‘Thought-provoking and moving in equal measure. Robinson captures the joy of scientific discovery better than anyone else working today; the characterisation is splendid, with Galileo himself coming sharply to life … Elegant, charming, funny and profound, Galileo's Dream is magnifico.’ Guardian
'A brilliant work of imagination, drawing together the “two cultures” in a harmonious marriage of science and art' The Times
'A warts and all picture, but one that makes us love and admire the great astronomer in spite of his weaknesses' Independent
‘A triumph, with Robinson's gifts for characterisation and world-building firmly to the fore. His Galileo is wonderful: brilliant, irascible, sometimes hateful, and always fascinating. The finale is both stirring and melancholic, and a fitting tribute to science's most famous iconoclast.’ New Scientist
‘Galileo’s Dream is an undertaking of epic scope that takes in 17th Century politics, the clash of science against dogma and time travel. A dense but rich and compelling literary accomplishment.’ SciFi Now
‘A compelling story … fascinating’ Catholic Herald
The dazzling novel from the acclaimed author of the groundbreaking MARS trilogy follows Galileo on an amazing journey from the dawn of the modern world to a future on the verge of a completely new scientific breakthrough.
Late Renaissance Italy still abounds in alchemy and Aristotle, yet it trembles on the brink of the modern world. Galileo's new telescope encapsulates all the contradictions of this emerging reality.
Then one night a stranger presents a different kind of telescope for Galileo to peer through. Galileo is not sure if he is in a dream, an enchantment, a vision, or something else as yet undefined. The blasted wasteland he sees when he points the telescope at Jupiter, of harsh yellows and reds and blacks, looks just like hell as described by the Catholic church, and Galileo is a devout Catholic.
But he’s also a scientist, perhaps the very first in history. What he’s looking at is the future, the world of Jovian humans three thousand years hence. He is looking at Jupiter from the vantage point of one of its moons whose inhabitants maintain that Galileo has to succeed in his own world for their history to come to pass.
Their ability to reach back into the past and call Galileo "into resonance" with the later time is an action that will have implications for both periods, and those in between, like our own.
By day Galileo’s life unfurls in early seventeenth century Italy, leading inexorably to his trial for heresy. By night Galileo struggles to be a kind of sage, or an arbiter in a conflict … but understanding what that conflict might be is no easy matter, and resolving his double life is even harder.
This sumptuous, gloriously thought-provoking and suspenseful novel recalls Robinson’s magnificent Mars books as well as bringing to us Galileo as we have always wanted to know him, in full.