The fourth novel in Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter’s internationally bestselling “Long Earth” series, hailed as “a brilliant science fiction collaboration . . . a love letter to all Pratchett fans, readers, and lovers of wonder everywhere” (Io9).
2045-2059. Human society continues to evolve on Datum Earth, its battered and weary origin planet, as the spread of humanity progresses throughout the many Earths beyond.
Lobsang, now an elderly and complex AI, suffers a breakdown, and disguised as a human attempts to live a “normal” life on one of the millions of Long Earth worlds. His old friend, Joshua, now in his fifties, searches for his father and discovers a heretofore unknown family history. And the super-intelligent post-humans known as “the Next” continue to adapt to life among “lesser” humans.
But an alarming new challenge looms. An alien planet has somehow become “entangled” with one of the Long Earth worlds and, as Lobsang and Joshua learn, its voracious denizens intend to capture, conquer, and colonize the new universe—the Long Earth—they have inadvertently discovered.
World-building, the intersection of universes, the coexistence of diverse species, and the cosmic meaning of the Long Earth itself are among the mind-expanding themes explored in this exciting new installment of Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter's extraordinary Long Earth series.
The fourth installment of Baxter and the late Pratchett's ambitious Long Earth saga (after The Long Mars) makes it clear that their imagination and world-building know no limits. In the years since the Yellowstone eruption devastated the original Earth, humans have spread out across the millions of parallel worlds known as the Long Earth, taking advantage of ample resources and near-infinite room. The AI Lobsang has faked his death and now lives a simple life on Earth West 1,217,756 along with his partner, Agnes, and their adopted son. However, that idyllic world hides a bizarre secret: metallic alien bugs have infiltrated from a previously unknown location and are steadily destroying the planet. Lobsang, along with old friends Joshua Valiente and Sally Linsay, must find a way to stop them before the entire Long Earth is imperiled. Despite the epic scope and attention to scientific detail, the authors never lose sight of the human touch even if that human is an AI. Even so, the text is infused with an introspective air of loss, undermining the story's ultimate impact.