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Galileo's Children: Tales of Science Vs. Superstition Hardcover – August 9, 2005

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 346 pages
  • Publisher: Pyr; First Edition edition (August 9, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591023157
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591023159
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 6.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,197,961 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

The children of the title of veteran editor Dozois' latest anthology are champions of science who defy the forces of dogma and superstition as Galileo did in the 1600s when he upheld, in private correspondence if not in the teeth of a grand inquisitor, the Copernican model of the solar system. As Dozois underlines in a brief, historical introduction, the defenders of truth have included not only groundbreaking scientists but also, and not surprisingly, sf writers. Assembled under the title's noble banner are 13 masterfully written stories by some of the genre's most respected names, including Arthur C. Clarke, Ursula K. Le Guin, Robert Silverberg, and Greg Egan. The selections range from the chilling, such as Paul Park's vision of a morally blighted future America ruled by Creationists, to the philosophical, as in Brendan DuBois' poignant tale of an aging astronaut facing Luddite neighbors after a social collapse. Enhanced by Dozois' insightful introductions to each author, the collection demonstrates that protecting scientific truth against political and religious meddlers can be entertaining as well as enlightening. Carl Hays
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved


"The stories in this collection pay tribute to the idea that no matter how tidy our technological civilization is--it is still a fragile one. And once broken, all the bigotry and intolerance of the Old World may sweep over what progress has been made." --The Short Review

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Blue Tyson on July 31, 2007
Format: Hardcover
A collection with the theme of persecuted scientists, in general. Dozois has to together a high quality collection, which is not all that easy with a theme presumably (Stories 3.61 average). There is also a decent intro.

Galileo's Children : The Stars Below - Ursula K. Le Guin
Galileo's Children : The Will of God - Keith Roberts
Galileo's Children : The Way of Cross and Dragon - George R.R. Martin
Galileo's Children : The Pope of the Chimps - Robert Silverberg
Galileo's Children : The World Is a Sphere - Edgar Pangborn
Galileo's Children : Written in Blood - Chris Lawson
Galileo's Children : Falling Star - Brendan DuBois
Galileo's Children : Three Hearings On the Existence of Snakes In Human Bloodstream - James Alan Gardner
Galileo's Children : The Star - Arthur C. Clarke
Galileo's Children : The Last Homsxual - Paul Park
Galileo's Children : The Man Who Walked Home - James TiptreeJr
Galileo's Children : When the Old Gods Die - Mike Resnick
Galileo's Children : Oracle - Greg Egan

Telescopic mining.

4 out of 5

Demonic telecommunications.

3 out of 5

Judas Star Knights.

3.5 out of 5

Talking ape theology just as mistakenly murderous as the human variety.

4 out of 5

Post-apocalyptic global idea recovery retribution.

3.5 out of 5

Religious DNA transcription is a killer vulnerability.

4.5 out of 5

After a serious virus destroys computer chips, years later an old astronaut has to deal with the peasants in his town.

4 out of 5

Bloodwork shows religious interbreeding problematic.

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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The theme of this story collection is superstition versus science. The stories were written between the 1970s through the 1990s. Some of the stories are overly-didactic and some are clever and engaging.

I found the first stories to be unnecessarily didactic, but the quality of the stories seemed to pick up midway through the book.

The stories include:

The Stars Below by Ursula K. Le Guin - an odd science fantasy where a persecuted scientist builds a "telescope" for mining.The story went on too long for no particular pay-off.

The Will of God by Keith Roberts - another wish-fulfilment story where one medieval man recreates all the technological innovations invented between 1650 and 1950 all by himself. Again, it was too long with no particular pay-off.

The Way of Cross and Dragon by George R.R. Martin - An inquisitor of a future Catholic Church confronts a heresy on an alien planet and the inventor of the heresy cheerfully admits it is all nonsense. Nice writing; weak conclusion.

The Pope of the Chimps by Robert Silverberg - Chimps are taught a language and develop religion. Interesting and well-done.

The World is a Sphere by Edgar Pangborn - Long after the collapse of our civilization, the Mispans in Nawlins are having a a political crisis and the Deliberator of the Ninth Ward finds an artifact that suggests that the world is round. Nice world-building that reminded me of classic science fiction, and made me want to read more, but the ending is weak.

Written in the Blood by Chris Lawson - Scientist learns how to transcribe language into DNA and uses the technology to write the Koran into the white blood cells of pious Muslims. A well-written but weak story.
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Pauline Aksungur on November 11, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I found the first stories in this book somewhat dull. But the Pope of the Chimps on page 97, it began to be more interesting. Then, from Written in Blood on page 149, I enjoyed the remaining stories very much. Although Arthur C. Clarke is one of my favorite authors, I thought that his story called The Star didn't quite match the other stories in the book. They are concerned with the struggle of science against superstition and The Star seemed to me to be the other way around.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Nash Android on May 22, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I normally prefer novels to short stories but the title of this book attracted my attention and the publisher is known for high quality works. While some of the stories in this collection were less than inspiring or thought provoking, the overall theme was the conflict between scientific thinking and dogmatic belief. This is always a worthwhile question for speculative fiction to expore.
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