Stubbs, Harry C(lement) 1922-2003 (Hal Clement, George Richard)

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STUBBS, Harry C(lement) 1922-2003
(Hal Clement, George Richard)


See index for CA sketch: Born May 30, 1922, in Somerville, MA; died October 29, 2003, in Milton, MA. Educator and author. Stubbs was the author of acclaimed hard science fiction published under the name Hal Clement. A trained scientist and educator, Stubbs earned a B.S. in astronomy from Harvard University in 1943. After serving as a B-24 copilot in the Army Air Corps Reserves during World War II, he went back to school and earned a master's degree in education from Boston University in 1947. With the onset of the Korean War, he was called back to duty, spending his time stateside in New Mexico. He would later retire from military service in 1972 as a full colonel. Meanwhile, Stubbs also earned a master's degree in chemistry from Simmons College in 1963 and continued a career as a science teacher at the Milton Academy in Massachusetts. Stubbs had been teaching there since 1949 and would continue to do so until he retired in 1987. As for Stubbs' writing, this began while he was still at Harvard. He published short stories for pulp magazines, using the pseudonym Hal Clement to disguise this activity from his professors. By the time he found out his professors were fine with his literary pursuits, the name had become too well respected by readers to change it. Stubbs became known for writing what is called "hard" science fiction, or stories set in the future that remain true to scientific principles of physics, chemistry, and other disciplines. One of the most famous of these is his third novel, Mission of Gravity (1954), which won the International Fantasy Award. He would later win a Hugo Award for his sequel to this book, Star Light (1971). Other novels by Clement include Cycle of Fire (1957), The Nitrogen Fix (1980), and Noise (2000). He also published short story collections, including Small Changes (1969) and Intuit (1987), a children's book, Left of Africa (1976), numerous professional articles under his own name, and two books that he edited about the Moon and space flight to the Moon. During the last thirty years of his life, Stubbs took up a career as a painter under the name George Richard. His paintings, perhaps unsurprisingly, were artworks depicting astronomical and science-fiction scenes. For his decades of contributions to science fiction, Stubbs was inducted into the Fantasy Hall of Fame in 1998, and the next year he was named a Grand Master by the Science Fiction Writers of America.



St. James Guide to Science Fiction Writers, fourth edition, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 1996.


Boston Globe, October 31, 2003.

Boston Herald, November 1, 2003, p. 22.

Los Angeles Times, November 5, 2003, p. B13.

New York Times, October 31, 2003, p. A21.

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Stubbs, Harry C(lement) 1922-2003 (Hal Clement, George Richard)

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