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. . . .
In this thought-provoking collaboration, Pratchett (the Discworld series) and Baxter (Stone Spring) create an infinity of worlds to explore. A revolutionary process known as Stepping has allowed humanity access to an unlimited number of parallel Earths, all devoid of human life. The further one travels, the stranger the variant worlds become. Joshua Valiente, one of a rare breed who can Step without external help, is hired by the transEarth Institute to travel by airship across the Long Earth, exploring as far as possible. Accompanied by Lobsang, a Tibetan reincarnated as an artificial intelligence, he journeys across millions of Earths, discovering just what sort of bizarre secrets lurk in the farthest reaches. The slow-burning plot plays second fiddle to the fascinating premise, and the authors seem to have more fun developing backstory and concepts than any real tension. An abrupt conclusion comes as an unwelcome end to this tale of exploration.
Customer ReviewsSee All
End Came Too Quick
I think that all the nuances of stepping could have been fleshed out much more. Otherwise this is a great book to read while traveling.
Ejoyable but not perfect
The Long Earth is at times entertaining, but lacks a certain narrative cohesion to be truly great. The main element in the book - transporting or "stepping" into alternative earths - I found a bit silly, although eventually it won me over. The main story is interrupted by several B stories, most of which aren't really developed. I get this is the first book in a series and all, but I'd liked to have seen the subplots more fully developed or put aside altogether with the main story be focused on. Overall, it was a decent book, but I'm not sure if I will read the other books in the series.
Should be classified as young adult science fiction.