Customer Reviews for

Galileo's Dream

Average Rating 4
( 24 )
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  • Posted November 14, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Fans will appreciate Kim Stanley Robinson's deep tale that connects renaissance Italy with man in space

    To the colonists on the moons of Jupiter, Galileo is the prophet who led humanity on the first great leap into space with his telescope. He is a God in the future, but in his own Renaissance time in Italy, he faces condemnation by the Church for heretic acts.

    As he faces trial that could lead to his burning, a man calling himself Ganymede claims to have come from the far future to consult with him and encourage him in 1609 Padua. Ganymede knows his side in a future debate over mankind wants to bring Galileo forward in time in order to save the man and change history; others also want to influence history perhaps by insuring Galileo burns at the stake rather than go under house arrest.

    This is a thought provoking alternate history science fiction that is not an easy read, but worth the time for those who relish a cerebral thriller. Galileo makes the story line with a mix of diverse emotions like a need to advance science but a fear of what he is doing. With an underlying message that humanity must stay alert to keep those who claim divine communication to thwart advances by burning scientific research on a media inferno. Fans will appreciate Kim Stanley Robinson's deep tale that connects renaissance Italy with man in space.

    Harriet Klausner

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 10, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    A Remarkable Life: Galileo Galilei

    While this is science fiction of the highest order, it is also biographical as the novel "Galileo's Dream" tells the story of Galileo Galilei from the time of his developing interest in the telescope to his death. This is an amazing read and, true to Kim Stanley Robinson's style, is hard science fiction. He even proposes a new, string-theory-based idea for time travel involving what he calls "the manifold of manifolds".

    It's an amazing tale and truly had me on the edge of my seat, throughout!

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 19, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Interesting Historical and Biographical Fiction, but Uneven

    I'm a huge fan of Kim Stanley Robinson's "The Years of Rice and Salt" which is a terrific blend of pseudo science fictional philosophy and religion, and fun and entertaining alternative history. It's deep and touching and provides a strong sense of activity (if not specifically action and adventure).

    The concept behind "Galileo's Dream" drew me to the book the instant I read the description: Galileo is taken from Earth to the moons of Jupiter (which he discovered) in an attempt to modify the past to make for a better future. Unfortunately, while it's a fun concept, Robinson provides an uneven implementation.

    The vast majority of the book follows Galileo over the course of 30 or 40 years through his major astronomical discoveries and inventions. His is, by far, the strongest character throughout the book that includes a mix of humans from the future, Galileo's daughters, and numerous other good and bad guys from 17th century Italy.

    The first several times that Galileo is spirited away by "The Stranger" the table is set for a interesting view of human life in the future, living on a moons of Jupiter. I was settling in for a nice space/time travel ride but became disappointed and the increasingly shorter visits to space and the future, and the increasing focus on philosophies of time travel, it's impact on the past, and vagueness on the battles between science and religion.

    These elements are interesting and good scifi fodder, however I found them to be bluntly addressed and not well balanced with the minute details of Galileo's daily travails and triumphs.

    If you're interested in a solid period piece, with strong historical research and a decent story, then I'd recommend this book. But read with appropriately measured expectations.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 3, 2011

    Great story

    It made me want to learn more about Galileo's life

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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