- Paperback: 200 pages
- Publisher: House of Stratus Ltd (July 1, 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0755100565
- ISBN-13: 978-0755100569
- Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.5 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,982,280 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Galaxies Like Grains Of Sand Paperback – July 1, 2001
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Top Customer Reviews
The quality of the stories makes the format less than successful. Only three stories are worth reading. Worthwhile for fans of Aldiss and 50s Future Histories.
Brief Plot Summary/Analysis
The War Millennia -- `Out of Reach' (1957) (15 pages) 4/5 (Good): The second best story of the collection. While bombs are falling outside, the Directory of Dreamy Five enters the dreams of one of his thousands of "slugs" i.e. patients. The context is intriguing, the a Race War (perhaps derived from the Cold War) has produced so much stress and fear that large percentages of the world have gone insane or escaped from their worries by entering dreameries. Unfortunately, when the director enters Floyd Milton's dream the story loses the power evoked by the earlier scenes. The Director's patient replays and replays his love affair and marriage to a Solite. Humanoid "aliens" who appeared on Earth but didn't offer to end the violence -- instead, they saved plants, animals, and took Floyd with them. A silly time travel twist weakens the work.
The Sterile Millennia -- All The World's Tears' (1957) (12 pages) 4/5 (Good): In the thousands of years after the Race War and the Era of Overpopulation the Earth has been entirely transformed. All the whites were exterminated in a nuclear bombardment of the moon -- due to which the moon still glows red in the sky.Read more ›
My issues with Galaxies stem from its structure. It attempts to be one complete text that presents fragments of Earth's history through countless millennia into the future. To accomplish this structure, the book is comprised of several short stories that are tied together with brief prefaces that focus on the book's historical theme.
Aldiss' approach fragments the characters and the setting of each story while the central them of Earth's history is carried through to the end. Consequently, the characters and settings of each story serve Aldiss' purpose, but they fail to elicit any lasting sympathy. The characters simply vanish as the next fragment begins.
The end result feels more like a recital of Aldiss' version of Revelation, and the human implications associated with Aldiss' visions are left to a sort of faith in him as the all-knowing writer. In the absence of sympathy, there is no way to feel a sense of truth in Aldiss' words.
I think science fiction is capable of a literary story; complete with characters that communicate the nature of their existence, a setting that extrapolates realistic speculations on science, and a plot that strikes close to a human understanding of life. But so far, such a book has been elusive.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Spanning eons of time, Aldiss spins tales of triumph and failures. At times, the tales are deeply philosophical, others metaphorical. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Wayne B Howard
While the writing is very good, I found it to be disjointed and a bit draggy.. I found it hard to get engaged.Published 14 months ago by Sandra Mahanna
I really enjoyed most of the stories in this book, they make a very interesting build upon each other and had some interesting thoughts about the future. Read morePublished 16 months ago by RF Oregon
Not really...Mr Aldiss was starting his writing and it shows. Kind of stale, not moving along nicely and the ideas seem outdated and full of themselves. Read morePublished 17 months ago by J. G. Chacon Monarrez
Many tales masterfully told, which we've together a narrative across the eons. There are 2 decisive duds which may be completely passed over, as they add nothing to the narrative. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Jacob Wilson
This is an unique look at the universe, and earth and its inhabitants place in it. I loved the history of the evolution of earth and men interspersed with stories about that period... Read morePublished 17 months ago by judearn
Interesting concept but too long. It was deeply philosophical but a bit depressing. Even so, I enjoyed each story though they ended tragically.Published 17 months ago by Laurena Johnson