|Galileos 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.
follows Galileo Galileis life from 1609, when he was in his late forties and
developed his version of the telescope, through his brush with the Vaticans
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 parsons egg of a book is
a satisfying bacon and egg pie of a novel. Read it, you will be surprised how good it is.