The Long Earth **Spoilers**

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Re: The Long Earth **Spoilers**

Postby Antiq » Thu Sep 27, 2012 11:15 pm

I have just read it - been putting it off like a special treat :lol:

I liked it a lot, but it was too short. So many worlds, I wanted to explore them :( Even if there will be sequels, I would have preferred they hadn't galloped through the first one quite so fast. Not enough of anything, or anyone. So much scope for world creation. Love the concept.
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Re: The Long Earth **Spoilers**

Postby Cath1010 » Wed Oct 31, 2012 2:29 pm

Hello All,
I am very curious about the concept of soft places used in The Long Earth. I would like to know if this idea exists in folklore or mythology or anywhere else.
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Re: The Long Earth **Spoilers**

Postby Jan Van Quirm » Wed Oct 31, 2012 4:56 pm

Welcome to the forum Cathy :D

I think the 'soft places' are echoed in folklore and on Discworld in relation to the Faery Folk or specifically the Elves in Lord and Ladies who come in through places where different world sometimes touch - like the Dancers or the Long Man during circle time in Lords and Ladies and on Lancre Moor where we first see the Nac Mac Feegles come through in Carpe Jugulam?

In more traditional myth, particularly Irish/Celtic there are also such things as 'Moving Days' when the court of the Fay changes location and travels to another part of the world to pester and bewitch other people and even capture them and take them back to their own world like the Elf Queen did with Roland and tried to do with Wentworth ;)

Then there's the 'wormhole' theory in sci-fi like Star Trek and Stargate which seem to work as a short-cut through space-time so similar to how the soft places are described the Long Earth so Sally and Joshua can travel in huge jumps rather than a step at a time as most people do after Step day.
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Re: The Long Earth **Spoilers**

Postby Tonyblack » Thu Nov 01, 2012 7:26 pm

Hi Cath! I think I'd need to read the book again - I can't remember most of it. :?
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Re: The Long Earth **Spoilers**

Postby Jan Van Quirm » Thu Nov 01, 2012 9:47 pm

It's the information Sally was willing to trade with Lobsang and Joshua in return for them helping the trolls. She could travel around the Long Earths in huge leapfrogs instead of stepping from West 1 - West 1 million etc one world at a time like they'd been doing up to that point. She supposedly could get from Datum to Happy Landings (in the High Meggas) in only 4 steps by sensing a soft place which not only jumped thousands of steps but also moved you geographically.

I think her and Joshua jumped from Happy Landings on the Pacific Coast to somewhere near Denver when they returned after leaving Lobsang with First Person Singular
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Re: The Long Earth **Spoilers**

Postby simmonds91 » Wed Nov 14, 2012 3:47 pm

ah! I don't know which books but the nac mac feegle take a "step" and teleport. Aching Book one for example has them holding Tiffany's hand and taking a "step" into a near identicle world, like the climate in the long earth suddenly changing for whatshisname when he takes his first steps, the world goes from summer (or spring, either way) to winter. Mr Pratchett DID say he wanted to start something with the high meggers but got sidetracked with discworld in a blink of the screen. I r smrt :D
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Re: The Long Earth **Spoilers**

Postby RosM » Sat Nov 17, 2012 8:15 am

A couple of comments and a question.

Have you noticed how "politically correct" the book is? A female Archbishop of York, Mr Tallyman (who is clearly black, although it is not stated - remember the Harry Belafonte song "Come Mr Tallyman, tally me banana"), the lesbian police officer. Hardly a shred of the prejudices that bedevil our world.

The authors had a bit of fun. I liked the reference to the Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus.

If the west worlds are our world 50 years ago per step, then coming forward with events happening in a differennt way, then what on earth are the East worlds?
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Re: The Long Earth **Spoilers**

Postby Jan Van Quirm » Sat Nov 17, 2012 2:34 pm

RosM wrote:The authors had a bit of fun. I liked the reference to the Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus.

If the west worlds are our world 50 years ago per step, then coming forward with events happening in a differennt way, then what on earth are the East worlds?

Terry had a Tree-climbing Octopus in Nation as well :lol:

Were the West Worlds 50 years in the past per step? I thought the Long Earths were all syncronised down to date and season, just that they were each random shifts in reality with only Datum as the 'spoiled' Earth where homo sapiens sapiens became the dominant species in the same way that there was only one 'gap' where the planet was non-existent or there was one that didn't have a moon. In that case it didn't matter whether you went East or West as the actual timeline's constant? That was my reading anyway - they didn't need to have past or future Earths as evolution was different on each, which allowed pre-historic species anywhere, otherwise you wouldn't get them until you got into the really High Meggas? :?
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Re: The Long Earth **Spoilers**

Postby lidia25 » Sat Nov 24, 2012 11:40 pm

I found the book not so beautiful as I expected it to be, even though I liked it, it's nice. However, if I'd a Stepper, I would defnitely go east - going west sounds to me as going in the wrong direction :D
Maybe because I have studied a lot of East European languages and some languages of the Near East, but for me, West is the direction of dullness, wereas east is the direction of magic :) I suppose, though, that if I were born in one of the British Islands, or in Portugal, I would look up at the ocean expecting it to be the direction of magic. But for me - West is America, and America is smth "known", whereas Asia is the land of mystery.
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Re: The Long Earth **Spoilers**

Postby Vena Ravenhaired » Mon Nov 26, 2012 2:19 am

I didn't much like The Long Earth, wasn't too keen on Nation either, But I cannot put my finger on why.

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Re: The Long Earth **Spoilers**

Postby RosM » Mon Nov 26, 2012 2:53 am

>I didn't much like The Long Earth, wasn't too keen on Nation either, But I cannot put my finger on why.

Could be that you are female. I have a strong feeling that Sir pTerry is trying to reach and educate young men.
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Re: The Long Earth **Spoilers**

Postby chris.ph » Mon Nov 26, 2012 7:16 am

nope thats not it, i didnt even finish nation but i really enjoyed long earth
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Re: The Long Earth **Spoilers**

Postby Alanz » Mon Nov 26, 2012 8:47 am

I'm looking forward to reading Long Earth, hope i'm not dissapointed :D
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Re: The Long Earth **Spoilers**

Postby mollydolly » Mon Dec 10, 2012 4:19 am

I wrote a long draft which got lost somehow. Anyway, I found Long Earth to be disappointing. The book's two main characters "step' or skim over a million worlds, and the plot is just diluted.So many elements are just introduced and not developed at all. We're told at the beginning of the book that Joshua has spent years building stockades like Robinson Crusoe, but are never shown them, or told what happened to his animals when he goes off. So many worlds that are all the same bore the reader as well as Joshua.The main computer/robot character of Lobsang becomes annoying without being affecting. Surviving a trip through vacuum, the (non)relationship of Joshua and Sally. Even a serious theme like a family's choosing to desert a son who can't step with them causes no real angst. The big reveal of what's frightening the trolls, and even a plot ending involving a nuclear explosion have very little tension. It's just a lukewarm book.
Honestly, I think Pratchett's Alzheimer's is catching up with him. He still has more creative ideas than ten other writers put together but now.. he can't carry them out, can't expand or deepen them. This book truly had more of a "tell not show" feel.
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Re: The Long Earth **Spoilers**

Postby mollydolly » Mon Dec 10, 2012 5:04 am

Continuing to think about Long Earth. It's amazing how many plot ideas were raised only to be stunted. Usually a collaboration is healthy, but this didn't seem to be. I truly dislike the nuking of Madison because it was plopped out as an "oh, didn't you know?" idea rather than a "My God, we've got to get home in time to stop this" one. And the people who stepped out of skyscrapers--a WTC image--just jarring but still not forwarding the plot.
I dislike the Greens' leaving Rod behind more every time I think of it. I do think they could have tried to get him some medical help so he could step, even if they had to carry him unconscious and go only a short distance. But even more annoying is that it mattered so little to them.
And Lobsang as an intelligent computer to care about? He's a flickering candle compared to the 1000 megawatt MIKE in Robert Heinlein's "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress." Now THAT was a real dinkum thinkum. I cry every time I read that book.
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