BookBanter Episode 28 with Kim Stanley Robinson

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On January 23rd I was given the opportunity to interview Kim Stanley Robinson, author of the award-winning Mars trilogy, as well as other bestselling books such as The Year of Rice and Salt and Forty Signs of Rain, in person at the Avid Reader Bookstore, in the city of Davis where Robinson resides. The interview was conducted a little while before his reading and signing for his latest book, Galileo’s Dream, which is a science fiction novel, but is also a biography of Galileo’s life, as well as his problems in dealing with the Church. During the interview, Robinson talked a lot about how he came up with Galileo’s Dream, how much work and research the book took. He also talked about what got him into writing, what he thinks readers will get out of reading his books, and what he’s working on next.

Thanks go to Sunny Baadkar and the Avid Reader in Davis for helping to organize and provide a very comfortable space to do the interview (and that’s classical music in the background from Capital Public Radio).

Featured in the episode are my reviews for: Galileo’s Dream, A Local Habitation by Seanan McGuire, The Burning Land by Bernard Cornwell, and Carrion Comfort by Dan Simmons.

This episode of BookBanter is brought to you by East Bay and Footlocker, leading world suppliers of athletic footwear, apparel and sports equipment, featuring top athletic brands such as Adidas, Reebok, Converse, and Nike.  Go to East Bay.com and use the code AFBOOK15 to receive 15% off your order, or the code AFBOOK20 to receive 20% off your order of $75 or more.  Or go to Footlocker.com and use the code AFBOOKFL to receive 15% off your order.

Please join me next month, on April 2nd (I’m avoiding April 1st because of its connotations) where a number of things will be happening: you’ll get to hear my interview with the incredibly talented minds behing the renowned web coming Penny Arcade; coupled with this will be a full site upgrade with a whole new look, new pages, new items to read, new layouts, even more book reviews with better and easier way to access them and find them, as well as a host of other additions and new items such as the original BookBanter theme song and a special recorded interview with yours truly on BookBanter, where it came, and where I’d like it to go in the future.

Until next time,

Alex C. Telander.

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“Galileo’s Dream” by Kim Stanley Robinson (Spectra, 2008)

Galileo's Dreamstarstarstarstar

Kim Stanley Robinson tries something different to his usual classic science fiction novels in Galileo’s Dream, employing a combined story of Galileo’s life as a scientist with an unusual setup on a moon of Saturn in the distant future.  The result is an incredible novel that uses all of the great styles and abilities that Robinson has to offer with his complex, developed writing style, the excellent research, the hard science fiction, and an incredible, unique story.

Galileo’s Dream essentially has two storylines going on that involve Galileo Galilei: one is the moving story of Galileo’s life in becoming a hard scientist, scrutinizing everything, researching and learning, coming up with new inventions, and studying the heavens every day.  As his popularity grows and his ideas and theories on the Copernican idea of the universe – that everything does not revolve around the Earth, but that the planets revolve around the sun – turn to proven facts in his mind and he tries to publish works claiming this, he begins to feel the wrath of the church and more importantly the Pope who he though would be an ally and is instead turning into an adversary.

The other story to Galileo’s Dream is when Galileo uses his recently invented telescope with superior lenses, he discovers the moons of Jupiter – which are known as the Galilean moons – and in a moment is magically transported from the seventeenth century to the year 3020 on the moon of Europa where he must help the strange looking inhabitants with their own problems.  Each time he is transported back to his time, he remembers a little more of his forays into the distant future.

Galileo’s Dream is a unique story that could only have been conceived of in the mind of Kim Stanley Robinson, taking the reader on a journey they won’t soon forget, as they learn about the incredible life of someone often referred to as the world’s first scientist, as well as being entertained by an engrossing science fiction story set in the thirty-first century.

If you liked this review and are interested in purchasing this book, click here.

Originally written on March 11th 2010 ©Alex C. Telander.

BookBanter Episode 27 with Seth Grahame-Smith

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This episode features my interview with Seth Grahame-Smith, who is the author of the original mash-novel that swept the world by storm, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, which is now being turned into a movie, as well as a graphic novel, and there’s even a prequel coming out soon. But most of our interview — after some initial discussion about Seth’s thoughts on zombies — was spent talking about his new book coming out March 2nd, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. In the interview, you learn where he came up with the idea for the book (which predates Pride and Prejudice and Zombies), how he went about writing the book with all the research. Seth also does a lot of TV work, which he talks about, as well as other projects he’s currently working on. There was a bit of an issue with the recording and sound quality, but the interview is clear enough and pretty interesting.

This episode features my reviews Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, and the new book, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter :

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

This episode of BookBanter is brought to you by East Bay and Footlocker, leading world suppliers of athletic footwear, apparel and sports equipment, featuring top athletic brands such as Adidas, Reebok, Converse, and Nike.  Go to East Bay.com and use the code AFBOOK15 to receive 15% off your order, or the code AFBOOK20 to receive 20% off your order of $75 or more.  Or go to Footlocker.com and use the code AFBOOKFL to receive 15% off your order.

For more updates and news, as wells as thoughts and comments about books and writing, be sure to check out the BookBanter Blog.

Be sure to join me on the next episode of BookBanter, coming March 15th, where I’ll be talking with bestselling author Kim Stanley Robinson, and we’ll be talking all about his latest book, Galileo’s Dream.

Until next time,

Alex C. Telander.

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Kim Stanley Robinson

Kim Stanley Robinson
Had great fun interviewing Kim Stanley Robinson, author of the award-winning Mars trilogy, which began with Red Mars.  We talked a lot about his new novel, Galileo’s Dream, which is all about Galileo’s life and his fight for the truth and science against the Church, and how he occasionally gets sucked up through his telescope and transported to the year 3020 to help some tall, strange looking people on the moons of Jupiter — yes, those Galilean moons.

Stan (which is the name he goes by) also talked a lot about writing and how he got started and what sort of science fiction writer he considers himself, who his influences are, and what he hopes readers get out of reading his books.  After the interview we also talked a little about Hollywood, movies, and optioning books.  Stan talked about his conversations with James Cameron, who was one of the first people to option Red Mars, and how apparently Cameron had his own “Mars” story he wanted to tell, which is why he returned the option.

Stan then did a reading and had a great Q&A session, going into entertaining and at times hilarious detail about the life of Galileo Galilei, and providing some rare and unknown secrets about the scientist’s life that he discovered while researching him and passed along to us.

The interview is recorded and should be appearing in Episode 26 of BookBanter on February 15th.  Thanks go to Sunny Baadkar and the Avid Reader in Davis for help setting up and hosting the interview.

Kim Stanley Robinson

Kim Stanley Robinson Interview

Looks like the Kim Stanley Robinson interview is pretty much a go and I’ll be interviewing the bestselling author of the Mars Trilogy some time this month.  While it’s not confirmed yet, there is a chance I’ll be interviewing him live in front of an audience at his signing on January 22nd at 7:30PM at the Avid Reader in Davis.

That would certainly be fun and exciting!

And Galileo’s Dream continues to be a fascinating read.

Kim Stanley Robinson’s “Galileo’s Dream”

Galileo's Dream

I know it’s been a while since I last posted, but since every contact I make with anyone in publishing bounces me back a “see you in the new year” response, it’s to be expected that we’re all operating at a slower and less frequent pace this time of year.  Though I promise to start it all rolling come the new year.

For the moment I just wanted to make the following comment:

I love science fiction!

The reason I’m making this comment is because I’m about a hundred pages into Kim Stanley Robinson’s latest book, Galileo’s Dream (which comes out today) and am loving it so far.

The story begins with Galileo, in his time, doing his thing: making incredible inventions, discovering incredible things, and changing the world.  With the development of what comes to be the telescope (and the help of a stranger) he sees the moon in a clear form that has never been witnessed before, and then turns his sights to Jupiter and its moons.  The Stranger then whisks him away to the moon Europa in the year 3020.

That’s all I’m going to say for now, as I don’t want to give too much of the story away, at least not until the review.  As I plan to interview Robinson for BookBanter, I look forward to finding out how he came up with this book, what it was that made him want to write it in such a way.  Because only in science fiction can you have a wonderful story of Galileo from the seventeenth century, and then be transported away in the matter of a second to a moon of Jupiter in the fourth millennium, over a thousand years from our time.

It does remind me a little of Dan Simmons’s Ilium and Olympos, which was another incredible science fiction epic set in our distant future.

Suffice to say, I look forward to what the rest of the book shall bring.  But if you can’t read for the review, and have to get the book right now, then just click here.

12/22 On the Bookshelf . . .

Today my copy of Kim Stanley Robinson’s new book, Galileo’s Dream, arrived which looks to be an interesting one.  After reviewing it I also hope to see about interviewing him for BookBanter, hopefully an in-person interview since he lives in Davis and is close by.  Also managed to snag a copy of Freedom by Daniel Suarez, which I’m looking forward to after his enjoying first novel, Daemon, Freedom being the sequel and all.

Galileo's Dream Freedom