Hal Clement (Harry Clement Stubbs) was born in Somerville, Massachusetts on May 30, 1922, to Harry Clarence Stubbs and Marjorie (White) Stubbs. He grew up in Greater Boston, attending schools in Arlington and Cambridge, finishing Rindge Tech in 1939.
He received his B.S. in astronomy from Harvard in 1943, an M. Ed. from Boston University in 1946 (G.I. Bill) and an M.S. in chemistry from Simmons College in 1963 (Sputnik panic).
Upon finishing Harvard, he entered the Army Air Corps Reserve, received pilot wings and lieutenant's commision at Steward Field, New York, in March 1944, and flew 35 combat missions as copilot and pilot in Liberator (B-24) bombers with the 8th Air Firce. Recalled to active duty in 1951, he spent eight months as a squadron executive officer at Bolling Air Force Base and sixteen months as a technical instructor at the Armed Forces Special Weapons School in Sandia Base, New Mexico. He retired from service as a full colonel in 1976.
His interest in both science and science fiction started in 1930 when he saw a Buck Rogers comic strip featuring a space ship en route to Mars. His father, an accountant unable to answer young Harry's scientific questions, took him to the local (Arlington) public library; he returned with an astronomy book under one arm and Jules Verne's Trip to the Moon under the other. His first story, "Proof", appeared in the June 1942 issue of Astounding Science Fiction (now Analog) Magazine, and his first novel, Needle, serialized there in 1949. His best known story, Mission of Gravity, appeared in 1953 and has been in print most of the time since. Other well known novels are Iceworld, Close to Critical, Star Light, and Still River (DelRey, June 1987; paberback February 1989). Fossil was published in November, 1993 by Daw Books.
Mr. Stubbs married Mary Elizabeth Myers in 1952. They have two sons, George Clement and Richard Myers, and a daughter, Christine (Mrs. David O. Hensel). A grandson, Jackson Clement Stubbs, is now 9 years old (Warning: Hal carries pictures).
Hal Clement is now a 23 gallon Red Cross blood donor, and hopes to reach 25. He taught high school science for forty years, two in a public school and 38 at Milton Academy in Milton Massachusetts, from which he retired in 1987. He has served the New England Association of Chemistry Teachers as a Division Chairman, in various positions for its regular Summer Conferences, and finally as President. He is an honorary member of NEACT and of Aula Laudis, an honor organization of high school teachers.
Since 1972, he has also painted astronomical and science-fiction art as George Richard. It is assumed by fans that Star Trek honored Hal by naming the U.S.S. Clement in his honor.
Tidbit for fans: How Hal writes his stories... On a 3x5 index card, Hal writes a scene, conflict or idea related to a plot he has in mind. When he has collected many dozens of these cards, then he sets about to arrange them on the floor into a coherent story until the plot requirements are fulfilled. Only when he has a satisfactory story laid out in front of him will he begin to type it in.
Back to the Home Page