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Galaxies Like Grains Of Sand Paperback – July 1, 2001


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--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • 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: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,693,728 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Brian Aldiss, born in 1925, is one of the most prolific authors of both general and science fiction. In a writing career stretching from 1955 to the present he has published over seventy books. He has also been an influential compiler of science fiction anthologies. A Science Fiction Omnibus is available as a Penguin Modern Classic.Faber have reissued six of his best science fiction titles: Earthworks, Cryptozoic!, Barefoot in the Head, Galaxies like Grains of Sand, The Dark Light Years and The Shape of Further Things. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

This book is old and I had to obtain my copy via eBay, but it was worth it.
M
I first discovered this book in high school in the USA during the early 1970s; it has stayed with me ever since--remains among my list of 'top 10 best' SF books.
Dr. Morbius
One would think we'd be so much more carefully in delineating what a robot can or cannot do.
Mithridates VI of Pontus

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on August 28, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I read this book as a teenager, and then many other times. It's a story of mankind spanning millions of years. This book is one-of-a-kind, for the gigantic scale on which is projected, the bold imagination, the long silences between flashes of history that let yor mind fascinated for the untold but imagined. And there is a subtle sadness for those million lives, their joys and despairs... but always life flourishes in unexpected ways. Reading this book is like looking at the sky in a clear night and wondering at the immense universe.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Morbius on April 29, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
This magnificent Brian Aldiss' collection of short stories spanning millions of years across a near infinite span of parsecs deserves a place in the pantheon of great SF books. Like Olaf Stapledon's 1930 release "Last and First Men", Aldiss' "Galaxies..." is in the same tradition; it's a mind-bending adventure that stretched my perception of time, space, technology, and evolution. I first discovered this book in high school in the USA during the early 1970s; it has stayed with me ever since--remains among my list of 'top 10 best' SF books. Now it's available for the Kindle e-pad and will accompany me wherever I go. Bless you, Mr. Aldiss.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Mithridates VI of Pontus VINE VOICE on October 13, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The concept behind the Brian Aldiss' short story collection Galaxies Like Grains of Sand (1960) is intriguing. Take previously published stories (in this case from magazines in the late 50s), graft them together by means of mini-introductions, and arrange them so they fit into a future history framework à la Olaf Stapledon's Last and First Men (1930) or Isaac Asimov's Foundation Trilogy (1951-1953).

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.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By M TOP 1000 REVIEWER on September 30, 2008
Format: Paperback
This is easily one of the best sci-fi novel, or just book, that I have ever read. This book is old and I had to obtain my copy via eBay, but it was worth it. The eight interconnected stories come to a surprising conclusion, and overall is very thought-provoking. I liked how each chapter focused on a different part in human history. While I do feel that this book could have used some more detail (the book is fairly slim compared to other books such as say, Dune) it is still a wonderful and thought-provoking read, with some juicy nugget of philosophy or thought in each section. My favorites were the 'Mutant' and the 'Ultimate' Millennia chapters.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By "phyed-rautha" on November 29, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
A series of short stories, each dealing with a specific era in the human development and future histoy. Alldis is known in his intelligent and philosofic works and this one is not only keeping those high standarts , but stands out as a wonderfull, imaginative story of our race , millions of years into the future. super recommended. enjoy.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 14, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
An excellent Aldiss book. It annnotates the history of mankind as told by its replacement. Telling the tale like a geologist would - using million, billion, thousand, and hundred year increments - Aldiss shows how man is the perfect seedling for populating the universe as well as the ultimate vehicle for its self-destruction. Man ruins the Earth, leaves Earth for the stars, tackles the problems of time travel through an intergrated form of speech-like alchemy, rediscovers a still populated Earth but does not belive it to be the Earth of myth, renames Earth as there are already hundreds of planets in the universe laying claim to that distinction, unifies the universe, institutes galactic warfare as a necessary economical device, and destroys the universe in a truely unique battle against man's successor. Time is the constant, and Aldiss makes us aware that we are just a silly soap opera for the infinate to enjoy for but a minute or two.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Galaxies Like Grains of Sand is a solid work of science fiction. It accomplishes what so many books in the genre surprisingly fail to do, which is to raise questions about our collective future based upon our past and present conditions. For those that want to consider far reaching ideas about our long-term societal and human evolutionary paths, Galaxies Like Grains of Sand has no shortage of such ideas.

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.
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