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.
‘One of the finest working novelists in any genre’
'If I had to choose one writer whose work will set the standard for science fiction in the future, it would be Kim Stanley Robinson’
NEW YORK TIMES
Praise for GALILEO’S DREAM:
‘Thought-provoking and moving in equal measure. Robinson captures the joy of scientific discovery better than anyone else working today … Elegant, charming, funny and profound’
'A brilliant work of imagination, drawing together the “two cultures” in a harmonious marriage of science and art'
‘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’
About the author
Kim Stanley Robinson was born in 1952 and, after travelling and working around the world, has now
settled in his beloved California. He is widely regarded as the finest science fiction writer working today, noted as much for the verisimilitude of his characters as the meticulously researched hard science basis of his work. He has won just about every major sf award there is to win and is the author of the massively successful and lavishly praised Mars series.
The creative imagination of Hugo, Nebula, and Locus winner Robinson (The Years of Rice and Salt) is on display in this offbeat novel of scientific discovery. In 1609, a stranger tells Galileo Galilei about a recent Dutch device that magnifies distant objects. The Italian scientist develops his own version, and the success of his telescope brings him recognition and acclaim. Forty pages in, the book changes genres abruptly as the stranger brings Galileo to Europa, the second moon of Jupiter, in a far future where various factions quarrel over plans to colonize the distant sphere. During the course of several trips through time and space, Galileo becomes something of a pawn in the political conflicts while gaining treasured glimpses of the future of science. Readers will eagerly share Galileo's curiosity and astonishment at the wonders of both the past and the future.