Fenton Wood's “Hacking Galileo” Published


Fenton Wood, author of the Yankee Republic novels (Pirates of the Electromagnetic Waves and sequels, now collected into the Yankee Republic Omnibus) and Nightland Racer, has just published his latest young adult (ages 8–adult) novel, Hacking Galileo, with the Kindle edition released on 2023-05-01 and print editions to follow.

This story, set in an alternative 1980s that resembles those days of yore in our timeline, but differs in details, is a classic tale of a band of enterprising youth who delve beneath the surface of the technology of their time, stick it to the Man where that is amply justified, have a tremendous amount of good, clean fun and, oh yes, save their planet from an apocalyptic fate by innovation, subversion, and a bit of impromptu international diplomacy. While the story is the kind of adventure of the dreams of techno-nerds, the story is the hardest of “hard science fiction”, where the author goes to great pains to get the details right, including obscure aspects of technology and history you may think were made up until you research them for yourself. It’s hard science fiction, but not hard to read—the story is engaging, the characters are interesting, appealing, and may share attributes with the audience, and grow in realistic ways as the story plays out over the years.

The yarn is reminiscent of Bertrand R. Brinley’s The Mad Scientists’ Club stories from the 1960s, but the characters are more mature and believable, the science is more advanced and plausible, and the ultimate stakes are immensely greater. I was also reminded of John T. Frye’s classic “Carl and Jerry” stories which ran between 1954 and 1964 in Popular Electronics and inspired some of my own adventures in electronics back in the day.

While the novel is termed “young adult” and is completely accessible to and appropriate for young readers, adults who are anything but young, like myself, will find it never speaks down to the reader and, as with Robert A. Heinlein’s “juvenile” novels, the more you know about technology and the way the world works, the more you’ll enjoy the tale and appreciate the author’s achievement in getting things right.

I was a volunteer beta reader for this book and had the opportunity to read it in manuscript form before publication. I greatly appreciate the chance to get an early look at the work and see it evolve into the final form published today, and recommend it without qualification.


Bought with One Click. Thanks for the recommendation.


One day after publication!


As I noted, it’s not just for “young adults”, but they’ll certainly enjoy it.


The paperback edition is now available. The price at Amazon is currently US$ 10. The ISBN is 9798393069193, one of those new-fangled 979 ISBNs they’ve started giving out since they ran out of 978s in 2020. ISBN-13s with a 979 prefix cannot be mapped into an ISBN-10, so Amazon, which only recognises ISBN-10s as product IDs, assigns their own ASIN (Amazon Standard Identification Number) codes for such books; this book’s is B0C2RPBMRM.


Bought my copy. Fenton Wood is a national treasure.


Having just finished Herman Wouk’s marvelous epic, Youngblood Hawke, I am now a few pages into Hacking Galileo.


Just finished Hacking Galileo. Though much of the technical hacking jargon passed me by, I can say it is a deliciously subversive book with an interesting plot and characters who really are ‘characters’. Unfortunately for those of us who remember the erstwhile, mostly decent US of A, it tells it like it now is.