Thursday, 11 October 2012

The Long Earth

Terry Pratchett has collaborated with Stephen Baxter to bring forth the novel The Long Earth. I think there are other books planned, and certainly there is plenty of scope for this series to continue.

The idea is that there are (seemingly infinite) other Earths out there, which can be reached by stepping, either 'East' or 'West'. The main narrative involves Joshua (a boy who is a natural stepper) and Lobsang (a sentient computer) [I have no idea if his name is a reference to one of the more favoured characters from Discworld, it would be hard to imagine not] trying to find the end of the Long Earth by continually going West. Interspersed with that are other mini-narratives of how other people are coping with the concept of people suddenly having this stepping opportunity.

This book is a lot of set-up, so certainly other books could be more heavy on expanding a continuing narrative. I'm not sure I entirely buy the collapse they portray here, but it would certainly be true to some extent. The popping to and fro does interrupt the flow, however the main story is low key enough that it isn't overly broken.

Aside from a few phrases, I have no idea who wrote what (and indeed the few key Pratchettian phrases may simply be Baxter putting them in). While light, there isn't the humour from Discworld (that said, the current humour of Discworld isn't what it was either).

As long as other books are more focused, I look forward to more.


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