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The Long Earth by Terry Pratchett
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The Long Earth (edition 2012)

by Terry Pratchett, Stephen Baxter

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
1,7831073,936 (3.62)1 / 113
Member:jmgold
Title:The Long Earth
Authors:Terry Pratchett
Other authors:Stephen Baxter
Info:Harper (2012), Edition: 1St Edition, Hardcover, 352 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Rating:***
Tags:None

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The Long Earth by Terry Pratchett

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English (106)  French (1)  All languages (107)
Showing 1-5 of 106 (next | show all)
I love Pratchett's stuff and I just knew I would love this too. What a fun journey and amazingly fascinating concept. I had/have so many questions about how life would be in their world. Please tell me they're writing more... ( )
  bjoelle5 | Feb 6, 2016 |
Marvelous. A book that neither of them could have written alone, but together have created something as good as Douglas Adams might have done if he had lived longer.
Terry Pratchett brings his sense of people; Stephen Baxter brings his sense of science and together have made something wonderful. ( )
  Superenigmatix | Jan 16, 2016 |
I am not sure about this book. Check out why in my review: http://girlsguidetoscifi.blogspot.ca/2013/03/east-or-west-review-of-long-earth.h....

( )
  Girlscifi | Jan 16, 2016 |
The stepper is a crude, bizarre, but nevertheless incredible invention that allows people to "step" from this universe to the next, and the next. Most steps land you on alternate earths, but completely free of humans - a new delightful wilderness to explore. A few have violent elf like creatures to contend with, others have peaceful song-loving "trolls". What does stepping do to humanity? Well, millions immediately escape to explore these wildernesses and forge a new life, and the global economy is heavily shaken because of this. Others are unable to step at all, even with a stepper, and stay firmly on the original earth. A very few, though, seem very naturally to be able to step, without machines, even to distant alternate universes, rather than just neighbouring ones. Joshua Valiente is one such natural stepper. He teams up with an AI, who claims to have been a Tibetan motorcycle repair mechanic in a previous life, on a zeppelin that is, in effect, an extension of the AI's mind, and they see how far they can go - up to over a million universe, or earths, away. There is a dangerous pressure pushing all types of creatures back towards the original earth. What is it? And will it end up destroying earth itself? In the meantime, the social, political and cultural ramifications of stepping are thoroughly explored, as are the violent paranoias surrounding it.

There is a lot to love about this novel. It is intensely imaginative, thoroughly fascinating, and constantly gripping. The AI, very reminiscent of the impish artificial minds in Iain Bank's Culture novels, is loads of fun as a character. Unfortunately, the last section of the novel chooses for this mysterious danger a rather strange, grating plot choice. This, along with many other features, are entirely unresolved by the end of the novel, and I felt rather cheated that so many cliffhangers were present at the last page. Because of this, it felt more like an episode in a series than a complete novel in itself. ( )
  RachDan | Jan 13, 2016 |
The pages kept turning, but nothing was happening.

This is a long, slow book. This is not a stand-alone book so there wasn't even an end. I didn't really care about the characters or their mission.

The concept of Earth evolving in different ways based on geologic, atmospheric, or other grand scale events is interesting. However, the idea that only the exact events of Earth's history would have led to humanoids that build cities seems implausible. Also, while this is an interesting backdrop, there was not an interesting plot to go along with it and after a while it's just a backdrop and loses interest.

I feel no need to continue with this series.
( )
  kparr | Dec 31, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 106 (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
Stevens, Michael FentonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Lyn and Rhianna, as always
T.P.

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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:57 -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)

» see all 7 descriptions

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