Kim Stanley Robinson's alternate time-travel life of Galileo, GALILEO'S DREAM

Here's the Guardian's Alison Flood's detailed look at Kim Stanley Robinson's latest novel, Galileo's Dream, a fictionalized biography of Galileo that features time-travel.

What he came up with was three different temporal dimensions – the first moving very fast, at the speed of light, the second very slow and "vibrating slowly back and forth, as if the universe itself were a single string or bubble", the third – antichronos – in reverse. We experience them as one, creating a three-way interference pattern, which accounts for sensations such as foresight, déjà vu, nostalgia and precognition. The compound nature of time, Robinson writes, "creates our perception of both transience and permanence, of being and becoming". He's shown the novel to people who are "much more serious about the time travel stuff" and they're "having a blast". "They immediately map my three strands of time onto their system. They think I've partially discovered the real thing," he says gleefully…

So Galileo makes his telescope. He sees the Seven Sisters constellation, surrounded by "thickets of lesser stars, granulated almost to white dust in places … No one else in the history of the world had ever seen these stars, until this very night, this very moment". He discovers Jupiter's four moons. He studies acceleration and motion. He observes sunspots. He frequently, frequently rings "like a struck bell" as his genius strikes: "Here it was, the truth of the situation – the cosmos revealed in a single stroke as being one way rather than another. The Earth was spinning under his feet, also rolling around the sun … Again he rang like a bell. His flesh buzzed like struck bronze, his hair stood on end. How things worked; it had to be; and he rang." He stamps on the ground after he is tried by the Inquisition for supporting Copernicanism: "'It still moves!' he said. 'Eppur si muove!'"

Kim Stanley Robinson: science fiction's realist

(Thanks, Robert!)