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The Long Earth by Terry Pratchett

The Long Earth (edition 2012)

by Terry Pratchett, Stephen Baxter

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1,333815,822 (3.63)1 / 98
Title:The Long Earth
Authors:Terry Pratchett
Other authors:Stephen Baxter
Info:Harper (2012), Edition: 1St Edition, Hardcover, 352 pages
Collections:Read but unowned

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The Long Earth by Terry Pratchett

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Showing 1-5 of 80 (next | show all)
Disappointed in what would have made a unique combination of Baxter and Pratchett. However, the story lacked the humor and fun of Pratchett and the hard science fiction of Baxter. What remained was a story without focus, humor, or character depth. ( )
  seanvk | Jun 30, 2014 |
The Long Earth was fascinating and thought provoking. I have to say I tried again and again to engage my husband in conversation about "what if" and all the thoughts that this story brought to mind.

I do lament that there wasn't as much of Terry Pratchett's signature humor as I was anticipating. I could definitely see some of it here and there but I surely wanted more. A downside is it took me quite awhile to finish this one. I thought I would gobble it down in a day but for some reason I just couldn't get sucked in, even though I did really enjoy it, there was just so much awesome description and things to read about, all the POSSIBILITIES I SAY!!! haha.

I really think part of what gave me trouble was that I couldn't pin down until about 100 pages the main characters in the book were. Also, this was a very slow moving read, there wasn't enough action compelling you forward. It was a book for contemplating. There was so much rich explanation and jumping forward and backward in time that I didn't feel the urgency to finish it quickly that I do with some books. I didn't see a main story arc progressing. Even by the end of the book I thought - now what was REALLY the plot?

Because it moves a lot from character to character, stringing a bunch of things and events together I was often wondering "why the heck did they choose to include this person's story" only to understand their madness later on during the book. It did give me a bit of a disjointed feeling.

The Long Earth had a lot of interesting scenarios and things that made you think, "is that how humanity would really react?" moments - but ultimately I felt like it was incomplete. The book ended way too abruptly. Yes, the main character Joshua figured out a few major things with his traveling companions, and there was character growth on his part that I was happy with but most of the last events in the book seemed so anticlimactic. Once I did reach the end of the book my reaction was "Is that IT???" It just didn't feel like its own complete story...even if a book is meant to be a series I still think the individual book should be able to stand on its own. Obviously, I think there is going to be another book, and while I enjoyed this one I'm not foaming at the mouth for the next one if it goes in a similar fashion as this one. I'll of course read it though *evil laughter* ( )
  Pabkins | Jun 24, 2014 |
This is the first Terry Pratchett novel I've read that wasn't set in Discworld. Actually, it's a collaboration between Pratchett and Stephen Baxter (who is apparently a science fiction writer of some note). I've been told that Pratchett was diagnosed years ago with Alzheimer's Disease and isn't up to carrying out a novel unassisted any longer.
It's an interesting book about interdimensional travel to other earths. The authors give us a lot to think about, together with three compelling characters and a plot that wanders considerably. But I missed the quirks that pepper the Discworld novels. ( )
  dickmanikowski | Jun 10, 2014 |
46. The Long Earth Terry Pratchett Stephen Baxter
I read this know because: I've had this on the WL for a while and saw it in the library

This is one that I've been wanting to read for a while, as the idea appealed a lot: a seemingly limitless numbers of alternate Earths open up for exploration with one crucial difference from the original - no human inhabitants. And I was really looking forward to it: unfortunately, while it was a reasonable read it didn't really live up to my expectations. I'm not sure the combination of the two authors worked particularly well. There are doses of Terry Pratchett (one of the main characters is a computer, located temporarily in a drinks machine, who claims to be the reincarnated soul of a Tibetan motorcycle repair man) but there is much more Stephen Baxter and about a third of the way through I realised that with both the Stephen Baxter books I'd read previously (Flood and Time's Eye) I had ended up feeling slightly disastisfied, and I had a strong suspicion that this was going to happen again...

On Step Day the world changes forever. From an anonymous posting on the internet people start building steppers, which allows them to step into an alternative version of the Earth. An Earth with no people, where forests spread from coast to coast. And soon it's clear that there is not just one Earth, but hundreds, thousands, millions even, nobody knows, that seemingly go on and on for ever, each one slightly different to the one before. In some the comet that wiped out the dinosaurs never hit the Earth; in others the ice still covers the globe. And soon settlers from the original Earth move out to find themselves a new life on one of the new. But whereas most people need the stepper to move between worlds, there are some who do not need one to travel between worlds. Joshua Valiente is one of these, and one who does not feel the nauseous disorientation that is felt by most people on stepping. So it is Joshua that the computer Lobsang (the drinks machine mentioned earlier) turns to when he decides to go exploring the long Earth.

So while the premise was fine, I just didn't like the execution. I started working out the logistics of the whole Long earth premise: if say the population of Earth was 8 billion and 10% of its people decide to emigrate spread out between 100,000 worlds (actually make that 200,000 as there are worlds in both directions) then if the populations were spread out evenly there would be a maximum of 50,000 on each world. That's just about the population of the town I live in spread out over the entire world. So why do they keep meeting people - surely you could travel for years and never see another soul. And why is everyone in such an incredible hurry to emigrate anyway. Apparently it's the middle classes who go, the rich have too much to lose and the poor can't afford to. All I can say is that they must be a very different sort of middle classes from the ones I know: I can honestly say that I can't think of a single person who would want to go and live some Little House on the Prairie life, or who would have the skills to avoid starving to death in that situation. It's always a bad sign with a book when I start thinking about this sort of detail: it means that the story isn't drawing me along with it. I can happily ignore all sorts of unlikely details if I'm caught up in the plot, and after setting up the basic premise the plot here was very weak.

So I'm giving it 3 stars as I kept reading, and I will read the sequel, but a disappointment nevertheless. ( )
  SandDune | Jun 9, 2014 |
La tierra larga de Terry Pratchett, Stephen Baxter:
Las posibilidades son infinitas. (Pero ten cuidado con lo deseas)

1916: El frente occidental. El soldado Percy Blackeney despierta. Está tumbado sobre la fresca hierba de primavera. Puede oir el canto de los pájaros y el viento entre las hojas. ¿Dónde están el barro, la sangre y el bombardeado paisaje de la tierra de nadie? Es más, ¿dónde se ha metido Percy?

2015: Madison, Wisconsin. La oficial de policía Monica Jansson explora los restos incenciados de la casa de un huraño -algunos dicen que loco, otros peligroso- científico que parece haber desaparecido. Rebuscando entre los escombros, Jansson encuentra un curioso aparato: una caja que contiene un cableado rudimentario, un interruptor con tres posiciones... y una patata. Es el prototipo de una invención que cambiará la forma en que la humanidad ve el mundo para siempre.
  BibliotecaLardero | May 16, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 80 (next | show all)
The Long Earth harkens back to the old SF of the Fifties and Sixties, which revelled in the delight of discovering new worlds. But Pratchett and Baxter have essentially democratised space exploration, taking the joy of finding new Edens out of the hands of rocket-owning millionaires and governments and giving it to the masses. This is an accessible, fun and thoughtful SF novel that offers the potential for a multitude of stories as great as the myriad of Earths.
The Long Earth is a short read: the pages riffle past and there's much to enjoy. The dialogue is a bit Hollywood 101, and much of it is characters explaining things to other characters, sometimes at great length ("Why are you telling me all this?" Joshua asks at one point, with apparent ingenuousness). But it's a charming, absorbing and somehow spacious piece of imagineering for all that.
added by melmore | editThe Guardian, Adam Roberts (Jun 20, 2012)

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Terry Pratchettprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Baxter, Stephenmain authorall editionsconfirmed
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For Lyn and Rhianna, as always

For Sandra
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In a forest glade:
Private Percy woke up to birdsong.
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
1916: the Western Front, France. Private Percy Blakeney wakes up. He is lying on fresh spring grass. He can hear birdsong, and the wind in the leaves in the trees. Where has the mud, blood and blasted landscape of No man's Land gone?

2015: Madison, Wisconsin. Cop Monica Jansson has returned to the burned-out home of one Willis Linsay, a reclusive and some said mad, others dangerous, scientist. It was arson but, as is often the way, the firemen seem to have caused more damage than the fire itself. Stepping through the wreck of a house, there's no sign of any human remains but on the mantelpiece Monica finds a curious gadget - a box, containing some wiring, a three-way switch and a...potato. It is the prototype of an invention that Linsay called a 'stepper'. An invention he put up on the web for all the world to see, and use, an invention that would to change the way mankind viewed his world Earth for ever. And that's an understatement if ever there was one...

...because the stepper allowed the person using it to step sideways into another America, another Earth, and if you kept on stepping, you kept on entering even more Earths...this is the Long Earth. It's not our Earth but one of chain of parallel worlds, lying side by side each differing from its neighbour by really very little (or actually quite a lot). It's an infinite chain, offering 'steppers' an infinite landscape of infinite possibilities. And the further away you travel, the stranger - and sometimes more dangerous - the Earths get. The sun and moon always shine, the basic laws of physics are the same. However, the chance events which have shaped our particular Earth, such as the dinosaur-killer asteroid impact, might not have happened and things may well have turned out rather differently.

But, until Willis Linsay invented his stepper, only our Earth hosted mankind...or so we thought. Because it turns out there are some people who are natural 'steppers', who don't need his invention and now the great migration has begun
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0062067753, Hardcover)

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. . . .

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:30:14 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

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 "stepper" enables a person using it to step sideways into another America, another wherever that person happened to be, another Earth. And if the person using it keeps on stepping, they keep on entering even more Earths. This is the Long Earth. And the further away a stepper travels, the stranger -- and sometimes more dangerous -- the Earths become.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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