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 Post subject: The Long Earth. Terry Pratchett & Stephen Baxter.
PostPosted: Sat Jun 22, 2013 9:46 am 
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I thought I'd write a small review of this having just finished it.


The story opens 15 years after Step Day.
The day that a design for a Stepper was released on the internet.

A Stepper can be made from odds and ends you can take from things you have at home.
You end up with a small box with a switch labeled North and South and powered by a potato!
Flicking the switch moved you into the infinity of alternate Earths one world at a time.

The story follows Joshua a natural Stepper, who doesn't need a box to Step and Lobsang, an AI who may or may not also be a reincarnated Tibetan motorcycle repairman!
Lobsang wants to find out if there's an end to the alternate Earths (all of which seems empty of mankind).
The main thrust of the tale is these two exploring the alternate Earths, or the Long Earth as its called and all the people and creatures they encounter. Together with a number of flashbacks filling in the 15 years from Step Day to the current time and how Stepping has changed the world.


I really enjoyed this. One of the best books I read this year (and maybe last year as well).
It has flashes of Pratchett humor, but not too much (if you're expecting Discworld laughs, look elsewhere). And far less of Baxter's hard SF (which, personally I don't find a bad thing).

One warning (maybe a spoiler).

If you like stories with a definite ending, you might want to wait.
This reads more like a set up for series (in fact number 2, 'The Long War' is out this month. Its claimed this will be just 2 books, if its they're a success you can bet there'll be more...).


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 Post subject: Re: The Long Earth. Terry Pratchett & Stephen Baxter.
PostPosted: Sat Jun 22, 2013 4:38 pm 
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I didn't manage to finish it when I tried it, I might pick it up again at some point.

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 Post subject: Re: The Long Earth. Terry Pratchett & Stephen Baxter.
PostPosted: Sat Jun 22, 2013 4:55 pm 
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I enjoyed this immensely, though I must confess to cheating and listening to the audiobook rather than reading it.

What I found most interesting is that the collaboration worked really well. It toned downed Pratchett's increasingly preachy tone, and made the usually very hard SF of Baxter much more accessible. Reminded me a bit of Good Omens in that regard. Would be nice to see more of these collaborations in future.


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 Post subject: Re: The Long Earth. Terry Pratchett & Stephen Baxter.
PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2013 1:56 pm 
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Kingfisher wrote:
I enjoyed this immensely, though I must confess to cheating and listening to the audiobook rather than reading it.

What I found most interesting is that the collaboration worked really well. It toned downed Pratchett's increasingly preachy tone, and made the usually very hard SF of Baxter much more accessible. Reminded me a bit of Good Omens in that regard. Would be nice to see more of these collaborations in future.



I found the same.

I've tried some of Baxter's work and thought they were way too techy to the point of him showing off just how much research he'd done on the subject, and he was going to tell you all of it whether it stopped the plot for a while or not...

This was something very rare in collaborations, not one of the authors voices, with the odd echo of the second. But a real melding of the two.

I also read that the idea was Pratchett's. It was series he was planning to write after 'Colour of Magic' if the whole Discworld 'thing' didn't catch on. He planned on calling it 'The High Meggas'.

Just goes to show, and that it could develop into a series even now...


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 Post subject: Re: The Long Earth. Terry Pratchett & Stephen Baxter.
PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2013 2:27 pm 
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Not now, it can't. Poor guy. :(

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