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The Long Earth [Hardcover]

Terry Pratchett , Stephen Baxter
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
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Book Description

July 9 2012 The Long Earth
The UK's bestselling fantasy writer and a giant of British SF combine forces to write an astonishing, mind-bending new series... The Long Earth.
 
2015: Madison, Wisconsin. Junior cop Sally Jansson is called out to the house of Willis Lynsey, a reclusive scientist, for an animal-cruelty complaint: the man was seen forcing a horse in through the door of his home. Inside there is no horse. But Sally finds a kind of home-made utility belt. She straps this on -- and 'steps' sideways into an America covered with virgin forest. Willis came here with equipment and animals, meaning to explore and colonise. And when Sally gets back, she finds Willis has put the secret of the belt on the internet. The great migration has begun...
 
The Long Earth: our Earth is but one of a chain of parallel worlds, lying side by side in a higher space of possibilities, each differing from its neighbours by a little (or a lot): an infinite landscape of infinite possibilities. And the further away you travel, the stranger the worlds get. The sun and moon always shine, the basic laws of physics are the same. However, the chance events which have shaped our particular version of Earth, such as the dinosaur-killer asteroid impact, might not have happened and things may well have turned out rather differently. But only our Earth hosts mankind.

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Review

"An absorbing collaborative effort from two SF giants...a marriage made in fan heaven - Pratchett's warmth and humanity allied to Baxter's extraordinarily fertile science-fictional imagination...I, for one, found it extremely refreshing...There's much to enjoy...it's a charming, absorbing and somehow spacious piece of imagineering." -- Adam Roberts Guardian "The idea of parallel Earths is one of the most enduring that science fiction has given us, but rarely has it been explored with quite so much gusto as in this new novel by two of the giants of British speculative fiction... a triumph... 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." -- David Barnett Independent "***** Literary alchemy...In the hands of Pratchett and Baxter, the possibilites are almost infinite...It's a story that revels in big ideas...You can sense the excitement of the authors as they toy with the labyrinthine possibilities of their premise, and it's infectious...The canvas of the Long Earth is so vast, so full of storytelling potential, that it would be a crime not to explore further...thrillingly expansive, joyously inventive and utterly engrossing." SFX "[Pratchett] succeeds in working seamlessly with Baxter, with his ever-present whimsy...adding a welcome shot of fun to the world of science fiction." -- Alison Flood Sunday Times "a wonderfully rich fantasy, full of ingenuity, humour and some rather deep thoughts" Reader's Digest

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

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing book! Sept. 30 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I need to start by mentioning my surprise that there's a novel by Stephen Baxter that doesn't involve a divorced man recruiting his ex-wife for a crazy scheme.

I'm a huge Terry Pratchett fan. I adore his Discworld series. This, however, is nothing like Discworld. It's just... amazing. It's a good way to combine Baxter's ability to devise interesting universes and science, but without using the same cut and paste plot that every other book of his I've read has. If you like your science fiction to be heavy on exploration and exposition, READ THIS BOOK!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Stunning visualisations and hopefully more to follow this one. The good combination of the two writers and I await the sequel.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A long-winded prologue to another story? Feb. 11 2013
Format:Hardcover
Like many others, I suppose, I read this book because Terry Pratchett is listed as primary author. And I read it all the way through to the end, expecting at any moment one of those brilliantly funny, laugh-out-loud paragraphs that are the hallmark of inspired Pratchett.

There aren't any. There's barely even a mildly amusing sentence. There's nothing remotely like the wickedly acidic social commentary of Pratchett at his best. You could tell me that Pratchett had never seen this book, let alone written it, and I'd believe you.

Instead, there's a moderately interesting voyage through multiple versions of the Earth, only one of which contains humans. In all the others, humans never evolved. Most humans can "step" sideways into a parallel Earth using a "stepper box" -- a few can do so unassisted and some can't "step" at all. Our hero, along with the super-AI Lobsang (think 2001's Hal), sets off on a journey across a couple of million parallel Earths. They meet some moderately interesting creatures but never really stop to investigate, come across a couple of moderately interesting colonies of Earth humans but never really stop to investigate, finally meet one enormous Alien Being but never really stop to investigate, hightail it back home to find that their hometown has been blown up by jealous non-stepping humans. The End.

Errmmm .. I'm definitely left thinking, So What? There's no conflict, no suspense, no subtle building of tension. True, some good s-f is mostly an investigation of ideas -- but the parallel-universes idea is hardly new, and none of the other ideas are really developed. I understand that this story is intended as the first of a series -- but I think it could safely have been condensed to a prologue.
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Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
What if there were infinite variations on the world we know -- and you could reach them by walking (some with the aid of a cheap and simple-to-build device, some by natural talent -- some not at all)? Pratchett and Baxter explore (literally) the many Earths and their impact on the world we know and also examine what makes us human -- or equal to human -- with Pratchett whimsy and Baxter speculative skill.
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Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
neat premise for a series - good read for both Long earth and Long War - waiting for the third book!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good book May 8 2014
By Jeff
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book intrigued me and got me back into reading after a couple of year hiatus. Looking forward to picking up the next book in the series.
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