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The Long Earth Hardcover – June 19, 2012

Book 1 of 4 in the Long Earth Series

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Product Details

  • Series: Long Earth (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; First Edition edition (June 19, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780062067753
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062067753
  • ASIN: 0062067753
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (570 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #135,023 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Stay tuned for the next episode of a very old-fashioned sf quest yarn (think Jules Verne and 2001) that, since Pratchett is involved, is crammed with scientifically informed amusement.” (Booklist)

“In this thought-provoking collaboration, Pratchett (the Discworld series) and Baxter (Stone Spring) create an infinity of worlds to explore… fascinating premise…” (Publishers Weekly)

The Long Earth is a brilliant Science Fiction collaboration with Stephen Baxter: a love letter to all Pratchett fans, readers, and lovers of wonder everywhere… This novel is a gift to be shared with anyone who loves to be amazed.” (Io9)

“The writing is elegant and witty...The worlds of the Long Earth are all richly rendered, and even the walk-on characters are deftly imagined…and the potential seems endless not just for the characters, but for Pratchett and Baxter as well.” (Tor.com)

“ The Long Earth is the solid start of a series with infinite potential.” (Shelf Awareness)

From the Back Cover

The possibilities are endless. (Just be careful what you wish for. . . .)

1916: The Western Front. Private Percy Blakeney wakes up. He is lying on fresh spring grass. He can hear birdsong and the wind in the leaves. Where have the mud, blood, and blasted landscape of no-man's-land gone? For that matter, where has Percy gone?

2015: Madison, Wisconsin. Police officer Monica Jansson is exploring the burned-out home of a reclusive—some say mad, others allege dangerous—scientist who seems to have vanished. Sifting through the wreckage, Jansson find a curious gadget: a box containing some rudimentary wiring, a three-way switch, and . . . a potato. It is the prototype of an invention that will change the way humankind views the world forever.

The first novel in an exciting new collaboration between Discworld creator Terry Pratchett and the acclaimed SF writer Stephen Baxter, The Long Earth transports readers to the ends of the earth—and far beyond. All it takes is a single step. . . .


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Customer Reviews

Not the type of book you would expect from Terry Pratchett, but well worth the read for any Pratchett fan.
paul pedron
It's well written , has some engaging characters, a good plot line that is interesting, but it also goes on and on at times about nothing.
N. Edwards
I do not like getting to the end of the book and wondering whether the publisher just left of the last chapters by mistake.
John Barelli

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

362 of 383 people found the following review helpful By Michael J. Lipphardt on June 29, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Take Terry Pratchett, known for the Discworld stories which are unformly good to superb, full of dry, satirical wit and almost always with a point to make. Take Stephen Baxter, known for his thoughtful, in depth hard SF. Put them together and you get....

Eh.

In truth there is very little Pratchett in this book. There is none of his humor or insight. The hard SciFi was equally disappointing. There are many MANY exciting and fascinating concepts that would have made this pure awesomeness. Believable machine intelligence. Multiple Earths which diverge in physical and biological evolution the further you get from home Earth (Datum Earth in the story). Multiple sapient intelligences springing from differing roots. None of which are explored. There are interactions between humans and non-humans. None of THAT is explored either. There are conflicts between the humans that can visit the parallel Earths and those who cannot. Not explored. There is a world-ending threat. Not explored. There is endless potential here for further stories based on the universe, but this one does nothing except showcase the place. Even the explosion of a pocket nuke in a major urban center is a so-what event.

There is a mish-mash of fantasy/occult and hard scifi - both of which I like, but neither of which dominates the story and neither of which, again, is explored. I know there were a lot of good concepts in this book and you can't explore them all, but for goodness sake explore SOMETHING. Just when you think this might get good, it wanders off onto another tangent or back to a character that is so utterly colorless you couldn't care less about them. Tell me how human society is affected by the "trolls" (one of the species encountered, and the most interesting).
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91 of 98 people found the following review helpful By D. Collison on July 5, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It wasn't a *bad* book. Nor was it an *awesome* book.

Lets start with the good. It was an intriguing story concept which was handled well and thoroughly (the concept mind you). The overarching theme and its impact on society got my attention and held it, and I enjoyed the descriptions of all the various worlds.

But it felt much more like Baxter than Pratchett. There were a few spots where I felt Pratchett's wit and exploration of what it means to be human shone through, but too few. It really should have listed Baxter as the first author in this respect.

Also, it was more of a 'showcase of a reality' than a story. There was too much ground covered (literally and idea-wise) to explore any one concept or thread fully. Too many things had to be glossed over. Overall I would have preferred more depth and split into two books I think. It seemed they set it up for a sequel (the end was abrupt and not satisfying to me).

I feel, had they cut the main story arc at about the halfway mark, they could have spent some time developing further to explore the socio-economic impacts of the changes and how that impacted the characters directly. As it was, as a reader I felt VERY insulated from the society and the characters. I had a hard time becoming invested in the characters much less the societal upheaval. And there were a few characters that I just never understood their motivations. Leaving your child behind and never looking back? Never suffering self-doubt or angst over it? Really? Ridiculously unbelievable.
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168 of 196 people found the following review helpful By Susan Tunis TOP 500 REVIEWER on June 18, 2012
Format: Paperback
Here's the thing... I'm wary of science fiction. It's not my favorite genre. But this book is absolutely the real deal science fiction, and in a nutshell, I LOVED IT. Of course, it didn't hurt having Terry Pratchett as one of the co-authors, making everything just a bit less intimidating. Discworld and Good Omens fans may gravitate towards this book expecting broad humor, but I'll tell you right now that while there's plenty of humor, it is nowhere near that overt. No, this is totally legit science fiction. I detect the presence of Stephen Baxter. Who knew these two would collaborate so beautifully?

The story of The Long Earth is a bit of a challenge to summarize. Oddly, I have read a "product description" of this book in several places that bears ABSOLUTELY no relation to the plot or characters of this book. (And I find myself wondering if that is the description of book 2 in what will apparently be a series?) In this book, the citizens of Earth have just learned a new trick. A possibly mad, and definitely mysterious, scientist has invented a device called a "stepper." It's simple enough to be constructed by a schoolchild, and inexpensive enough to be powered by a potato. The scientist puts the plans for the stepper on the Web, and then essentially disappears. Starting in his hometown of Madison, Wisconsin, and rapidly spreading across the planet, young people are the earliest adopters of this technology. They are the first to discover the multiverse.

"Most of those first-day steppers had come quickly back. Some had not. The poor tended to be more likely to stay away; rich people had more to give up back in Datum.
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