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The Long Earth
 
 

The Long Earth [Kindle Edition]

Terry Pratchett , Stephen Baxter
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (531 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £7.99
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Review

"By turns thrillingly expansive, joyously inventive and utterly engrossing *****." (SFX magazine)

"An absorbing collaborative effort from two SF giants...a marriage made in fan heaven - Pratchett's warmth and humanity allied to Baxter's extraordinarily fertile science-fictional imagination...there's much to enjoy...a charming, absorbing and somehow spacious piece of imagineering" (Adam Roberts GUARDIAN)

"The idea of parallel Earths is one of the most enduring that science fiction has given us, but rarely has it been explored with quite so much gusto as in this new novel by two of the giants of British speculative fiction...a triumph...accessible, fun and thoughtful" (David Barnett INDEPENDENT)

"***** Literary alchemy...In the hands of Pratchett and Baxter, the possibilites are almost infinite...a story that revels in big ideas...you can sense the excitement of the authors as they toy with the labyrinthine possibilities of their premise, and it's infectious...thrillingly expansive, joyously inventive and utterly engrossing" (SFX)

"[Pratchett] succeeds in working seamlessly with Baxter...adding a welcome shot of fun to the world of science fiction" (Alison Flood SUNDAY TIMES)

Book Description

Now in paperback - The Long Earth - the first novel in an astonishing, mind-bending new series by the combined talents of the UK's bestselling novelist and a giant of British science fiction.

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More About the Author

Terry Pratchett is the acclaimed creator of the global bestselling Discworld series, the first of which, The Colour of Magic, was published in 1983. In all, he is the author of fifty bestselling books. His novels have been widely adapted for stage and screen, and he is the winner of multiple prizes, including the Carnegie Medal, as well as being awarded a knighthood for services to literature. Worldwide sales of his books now stand at 70 million, and they have been translated into thirty-seven languages.

Photography © David Bird

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
199 of 211 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
4 1/2 stars.

The Long Earth is the first of a planned trilogy by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter. If you were looking for two of the most unlikely authors to collaborate, you'd be hard pressed to choose better candidates than these.

Pratchett, as pretty much the entire world knows, predominantly writes humorous fantasy, and while it's true that his work has evolved from its beginnings as pure humor to take a much deeper, more profound look at the world through the medium of fantasy, his major appeal is still the humor.

Baxter, on the other hand, is the hardest of hard science fiction authors. His books are meticulously researched, and his speculation is firmly rooted in bleeding edge science. Like Pratchett, Baxter has evolved, in his case to include more believable, rounded characters with real stories. But when you approach a Baxter book you do so for the science fiction. (Even in his alternate history Northland series, Baxter follows the logic of his premise with a sharp, unyielding, scientific focus.)

If you approach The Long Earth expecting to find something matching either Pratchett's or Baxter's usual output, you are going to be coming at it all wrong. This is a genuine collaboration, and between them they have produced something quite different from their normal works.

In the year 2015, mankind suddenly discovers the existence of possibly infinite alternate worlds, differing only marginally (but progressively, the further out they are) from our own, which can be reached by the means of an electronic device that anyone can easily assemble. But there is one thing that is different about all of these worlds: humanity hasn't evolved on any of them.
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107 of 117 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Judgement suspended 24 Jun 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Like most of the reviewers, I looked forward to this collaboration of two of the greats of sci fantasy. Now I have finished the book I am in two minds as to what to think of it.

One the one hand, it starts off with a good premise and two promisingly individualistic characters. Locations are well described and it gets off to a good start. On the other, once you get into the third chapter it just meanders along going nowhere very much and just as it seems to be picking up speed and getting really interesting..it ends. It doesn't quite say "To be continued", but it might as well.

I could have done with fewer tediously idyllic or uneventful alternate earths and more characterisation and action. For Pratchett the style is closer to "Nation" than Discworld. This is no bad thing - Nation is a great book, but the main "human" hero - Joseph Valiente - is downright boring. Lobsang has a lot of potential to be truly fascinating but after a few quirks of humour in the beginning, he fades into the background to become an annoyingly omniscient presence. Yes I am going to buy the inevitable follow up, but I have a feeling that I'll be disappointed. I hope I am wrong.
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42 of 47 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Really didn't work for me 23 Jun 2012
By Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover
To be honest I like Stephen Baxter and I like Terry Pratchett so I was really looking forward to this story for quite some time. After all the last tale that was an amalgamation between Terry and another (Neil Gaiman) was Good Omens and a real joy to read.

What this tale does is unfurl at an incredibly slow and convoluted pace, its sadly lacking the magic that either of the authors bring on their own and sadly feels more like a case of big names selling rather than a tale of gripping imagination. It's difficult to work your way through, feels like it has no real twists and sadly lacks character wise for me as a reader to have anything to hold onto. All in its OK but at the end of the day it feels like a real let down to me as a reader.
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32 of 36 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Oh dear 21 Aug 2012
Format:Hardcover
I like Baxter. I like Pratchett. All authors have their idiosyncracies and this book combines their worst qualities.

As a novella it would have worked well. As a novel it doesn't have enough material to stand alone - and the idea of this being part of a series is laughable.

Good concept poorly executed, poor characterisation, prose without 'zip'. Had to force myself to finish it just because I could not believe that two authors who are individually so good could produce something so mediocre.

I finished the book with a sense of relief, despite the appalling ending that just stops in mid-air to act as a teaser for the inevitable sequel. An incredibly disappointing book.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Pratchett a bit thin on the (long) ground 31 Oct 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Long time Pratchett fan, I bought this to read on holiday, but found it quite heavy going. I didn't find enough of Terry's humour, which is my main reason for reading his stuff, and his strategy for sneaking subversive ideas into his reader's heads. The whole tone is much more Stephen Baxter, where, even when describing some great triumph of humanity he gives me the distinct impression that it will not be a good thing for the Universe. The main disappointment for me is that none of the main characters seem to develop as a result of their experiences. During the whole narrative we are waiting for some important revelation; the Traveller is a useful plot device, but is hardly the "Meaning of life, the Universe and Everything". I got the impression that a sequel may have been intended, but I'll not have any problem waiting.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Beguiling....
For a short book the characters have depth..
Actually its a great read. Try it what's the worst that could happen
Published 12 hours ago by Russ Pickles
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
really good read
Published 17 hours ago by leylandlass
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
a really good read
Published 1 day ago by robert thompson
5.0 out of 5 stars Great introduction to Pratchett and Baxter
My first experience with TP and SB and a brilliant read. Can't wait to get through the next two in the series and then onto Disc World. Thoroughly recommend.
Published 1 day ago by K. Miles
3.0 out of 5 stars great concept, but lacking structure
Yet another clever sci-FI concept which lacks a clear narrative structure. What is so difficult about start-middle-end? It's a problem that seems to plague modern scifi. Read more
Published 2 days ago by A. Gibb
2.0 out of 5 stars found it too dull and the story just not going anywhere
I've only read 50% of the book, found it too dull and the story just not going anywhere. I may go back to it at a later date
Published 5 days ago by Maz
2.0 out of 5 stars One to avoid
I love Practhett's work, but this book was unfortunately seriously boring. Uninteresting characters were doing uninteresting things, and the miixture of Prachett and Baxter did not... Read more
Published 9 days ago by Ornulf Wang Sandaas
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great
Published 9 days ago by david jones
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read
There are worlds waiting. All it takes is one small step.

In the year 2015 (ooh next year! Read more
Published 11 days ago by Six Impossible Things
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
A great read from start to finish
Published 13 days ago by daniel
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