The Long Earth **Spoilers**

Moderators: Jason, Toothy, Tonyblack

Re: The Long Earth **Spoilers**

Postby The Mad Collector » Tue Jul 10, 2012 2:54 pm

Stepper plans posted on the internet with instructions

http://www.kurtnalty.com/LongEarth/Willis_Linsay_Stepper.pdf
One of those? Oh I'm sure I have one somewhere..

http://www.bearsonthesquare.com
User avatar
The Mad Collector
Member
 
Posts: 10092
Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2010 6:48 am
Location: Ironbridge UK

Re: The Long Earth **Spoilers**

Postby Tiffany » Tue Jul 10, 2012 3:35 pm

Cheers, Mad. I have put that in my favourites bar. :clap: :lol:
Best wishes,
Tiff
User avatar
Tiffany
Member
 
Posts: 2483
Joined: Mon Oct 13, 2008 11:14 am
Location: Devon

Re: The Long Earth **Spoilers**

Postby Jan Van Quirm » Tue Jul 10, 2012 4:50 pm

Tiffany wrote:I think that's because they don't like crowded places, in the book it was said the Trolls were happy with a certain number of humans but when there were a lot more they, the Trolls left.
Hark at me, one who doesn't do analysis. :lol:

:clap: Yup - that's the reason they're no longer present (or not for long) on Datum, but that then begs the question of whether they'd originally evolved on Datum or on another or more than one of the other Earths? This is the thing with quantum and for want of a better expression infinite realities. :D

I don't know if everyone's ever heard of Ian Stewart and Jack Cohen's lecture on whether an alien would look like us (co-authors with Terry of The Science of Discworld 1-3). This also deals with how, even with very similar conditions once the basic elements to support life are present, it would be highly unusual (with odds in the astronomic zone) for humans or any of the dominant species of pre-history to evolve in exactly the same way again. So with that 'rule' Datum has to be a one-off unique reality where either the ancestors of the Long Earth hominids didn't arise at all, went extinct in the Datum timeline, or were present on Datum but were forced to step away when modern humans evolved and won the Evolution Lottery (so far anyway).

It's also interesting with the Happy Landings community how they can trace back a human presence in or near the High Meggas back to the spread of the Roman Empire, which was arguably the most socially pervasive and widespread of the ancient empires to occur and encourage our natural-stepping forebears to have sufficient social pressure to migrate (or flee from First Person Singular) in the same way that the trolls and elves are doing. Books 2 & 3 will be v. interesting I think :D
"Some men see things as they are and ask why. Others dream things that never were and ask why not.” George Bernard Shaw
User avatar
Jan Van Quirm
Member
 
Posts: 10558
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 9:07 pm
Location: Dunheved, Kernow

Re: The Long Earth **Spoilers**

Postby Tiffany » Tue Jul 10, 2012 6:21 pm

I think books 2 & 3 will be very ineresting as well, Jan.
Best wishes,
Tiff
User avatar
Tiffany
Member
 
Posts: 2483
Joined: Mon Oct 13, 2008 11:14 am
Location: Devon

Re: The Long Earth **Spoilers**

Postby stark » Thu Jul 12, 2012 3:50 pm

Books 2 & 3 !!! oh you have to be kidding me. This is basically just making you read Stephen Baxter books by stealth. I have never in oooooh about 25 years read anything with STP's name on the cover that has disagreed with me so much.

I would wonder what had happened were it not for the fact that I had previously read one of Baxters books(Flood) and been bored to tears by it. His influence ranges long it seems. I'm astonished that anyone can find it gripping ( or in fact possessing of a plot)

For contrast read the short beginnings of the story which inspired this book. Tense, well written.

I do properly despair. :cry:
stark
New member
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Jul 12, 2012 3:42 pm

Re: The Long Earth **Spoilers**

Postby Who's Wee Dug » Thu Jul 12, 2012 9:56 pm

I personally like him giving the science of the Discworld talks and the audio books, he makes it sound simple although it rather complex and I look forward to number 4 coming out, I intend to start the Long Earth tonight.
And welcome to the forum.
He willnae tak' a drink! I think he's deid! , on the other hand though A Midgie in yir hand is worth twa up yir kilt.
User avatar
Who's Wee Dug
Member
 
Posts: 14727
Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2008 10:31 pm
Location: Stirlingshire, Scotland

Re: The Long Earth **Spoilers**

Postby =Tamar » Fri Jul 13, 2012 12:10 am

The Mad Collector wrote:Stepper plans posted on the internet with instructions

http://www.kurtnalty.com/LongEarth/Willis_Linsay_Stepper.pdf


He says you have to solder aluminum... I've read that a product called JB Weld can be used to hold aluminum to something else metallic. That could make it easier for the non-soldering people to make a stepper. JB Weld is tough stuff, possibly stronger than soldering.
=Tamar
Member
 
Posts: 645
Joined: Sun May 20, 2012 1:16 am

Re: The Long Earth **Spoilers**

Postby Quatermass » Fri Jul 13, 2012 7:26 am

I just finished reading it, and have posted a review on another BBS. However, here is a copy of the review...

REVIEW: The Long Earth by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter

Earlier in this book-reading blog, I read one of Terry Pratchett's first works, and one of his few science fiction works, The Dark Side of the Sun. Like Strata before it, I didn't consider it to be at a par with his other work, which is a pity. But now, I come to Pratchett's latest science fiction work, co-authored with Stephen Baxter, whom I've always meant to read, but never really got around to doing so. But now, I have read their collaborative effort, The Long Earth, about parallel universe, potatoes, and pronouns...

In the year 2015, Madison, Winsconsin, the eccentric, possibly insane Willis Linsay disappears from his home, which has been burnt to the ground. However, he has left behind plans for a mysterious device known only as a Stepper. Despite the ridiculous nature of the plans, it turns out to be a device for traversing between parallel Earths, and not long afterwards, humanity begins experimenting with travelling to these parallel Earths, collectively known as 'the Long Earth' from the original 'Datum' Earth. And only on Datum Earth, it seems, has humanity evolved. Fifteen years later, Joshua Valiente hides his secret as much as possible, that he can 'step' between parallel Earths without a Stepper. But he is recruited by transEarth to work with Lobsang, an artificial intelligence who claims to be, with some justification, the reincarnation of a Tibetan motorcycle repairman. Their mission, to explore the Long Earth. But there are threats far and wide, ranging from wild animals on the Long Earth, to inhuman creatures. And closer to home, on Datum Earth, people unable to step, even with a Stepper, are becoming resentful of the people who can, and are determined to strike the first blow in a war of evolution...

Let me get the disappointing stuff out of the way. I believe that The Long Earth had perhaps the potential to explore in even greater depth the consequences of stepping. And while the Humanity First movement doesn't exactly come out of nowhere, I would have preferred to see more of the impact of them, as well as the impact of the 'elves'. It feels filled with ideas that are only half-baked, not used to their full potential. All the same, this only mildly detracts from the fact that this is actually quite a good story, not only about parallel Earths, but also about humanity's place in them and how humanity might react to easy access to parallel worlds with resources as yet untapped by sapient species. Unfortunately, there is less of Pratchett's trademark humour than I would have liked, but otherwise, it is hard to tell who wrote what. Both authors do very well.

The character development could have been a little better. Joshua, while he is designated protagonist, is not quite at a level of absolute excellence. I found myself more intrigued by the sometimes deceitful and arrogant, but otherwise decent AI/reincarnation of a Tibetan Lobsang. The other characters are fine enough, with the exception of latecoming character First Person Singular, whose all-too-brief appearance was intriguing and, as much as the character could be enjoyed, enjoyable. I wish Sally was a bit better developed.

The Long Earth could have been much better, I feel, with something more added. But all the same, it is an excellent book from a pair of excellent authors that should make everyone who reads it think about humanity and other worlds, even worlds that never were...


9/10

First words: In a forest glade:

Last words: (Not recorded due to spoilers.)


I will add more later once I have read this thread more thoroughly. But already, are Pratchett and Baxter considering sequels? Good! I was annoyed at how little some parts of the plot were developed, I do want to see that.

So, The Long Earth: Electric Boogaloo, anyone?
I've lived for over 2000 years, and not all of them were good ones. I've made many mistakes. And it's about time I did something about that.

-The Twelfth Doctor, Doctor Who: Deep Breath
User avatar
Quatermass
Member
 
Posts: 5629
Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2010 3:58 am

Re: The Long Earth **Spoilers**

Postby Quatermass » Fri Jul 13, 2012 7:35 am

Tonyblack wrote:I felt the cynicism of the human race in the book was Terry's. But I also haven't read any Baxter, so I don't know. :)


I flicked through (but hadn't read properly from cover to cover) Baxter's Time, and there's definitely parallels between the attacks on the Blue children (I think they were either ultra-intelligent or psychic + intelligent) and the Humanity First campaign. Then again, what happens at the end of Time does seem to indicate that they have a point. From a point of view, anyway.

Spoiler: show
Let's just say that the universe gets destroyed, for a certain value of 'destroyed'. :shock: It's for a good cause, though, believe it or not.


BTW, since when has Baxter written Doctor Who? I know he has written a novel for release soon called The Wheel of Ice, but has he written anything else beforehand? :|
I've lived for over 2000 years, and not all of them were good ones. I've made many mistakes. And it's about time I did something about that.

-The Twelfth Doctor, Doctor Who: Deep Breath
User avatar
Quatermass
Member
 
Posts: 5629
Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2010 3:58 am

Re: The Long Earth **Spoilers**

Postby Sister Jennifer » Sat Jul 14, 2012 1:44 am

So I'm about half way through. I like what the book is about. Pretty bloody amazing concept isn't it? I've not warmed all that much to Joshua & Lobsang. I'm not bothered by that though. I really like Private Percy's story. The boy who's family left him behind? I wonder if he's going to become a future bad guy. I found that bit really hard to read. Why the hell would you do that? No doubt everything will become clear, it just seems odd.

Happy reading all!
Undead yes -
Unperson no!
User avatar
Sister Jennifer
Member
 
Posts: 2532
Joined: Tue Nov 15, 2011 12:08 am
Location: Australia

Re: The Long Earth **Spoilers**

Postby Willem » Mon Jul 16, 2012 7:13 pm

Finished it today, wasn't blown away but quite liked and enjoyed it. It felt a bit like Asimov's Foundation books, I'd probably been more satisfied with a book that had all the one-off stuff without the 'quest' part myself. Still, bring on 2 & 3!
Scientists are predicting the future will be much more futuristic than originally predicted
User avatar
Willem
Member
 
Posts: 1805
Joined: Mon Jan 11, 2010 2:13 pm
Location: Weert, The Netherlands

Re: The Long Earth **Spoilers**

Postby Who's Wee Dug » Thu Jul 19, 2012 9:07 pm

I must say I'm really enjoying it and picking up on some of the references. :mrgreen:
He willnae tak' a drink! I think he's deid! , on the other hand though A Midgie in yir hand is worth twa up yir kilt.
User avatar
Who's Wee Dug
Member
 
Posts: 14727
Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2008 10:31 pm
Location: Stirlingshire, Scotland

Re: The Long Earth **Spoilers**

Postby raisindot » Tue Jul 31, 2012 1:22 pm

Finished.

Overall, better than I expected, because I came in with low expectations.

Conceptually, this thing is a lot of "something borrowed, something blue." Perhaps there isn't anything new you can do in SF because it's all been done to death, but this one really seems to stew genre conventions around in a pot.The "alternate universe" thing has been done to death by authors ranging from Isaac Asimov to Philip Dick to Orson Scott Card to Pterry himsef as well as all those cliched Star Trek episodes with quanta and all that. The "big one-celled beastie intelligence' thing that influences other life forms and threatens to take over to death forever. (See Christopher Moore's Fluke for a far better portrayal of this kind of thing). The idea of violent conservative/religious backlash against reaching out to the stars was done far more effectively in Sagan's Contact. The "omnipresent sentient computer" thing is as old as SF itself. Even the notion of 'stepping' was covered by Pterry himself--the time-slicing of Lobsang and the History Monks in "Thief of Time" was a similar thing. And the "loner hero social misfit different than everyone else hero" is the staple of ST, since so many of its readers are longer social misfits.

So, why is The Long Earth readable at all? Because the plotting is good and much (but not all) of the dialogue, when it doesn't get bogged down in awkward exposition, is engaging. And it being a quest type of story helps. It wouldn't be all that interesting if the story just focused on one particular Long Earth.

There's a lot of stuff that just doesn't make sense. It really doesn't make sense that Earthers would step 100,000 earths to find a new home, when they could simply go to 5 earths east and west and walk in any direction and they'd have as much land as they needed. The pioneers (in the U.S. at least) didn't automatically travel across the country. They gradually moved westward, and only moved west as other claimed property. Even after Lewis and Clark came back from their expedition, you didn't have thousands of people from Virginia hitching up wagon trains and heading to California.

It also doesn't make sense that there was only identified earth where (other than the big ameoba) species other than hominids developed a civilization, unless P&B are trying to make the point that truly sentient species are a rarity, which may be true.

Madison, WI as the main Earth setting. At first I thought this had been chosen because Neil Gaiman lives in Wisconsin (but not in Wisconsin), but halfway through it occurred to me that Pterry was at the US Discworld conference last year and Baxter must have been there, too and that probably influenced the choice (you must believe me that I guesses this before the postscript). I, for one am glad about the choice since I went to UW-Madison and therefore knew exactly what each selected street and location connotated. (For example Mifflin Street, mentioned early in the book, used to be the hippie capital of the midwest, which makes sense that a giant pot plantation was found in one of its houses).

Despite what Lobsang said about stepping not being 'time traveling,' the westward trek certainly was a trek backward in time. The progression was from "jungle worlds" (more recent) to "ice age" worlds to pre-ice age words (mining and cornfield worlds) to worlds where the dinosaurs existed. By the time they got to the world where the amoeba thing, the earths were going back to a stage where most life was in the sea. One would surmise that further westward travel would ultimately lead to earths without life at all, or even to a universe where the earth was still forming. Which makes you wonder what happens in the "eastern" worlds--do they represent what the earths will become over time--i.e., ultimately earths that become lifeless, burned by a sun that ultimately 'winks out, destroyed by asteroids, or where new forms of life evolve''?

The writing style doesn't seem to convey a lot of Pterry, although I think that Lobsang's dialogue is all Pratchett and that his speaking style is based on that of Vetinari (notice that Lobsang uses the Vetinari's catchphrase, "And thus, we progress.") Certainly a lot of the ideas of alternative earths and elves probably stem from these ideas Pterry had formulated in Lords and Ladies and Wee Free Men. It would be interesting to know how the two authors split the writing. Did Baxter do narrative and exposition and Pterry do dialogue? Did they split certain plotlines?

The ending really bugged me. You knew there was going to be more than one book, but the way this was set up was terrible. Wouldn't you have thought that the steppers would have discovered that they could take nonsteppers with them long before this? Sure they would've, and this would have solved the Humanity Firsters problems, which was mainly more about jealousy than anything else. But it was such a stupid cliffhanger ending, so cynical that that it shoudl have had a"TO BE CONTINUED..." at the end.

Anyway, overall, a flawed book but a decent read, but I wouldn't put it anywhere near Pterry's best work or anywhere near the best the top flight SF ever written.
raisindot
Member
 
Posts: 3196
Joined: Thu Oct 01, 2009 3:28 pm
Location: Boston, MA USA

Re: The Long Earth **Spoilers**

Postby The Mad Collector » Tue Jul 31, 2012 6:46 pm

I'm reading the Time Odyssey trilogy by Stephen Baxter and Arthur C Clarke at the moment and the discontinuities in those books very much remind me of Long Earth except that this is one planet with multiple time streams running simultaneously rather than multiple planets with one time stream. This adds to my first impression that The Long Earth is at least 75% Baxter probably more. It reads far more like one of his books than Terry’s and when I first read it I barely spotted any of Terry’s influence other than Lobsang. My feeling is that this is a Pratchett concept but written by Baxter and then fiddled about with by both of them in the editing process to give Terry some more input.
One of those? Oh I'm sure I have one somewhere..

http://www.bearsonthesquare.com
User avatar
The Mad Collector
Member
 
Posts: 10092
Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2010 6:48 am
Location: Ironbridge UK

Re: The Long Earth **Spoilers**

Postby Who's Wee Dug » Tue Jul 31, 2012 8:31 pm

Sadly we may see a bit more of that in the future, or trying to put out everything in his head before the ability to do it runs out.
He willnae tak' a drink! I think he's deid! , on the other hand though A Midgie in yir hand is worth twa up yir kilt.
User avatar
Who's Wee Dug
Member
 
Posts: 14727
Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2008 10:31 pm
Location: Stirlingshire, Scotland

PreviousNext

Return to Non-Discworld books

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest