Harry's natural instinct was to step on the gas and pull back on the wheel to fly over it. Luckily, the instructor stopped the car.)
Clement was founding member of NESFA, a Fellow of NESFA, and the only two-time winner of the Skylark Award. He was a regular at conventions around the country, and always sought-after for the program. He received the 1946 Best Short Story Retro Hugo for "Uncommon Sense." When not writing science fiction, Clement taught high school science at Milton Academy.
He was fascinated by both science and science fiction, and many of his stories show an attention to scientific detail along with storytelling. He was also an astronomical artist, painting under the name of George Richard and focused on realistic depictions of astronomical objects. At conventions he was a very regular speaker and panelist, frequently on scientific topics and especially on astronomy for which he often painted his own illustrations.
When he was Treasurer of the 1971 Worldcon, Noreascon, his novel Starlight received a nomination for the 1971 Best Novel Hugo. He attempted to decline the nomination so as to be able to continue as Treasurer. (His friends would not let him do it.) He was a fan all his life and said that he used his pro income to finance going to conventions.
Other Awards, Honors and GoHships:
- 1965 — Boskone 1, Lunacon 8
- 1969 — Skylark Award
- 1970 — Knight of St. Fantony
- 1972 — DeepSouthCon 10, Star Trek Lives!
- 1974 — Marcon 9
- 1975 — Balticon 9, Star Trek Lives!
- 1976 — Alpha Draconis, Fellow of NESFA
- 1977 — Philcon 1976 (really), Philcon 1977
- 1978 — Maplecon 1
- 1979 — Future Party
- 1981 — Lastcon 1
- 1982 — URCON IV, Unicon 82
- 1984 — Sunuvacon 1
- 1986 — NotjJustAnotherCon 2
- 1987 — MidSouthCon 6
- 1988 — VCON 16
- 1989 — Raymond Z. Gallun Award
- 1990 — Tropicon IX, State of ConFusion
- 1991 — Lunacon 34, OKon 13
- 1992 — Forry Award
- 1994 — DucKon III, Rising Star 3
- 1995 — Balticon 29
- 1997 — First Fandom Hall of Fame, Skylark Award
- 1998 — toastmaster at Rivercon XXIII, Science Fiction Hall of Fame
- 1999 — Albacon 1999
- 2000 — SFWA Grandmaster Award
- 2001 — Balticon 35, EerieCon 3
- 2003 — Readercon 15
- 1980s — Hexacon, Grandfather of NESFA
For more on his career, see http://www.sf-encyclopedia.com/entry/clement_hal