Mission of Gravity
For a profit -- and adventure -- Barlennan would sail thousands of miles across uncharted waters, into regions where gravity itself played strange tricks. He would dare the perils of strange tribes and stranger creatures -- even dicker with those strange aliens from beyond the skies, though the concept of another world was unknown to the inhabitants of the disk-shaped planet of Mesklin.
But in spite of the incredible technology of the strangers and without regard for their enormous size, Barlennan had the notion of turning the deal to an unsuspected advantage for himself . . . all in all a considerable enterprise for a being very much resembling a fifteen-inch caterpillar!
This book also contains Hal Clement's classic article "Whiligig World."
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Review: Mission of Gravity (Mesklin #1)User Review - Apatt - Goodreads
Mission of Gravity is, I believe, the granddaddy of hard science fiction. It is often mentioned when discussions of hard sf come up. For some reason the label hard sf usually lead me to expect serious ... Read full review
Review: Mission of Gravity (Mesklin #1)User Review - Daniel - Goodreads
I rarely delve into older science fiction, and I'm often rather unimpressed when I do - while there are often some interesting ideas in there, the characters and plots tend towards the flakey and ... Read full review