Galileo’s Dream

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Galileo’s Dream follows Galileo Galilei, a figure of history (and fiction), in Renaissance Italy. However, the narrative moves back and forth between this historical context and the 32nd century, where humans have colonised the moons of Jupiter and established a utopian society where there is no violence or crime. Galileo is contacted by a time traveller from this time in the future – Ganymede – and takes frequent trips to the moons. It is also revealed that Cartophilus, Galileo’s servant, is also a time traveller. Now, Galileo makes several journeys to the moons in the 32nd century (that he only poorly remembers when he gets back to his own time); there, Ganymede tries to manipulate him into being martyred for the sake of science, since this would supposedly increase its influence and impact, thus reducing the suffering that humans faced in the following centuries after the Renaissance. However, between the trips, Galileo gathers sufficient knowledge to develop and publish his research on the celestial bodies and heliocentrism and, even though he is brought to trial for heresy in Italy, he is aided by other time travellers that oppose Ganymede’s interests. In this way, he manages to be sentenced to house arrest instead of being condemned to die. The novel explores the impact of science in the development of society and the confrontation between scientific progress and religious orthodoxy.
Time travel , religion , Galileo Galileu , astronomy
Print: Robinson, Kim Stanley. Galileo’s Dream. Spectra, 2009. ISBN: 978-0553806595. Ebook: Robinson, Kim Stanley. Galileo’s Dream. Spectra, 2009. ISBN: 9780345519665.