The Long Earth **Spoilers**

Moderators: Jason, Toothy, Tonyblack

Re: The Long Earth **Spoilers**

Postby cabbagehead » Mon Aug 06, 2012 6:56 am

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.


Not really. When the police officer steps with Rod he starts seizing and convulsing and requires medical treatment to be stabilized. This isn't something a phobic can do regularly, nor can they be taken multiple steps in a row safely.
cabbagehead
Member
 
Posts: 98
Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2011 11:26 pm

Re: The Long Earth **Spoilers**

Postby raisindot » Mon Aug 06, 2012 7:45 pm

cabbagehead wrote:
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.


Not really. When the police officer steps with Rod he starts seizing and convulsing and requires medical treatment to be stabilized. This isn't something a phobic can do regularly, nor can they be taken multiple steps in a row safely.


It wouldn't need to be done regularly--just once. There would plenty of room on Earth west 1 and east 1 for the phobics and Humanity Firsters to settle so they wouldn't need to step often. And certainly in these nearby earths there would be medical personnel ready to stabilize the phobics. It's a gigantic plot hole to assume that every stepper in the world was as selfish as the Greens. If you've got millions of people stepping hundreds of thousands of worlds, you have to think that at least a few steppers would try to bring a few phobics through, find that it worked, and find ways to improve the process.
raisindot
Member
 
Posts: 3237
Joined: Thu Oct 01, 2009 3:28 pm
Location: Boston, MA USA

Re: The Long Earth **Spoilers**

Postby Catch-up » Wed Aug 08, 2012 12:36 pm

The Greens leaving Rob behind was a really disturbing part of the story. I didn't get the impression that this was the norm, but maybe I'm not remembering correctly. It was important to the Greens to move several steps away, they weren't content with stepping just once. But, it would make sense that the majority of families would at least try to bring a phobic member with them.
“It is the peculiar nature of the world to go on spinning no matter what sort of heartbreak is happening.”
― Sue Monk Kidd, The Secret Life of Bees:
User avatar
Catch-up
Member
 
Posts: 6946
Joined: Sat Jul 26, 2008 3:19 am
Location: Michigan, U.S.A.

Re: The Long Earth **Spoilers**

Postby cabbagehead » Fri Aug 17, 2012 2:48 pm

They had the term 'home alones' for people like Rod, so it seems multiple families had left a phobic minor behind.
cabbagehead
Member
 
Posts: 98
Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2011 11:26 pm

Re: The Long Earth **Spoilers**

Postby Beti » Sat Aug 25, 2012 4:01 pm

Finally was able to log back on after nearly three weeks of trying. I couldn't get a Lost Password Email sent to me for love nor money. (And if you can't log in, you can't ask for help logging in.) (AND none of the other emails anywhere on the website seemed to working.) I'm happy to say that's all been fixed. So my little review may seem a bit tardy, is my point, but I'll post it anyway and hope no one objects too strongly.

It was an interesting concept and I think the depictions of what people did were pretty spot on. The immediate move to pillage the nearest gold mines, corporations looking to exploit the worlds to make a profit, people going back to modified pioneer ways (here I'm picturing the colonists of Firefly/Serenity).

The resentment from the phobics seemed pretty realistic as well. I'm not sure, however, that families would just bail on their non-stepping children unless there was other, pre-existing dysfunction. I listened to the audiobook and actually found myself getting really agitated listening to the hate speech by the anti-stepper activist (I can't recall his name just now). That was a fine bit of writing (and performance by Michael Fenton Stevens).

I liked a few of the supporting characters, a motorcycle riding nun was great. I liked Monica Jansson but I'm a little disappointed at the lesbian-police officer cliche.

I thought the Happy Landings community was a good back story. I liked the idea that there have been natural steppers for a long, long time. And the...evolution of the community that showed influences from the generations of people who appeared was appealing. I'm not sure about the "suddenly I was just transported here and no I don't want to go back to my old life" description but perhaps that will be resolved in the next book

I think the descriptions of Lobsang and Joshua traveling through the worlds sometimes got a little tedious. I know they were writing to show their progress through all the variations of the worlds but to me there were a couple of parts that got a little long.

I was aggravated at the abrupt ending until I started reading other people's reviews and found that it was To Be Continued.... (I loathed The Lady & The Tiger with it's "you decide what happens" ending.) Maybe it should have been obvious to me but I kept looking at the number of discs left and wondering how they were going to wrap up the story with so little time left. :oops:

I liked the little references to Discworld, (especially the potato which, duh, didn't even click until I read Fred Phillips' review on http://spychocyco.blogspot.com/). I don't know anything about Stephen Baxter. If I had read his work before, that might make me like the book more (or possibly less.)

So overall, one thumbs up. I'm looking forward to the next book to re-evaluate.
Beti
New member
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Oct 02, 2011 5:58 am

Re: The Long Earth **Spoilers**

Postby Tonyblack » Sat Aug 25, 2012 4:11 pm

Sorry you had a problem getting back on, Beti. There was a problem with the board sending out emails and we didn't realise until it was noticed that we'd had no new members for almost three weeks. :?

I thought your review of The Long Earth was pretty much how I read it. Although I did realise there were going to be sequels. ;) Knowing that made it easier for me because I could see that this book is sorting of setting things up for later ones.

Terry does seem to have a thing about potatoes . . . and chickens. But both are kind of funny anyhow. :lol:
"Goodness is about what you do. Not what you pray to."
User avatar
Tonyblack
Moderator
 
Posts: 29189
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 4:29 pm
Location: Cardiff, Wales

Re: The Long Earth **Spoilers**

Postby Penfold » Wed Aug 29, 2012 12:50 pm

cabbagehead wrote:They had the term 'home alones' for people like Rod, so it seems multiple families had left a phobic minor behind.

Just out of interest on this subject while musing; While they were obviously not 'phobic', how many colonists left family members behind when they spread across America (or Australia's first willing colonists, for example) all those years ago? :think:

I think it might have been more commonplace than reported since I don't think many would deliberately want to take loved ones into unknown and potentially dangerous territory. By the time that they realized that it was safe and had settled down, the young ones would have grown considerably when they got the message to come along and join with their travelling parent. Having already got a settled life of their own, they might still have refused and wanted to remain where they were. :D
The difference between fiction and reality? Fiction has to make sense.


Len Brook Photography
User avatar
Penfold
Member
 
Posts: 7338
Joined: Tue Dec 29, 2009 1:59 am
Location: Worthing

Re: The Long Earth **Spoilers**

Postby Tonyblack » Wed Aug 29, 2012 12:56 pm

I got the impression from that family in the book that the move was very much the mother's dream. The younger kids thought it was an adventure and the husband seemed to go along with it because that's what he always does. Leaving a possibly stroppy teen behind seems to be something the family got over very quickly. I mean - it's not like he was dead . . . :?
"Goodness is about what you do. Not what you pray to."
User avatar
Tonyblack
Moderator
 
Posts: 29189
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 4:29 pm
Location: Cardiff, Wales

Re: The Long Earth **Spoilers**

Postby Teppic » Sun Sep 09, 2012 2:41 pm

Hello all, long time no post!

An amazing concept and really, most of the permutations were explored in one way or another from the impact on evolution to the possibility of joker Earths, through to kids getting stuck in fridges when their new games go wrong, through to the politics on Earth. As a thought-experiment this book is great, lots and lots to get your head around.

As a novel, as a narrative, it's hit and miss and it didn't feel like Pratchett to me. Joshua is the least compelling central character I've ever come across in a Pratchett novel. I'm glad Sally joined the crew at a later point as a counterpoint to him but even she was somewhat stilted (I found a lot of the dialogue clumsy actually). I'd rather go for a pint with Lobsang than with the autonotom that is Joshua. This could be an interesting point in itself - with the Turing Test brought up a few times in the novel - were it not for the fact that I only feel this way because the moulding of Joshua's character isn't up to snuff. I don't think Joshua is meant to be that dull is he?

Weirdly, I found a lot of the action on the Datum a lot more interesting than what was going on with the airship - I think again this has a lot to do with the fact that I didn't like spending any time reading about Joshua. The story of the Greens was the most interesting idea in the book, and I'm not surprised Rod turned into what he did, nor that politics on Earth had become so divisive. I found it interesting how different societies had reacted, how different governments responded, how some people stuck together in colonies (with varying degrees of success) whilst others became drifters. All this was much more enjoyable than reading about the different types of hominid and dinosaur, or about bloody Joshua. The best bits of this book read like Good Omens; so I hope we get more of that in Part II.

The final scenes: obviously these are a talking point given how abrupt this story ended. The stepping of an entire city in one go was incredibly powerful but it could've done with more time given how huge an event it was, I felt it was really glossed over and then the book suddenly ended! The image of the falling people who'd stepped across from skyscrapers was hideous and is the one "image" that's stuck in my mind the most from this book.

I'm glad to hear there's to be another book. There are a lot of loose ends to tie up. But I hope the focus isn't on Joshua too much next time or, if it is, that he becomes a more rounded and interesting character. I think a novel in which Sally takes a more central role would be good, or even Helen Green as one of the first generation for whom stepping was the norm. I'd like to find out more about the Black Corporation, about Happy Landings, and would like Sally to find her Father to see what's he's become ("I think you'll royally fuck it up"). Perhaps we need to look at this book a little like The Colour of Magic. We've now SEEN the Long Earth, we get the concept and yes, it is good. Can we now have a bit more characterisation, a bit less of the geography and a bit more of the humanity, a bit more humour? In other words, a bit more Pratchett.
User avatar
Teppic
Member
 
Posts: 256
Joined: Sat Jan 29, 2011 10:24 pm
Location: Outskirts of Londinium

Re: The Long Earth **Spoilers**

Postby Sister Jennifer » Mon Sep 17, 2012 12:36 am

I had a rant a couple of weeks ago but deleted it. I've read halfway through and thought I'd at least finish The Long Earth before saying anything negative. Well, I've tried a couple more times to get back into the book but I can't, I don't know what's happened. Maybe I'm just in the wrong headspace for it.
Undead yes -
Unperson no!
User avatar
Sister Jennifer
Member
 
Posts: 2653
Joined: Tue Nov 15, 2011 12:08 am
Location: Australia

Re: The Long Earth **Spoilers**

Postby Catch-up » Tue Sep 18, 2012 12:49 am

Sister Jennifer wrote:I had a rant a couple of weeks ago but deleted it. I've read halfway through and thought I'd at least finish The Long Earth before saying anything negative. Well, I've tried a couple more times to get back into the book but I can't, I don't know what's happened. Maybe I'm just in the wrong headspace for it.


I know if I try to force myself to read something when it just isn't clicking, it doesn't work. Set it aside for awhile and try again later. And of course, it may just be that you don't like it and that won't change. Not that there's anything wrong with that. :shifty:
“It is the peculiar nature of the world to go on spinning no matter what sort of heartbreak is happening.”
― Sue Monk Kidd, The Secret Life of Bees:
User avatar
Catch-up
Member
 
Posts: 6946
Joined: Sat Jul 26, 2008 3:19 am
Location: Michigan, U.S.A.

Re: The Long Earth **Spoilers**

Postby Sister Jennifer » Tue Sep 18, 2012 6:07 am

Thanks :romance-kisscheek: , I'll take your advise.
Undead yes -
Unperson no!
User avatar
Sister Jennifer
Member
 
Posts: 2653
Joined: Tue Nov 15, 2011 12:08 am
Location: Australia

Re: The Long Earth **Spoilers**

Postby torrencerinclav » Thu Sep 27, 2012 12:46 am

I think this has to be my favorite Pratchett novel to date. This was such a thought provoking and well written novel that I feel like I did after watching the Matrix for the first time. I usually don't spend much time reviewing or commenting on novels, but The Long Earth was so tantalizing that I had to at least post my appreciation for such an inspiring work. The Elves and Trolls reminded me of some of the stories told by John Keel regarding 'Ultra-Terrestrials'. I found myself trying to 'step' at least a dozen times as I read this story, as well as trying to guess which components were used for the stepper boxes. As a dabbler in electronics and a programmer by profession, this story felt tailor-made for my personality. Lobsang was absolutely perfect. It's who HAL should have been. I would love to see this as a movie as well, so long as they actually stuck to the story for once and did as good of a job as they did on some of his other stories made into movies.

I sure hope Terry finds a way to reincarnate his consciousness to an AI supported system so that we can keep him for the ages, lol.

Thanks for the EXCELLENT novel, Terry!
User avatar
torrencerinclav
New member
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Sep 27, 2012 12:12 am

Re: The Long Earth **Spoilers**

Postby Tonyblack » Thu Sep 27, 2012 5:17 am

Welcome to the site torrencerinclav! :D
"Goodness is about what you do. Not what you pray to."
User avatar
Tonyblack
Moderator
 
Posts: 29189
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 4:29 pm
Location: Cardiff, Wales

Re: The Long Earth **Spoilers**

Postby Tonyblack » Thu Sep 27, 2012 8:01 am

And I have to agree, it was a very thought provoking book. I spent a lot of time reflecting on the ideas and possibilities. But I have to say that I didn't think the story itself was up to much. I'm hoping that all those ideas will settle down in future books into a proper story. :)
"Goodness is about what you do. Not what you pray to."
User avatar
Tonyblack
Moderator
 
Posts: 29189
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 4:29 pm
Location: Cardiff, Wales

PreviousNext

Return to Non-Discworld books

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest