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The Long Earth Hardcover – June 19, 2012
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“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. . . .
Top Customer Reviews
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).Read more ›
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.Read more ›
The authors excel at staging short vignettes of different characters, and how each was affected by the discovery of the Long Earth, but the story never really comes together. The most interesting question is how thee economy and politics of our earth is changed by the discovery of these unlimited rsources (gold is suddenly worthless, for example), and how extremists emerge who see the practice of 'stepping' as unnatural and dangerous. The main plot, which is basically a story of exploration, doesn't really hold the reader's attention though.
A thought-provoking, enjoyable read - but certainly not earth-shattering.
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Was a good read, would like to see a movie out of this. I read it pretty fast and the end was like really... Going to be a book 2 right. Read morePublished 3 days ago by The Fly
Absolutely loved the mix of Pratchett and Baxter. I will without a doubt be reading the rest of the series! Particularly enjoyed the cross over between Long Earth and Discworld. Read morePublished 4 days ago by Shaun Seaman
The Long Earth concept is an interesting idea which prompted some thought while I read this book. However, I was disappointed with this work and the sequel, The Long War.Published 5 days ago by Philip Henderson
The Long Earth was fun and unpredictable. I read at least 30 books from Pratchett's Disc World series, but this was really different; possibly because it wasn't as fanciful as... Read morePublished 7 days ago by james elwell