To the inhabitants of the Jovian moons, Galileo is a revered figure whose actions will influence the subsequent history of the human race. From the summit of their distant future, a charismatic renegade named Ganymede travel...more
It starts as a simple biography of the first true scientist as he first observes and then shows others the miracles he can observe through his telescope. But one night a mysterious stranger asks Galileo to take a look at his device....more
It looks at Galileo as a genius who couldn't ever grasp the process or the importance of politics. Fine. It goes way overboard in describing what a grump he supposedly was. He is old and feeble after a few chapters, then seems to be 70+ forever. Every few chapters we drift back to inclined planes and I wonder if Robinson was paid by the word.
(minor spoilers follow)
Then we have the futu...more
To the inhabitants of the Jovian moons, Galileo is a revered figure whose actions will influence the subsequent history of the human race. From the summit of their distant future, a charismatic renegade named Ganymede travels to the past to bring Galileo forward in an attempt to alter history and ensure the ascendancy of science over religion. And if that means Galileo must be burned at the stake, so be it.
Yet between his brief and jarring visitations to this future, Galileo must struggle agai
The novel essentially combines 2 stories; one is historical fiction about the life of Galileo, while the other involves him being brought into the far future and interacting with inhabitants of the moons of Jupiter.
The "historical" story is mostly well done, though there are a few stretches that read more like a history book than a novel. I got a little tired of...more
Time travel fiction is, at its heart, primarily a literature of regret. Oh, there is the occasional pure travelogue, to be sure; the odd parody played for laughs; and the even rarer voyage of self-discovery... but for the most part, why send some hapless schmuck through time at all, but for the opportunity to step twice into Heraclitus' river, to redirect its flow—to change those things that might not have to have been?
And, usually, to find out that alte...more
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...more
It would be quite easy, I think, to describe this novel in a way that sounds like a bad movie pitch: Galileo receives visitors from the future, who take him back (forward!) to their time in an attempt to stave off...more
Without revealing anything critical about the plot, KSR has come up with a mechanism by which he exposes his readers to Galileo Galilei's life in the 17th century while periodically pulling us forward to a time in roughly the 31st century.
I found KSR's take on the 17th century Galileo to be engaging and thought provoking in unexpected ways. I've been strongly affected by previous KSR...more
I am generally not one to rave on about a book, but this was really great.
I have read other Kim Stanly Robinson books that sounded promising going in - great idea / interesting premise - that really got bogged down in the minutia of the telling.
Mostly now I am thinking of the Mars books: Red, Green, Blue & Martians.
They sounded so promising, but ended up being largely boring by the time I was through with them.
Galileo's Dream though was a thoughtful and thought provoki...more
Galileo Galilei is well-known in history as being one of the first scientists, testing the world with experiments and being the first to observe and document the existence of the moons of Jupiter. Galileo is also known as the man who ran afoul of the Catholic Church and was forced to recant his holding of the...more
I have really enjoyed immersing myself in this novel about the mathematician and scientist, Galileo, I spent some time reading it, because as I read I wanted to compare the novel to the real life of Galileo, who I researched on line, also because much of it covered studies of physics and astronomy, of which I am very ignorant.
The problems between science and religion were a large part of Galileo's life, since he lived during the Roman Catholic Inquisi...more
In many ways, this is perhaps the least typical novel Kim Stanley Robinson has written. It’s certainly the most passionate and overtly philosophical work he’s written.
What struck me first about the book is how reminiscent it is of the unexpected traveler stories so popular in the SF pulp era of the ‘20s and ‘30s. It was refreshing. At the same time, the scientific theory that defines the world in this novel is abou...more
As a book of historical fiction this book works admirably. Unfortunately the Jovian Story Line almost ruins it. This part is mixed with the historical passages with brief visits to the distant moons of Jupiter - Galileo travelling through both time and space to discover the colonized moons.
To begin with, these passages felt as though they were implanted into the novel in a inept fashion and we readers, suffering the same confusion as the Galileo of this novel must have suffered. The passages se...more
So - this one's on the ropes. And besides, it's a rather long book - if I'm losing interest after 3 or 4 ch...more
Still, a great story of the...more
His work delves into ecological and sociological themes regularly, and many of his novels appear to be the direct result of his own scientific fascinations, such as the 15 years of research and lifelong fascination with Mars which culminated in his most famous work. He has, due to his...more