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Galileo's Dream
 
 

Galileo's Dream [Kindle Edition]

Kim Stanley Robinson
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Review

‘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

Product Description

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.


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 770 KB
  • Print Length: 546 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0553590871
  • Publisher: Harper Voyager (6 Aug 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002RUA57O
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
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  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #128,134 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Kim Stanley Robinson has won the Hugo, Nebula and Locus awards. He is the author of over twenty previous books, including the bestselling Mars trilogy and the highly acclaimed FORTY SIGNS OF RAIN. He lives in Davis, California.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Vary Good Book - Got a Little Lost at Times 31 Mar 2012
By Traffic TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Just finished this book on my Kindle. I enjoyed it vary much and the story was certainly an interesting one mixed fiction with non-fiction.

Galileo is approached by a stranger who kickstarts his "invention" of the telescope, though it wasn't truly his invention but he did improve on somebody else's idea and that's what got him noticed in scientific circles - and by the Catholic Church.

Soon the stranger starts taking Galileo to the planet and moons of Jupiter using some sort of device that not only transports in space but in time too. He is sent to the third millennia. There he learns a lot of the knowledge he is credited for today, but he also has to deal with proplematic situations whilst he is there.

His health rapidly starts to deteriorate and the Catholic Church accuse him of apostasy, or something long those lines, and threaten him with torture and burning at the stake unless he recants.

I did get a little lost at times with some of the in-depth text about certain scientific debates but a vary enjoyable book which, as I said mixes fiction with non-fiction regarding Galileo's life.

A note on the Kindle version: No problems at all; no typos or formatting problems noticed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written 9 Jun 2011
Format:Paperback
Kim Stanley Robinson is an absolutely fantastic novelist.

This book is a very unusual combination of historical fiction and science fiction.

If it comprised only the 17th Century Galileo story, it would stand as an absolutely first-rate historical novel in its own right.

This writing is subtle, funny, and in places very moving, especially in the way he depicts the wasted potential of so many of the people who lived in that time. You get a powerful sense that these were people just like us, with the very same needs, desires and weaknesses.

By combining this with a time-travel SF strand, he risks cheapening the achievement of the historical strand. And at first it seems like he has done just that. Initially the 30th Century seems thinly imagined and the story of what happens there quite frivolous.

But as it develops, this strand gains weight and momentum.

Ultimately, the two strands combine into a beautiful whole.

This book is so good that I did not want to end. I felt a little bereft when it did.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Just not interesting enough 1 May 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I love pretty much everything that Kim Stanley Robinson has written, but this was just a little dull and tedious. I tried to give it a chance, but gave up about halfway through.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Bravo! 30 Aug 2010
By KJ44
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I've always been cautious about Kim Stanley Robinson, given that people praise the Mars trilogy, which for me was tedium broken only by wondering how often once could use the word 'regolith'. He redeemed himself with 'The Years of Rice and Salt', which was still a bit too mystical for me, but it made me think about the science we take for granted.

No such worries with 'Galileo's Dream' though. It works at every level. If you're RC, please read it, if you're a materialist, please read it, if you want a novel that makes a nod to biography or history, read it. I cried at the end, and I'm proud to say so. It's a masterpiece, so "Bravo' seemed the right title for this review, KSR is a maestro with this book.

Thought experiment: Do you *know* how a telescope works?
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