Image of Galileo's Dream

GALILEO'S DREAM

Image of Galileo's Dream

This is another politically earnest
but dull novel by Robinson. Although
he does not sugarcoat Galileo's
less pleasant attributes, he does
undermine Galileo's genuine genius
by making the Italian a pawn of
better-informed individuals from
the future.

Noted Renaissance iconoclast and science scholar Galileo is guided toward the possibilities of the recently invented telescopes by a mysterious stranger. His astronomical discoveries come at an awkward time for the Church, beset by the spread of Protestantism.

The irritable and undiplomatic Galileo is soon persecuted by the legal authorities. His situation is complicated by the fact that he's being manipulated by time travelers -- time travelers whose conflicting agendas may be best served by Galileo's painful death. (BANTAM Spectra, Jan., 544 pp., $26.00)
Reviewed by: 
James Davis Nicoll