Mesklin is unusually massive and spins particularly fast: its "day" lasts not 24 hours but 18 minutes. The huge mass means an unthinkable gravity of 700 times Earth's, but only at the poles. Where the spin has most counter-effect, at the equator, the overall pull is a mere three times the earth's gravity. Humans can walk there, on crutches, to bargain with the centipede-like, hydrogen-breathing Mesklinites for the recovery of an expensive research probe that's been lost near the unreachable south pole.
It's Barlennan of Mesklin, captain of the native ship Bree, who steals the show. He's bright, brave, and experienced in sailing his world's liquid-methane seas. The immense journey to recover Earth's stranded treasure confronts Barlennan's crew with unexpected but ingeniously logical obstacles and menaces. Constantly in touch with humans by radio link, Barlennan is both grateful for the scientific insights these visitors provide and suspicious about what--as a mere "primitive"--he's carefully not being told. As journey's end approaches, Barlennan makes some quiet plans of his own... Mission of Gravity is an acknowledged classic of old-fashioned SF world-building. --David Langford --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
I remember this book from many years ago, and was delighted to find a second-hand copy (it's out of print now). Read morePublished 21 months ago by M. Frizelle
This is pure science fiction: a set of believable, if very strange, parameters and then a fiction that remains faithful to, and develops, the original precepts. Read morePublished on 11 Feb. 2012 by A. Mackintosh
A book in the 'hard science' fiction category. The story revolves around the unusual structure of a planet. It's the science that drives the story, not the characters. Read morePublished on 22 Sept. 2010 by Amazon Customer
This is a book about a scientific concept, it's not particularly trying to tell a story, make a point, or make you think about issues. Read morePublished on 8 Nov. 2009 by Sulkyblue
When it was first published I loved it and I still do after re-reading it recently.
The 'Hardness' of the SF does not obstruct the story for me, on the... Read more