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.
The Mad Collector wrote:Stepper plans posted on the internet with instructions
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...
First words: In a forest glade:
Last words: (Not recorded due to spoilers.)
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.
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