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The Long Cosmos: A Novel (Long Earth) Hardcover – June 14, 2016
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"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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The thrilling conclusion to the internationally bestselling Long Earth series explores the greatest question of all What is the meaning of life 2070 71 Nearly six decades after Step Day a new society continues to evolve in the Long Earth Now a message has been received Join us The Next the hyper intelligent post humans realize that the missive contains instructions for kick starting the development of an immense artificial intelligence known as The Machine But to build this computer the size of an Earth continent they must obtain help from the more populous and still industrious worlds of mankind Meanwhile on a trek in the High Meggers Joshua Valiente now nearing seventy is saved from death when a troll band discovers him Living among the trolls as he recovers Joshua develops a deeper understanding of this collective intelligence species and its society He discovers that some older trolls with capacious memories act as communal libraries and live on a very strange Long Earth world in caverns under the root systems of trees as tall as mountains Valiente also learns something much more profound about life and its purpose in the Long Earth We cultivate the cosmos to maximize the opportunities for life and joy in this universe and to prepare for new universes to come
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This book picks up a couple of decades after the last novel and as such all of our favorite characters are much older and a bit more jaded than they were before. There is talk of a new expedition interleaved with some kind of "message" that people up and down the Long Earth are receiving, but it's frankly never explorer to my satisfaction. I just felt the book was more filler than substance, and perhaps fleshed out in large from by Stephen Baxter.
This is an okay book and if you're a fan of seeing how the series wraps up it's worth getting. It's simply not as interesting or as filled with "new ideas" as the previous books were. I don't really see how there will any more in the series unless they pick up the pace a bit, but we'll see.
How do you say goodbye? Especially to a beloved author who is now in the next realm. Sir Terry Pratchett, (who had numerous works to his name) left us in 2015. Happily he and Stephen Baxter left us this very satisfying, and yet bittersweet conclusion tho the series.
I would decidedly recommend that you do read the entire series, in order, before this. Otherwise, you simply won't get the full emotional impact of the book.
Our old, dear friends have one last tourney to make, and hopefully answer an invitation to all sentient beings in the Long Earth cascade. How they do what they do, and the interaction of these people are what keeps this book so close to the heart.
So, in the wise words of Dr. Seuss, "Don't cry because it's over, be happy that it happened!"
While the premises was interesting, a message from outerspace saying "JOIN US", I really think the conclusion was a big let-down. it was just .... nothing IMHO. Also I felt that what was happening in the book on one hand dragged out (Joshua V's sabtical) and in other places was rushed by (Agnes 'deat', the building of the big thingy etc). The pace simply felt wrong.
The book starts with the receipt of a message to come and "JOIN US". This message is received by all sentients in the Long Earth including humans, the Next, and trolls. The Next also used other electromagnetic detectors to obtain the entire text of the message and determined it was a set of instructions for building some kind of thinking machine. The Next then debated whether to build it. Would contact with advanced aliens lead to the annihilation or to the enlightenment of humanity.
The main focus of the book is on Joshua Valiente, but we also meet a slew of characters from the previous books in the series including Lobsang, Sister Agnes, Nelson Azikiwe, Roberta Golding, and Maggie Kauffman.
But to keep spoilers to a minimum, approach it with low expectations and it's still a good read.