Science Fiction and Fantasy Association of New Zealand

Galilieos Dream Galilieos Dream
by Kim Stanley Robinson
Harper Collins

Supplied for review by Harper Collins New Zealand

Reviewed By: Simon Litten'

Galileo’s Dream is an unusual composition, a biographical novel with science fiction adventure scenes – like pancakes with mince; but for those of you who have experienced a savoury galette, it works – this is a masterpiece of a novel.

Galileo’s Dream follows Galileo Galilei’s life from 1609, when he was in his late forties and developed his version of the telescope, through his brush with the Vatican’s inquisition, to his death under house arrest in Arcetri, Florence in 1634. Along the way Galileo is shown life in the outer solar system in the 31st century and how his life and other events could unfold, much to his personal distress.

Kim Stanley Robinson has done an excellent job of writing a biography of the "first" scientist in the confines of a novel. The man and his times are almost palpable. The syncopic scenes in the 31st century around the Jovian system (discovered by Galileo) and centred on the Galilean moons are also excellently done and mesh well with the historical story. What could have been a parson’s egg of a book is a satisfying bacon and egg pie of a novel. Read it, you will be surprised how good it is.

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