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The Long Earth [Hardcover]

Terry Pratchett , Stephen Baxter
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (547 customer reviews)
RRP: 18.99
Price: 13.18 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Kindle Edition 3.66  
Hardcover 13.18  
Paperback 3.85  
Audio, CD, Audiobook, Unabridged 7.59  
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Book Description

21 Jun 2012

1916: the Western Front. Private Percy Blakeney wakes up. He is lying on fresh spring grass. He can hear birdsong, and the wind in the leaves in the trees. Where have the mud, blood and blasted landscape of No Man's Land gone?

2015: Madison, Wisconsin. Cop Monica Jansson is exploring the burned-out home of a reclusive - some said mad, others dangerous - scientist when she finds a curious gadget - a box containing some wiring, a three-way switch and a...potato. It is the prototype of an invention that will change the way Mankind views his world for ever.

And that's an understatement if ever there was one...

The Long Earth is the first novel in an exciting new collaboration between the creator of Discworld Terry Pratchett and the acclaimed SF writer Stephen Baxter


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday; First Edition edition (21 Jun 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0857520091
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857520098
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 16.2 x 4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (547 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 49,236 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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

Product Description

Review

"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...I, for one, found it extremely refreshing...There's much to enjoy...it's 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.... This is an accessible, fun and thoughtful SF novel that offers the potential for a multitude of stories as great as the myriad of Earths." (David Barnett Independent)

"***** Literary alchemy...In the hands of Pratchett and Baxter, the possibilites are almost infinite...It's 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...The canvas of the Long Earth is so vast, so full of storytelling potential, that it would be a crime not to explore further...thrillingly expansive, joyously inventive and utterly engrossing." (SFX)

"[Pratchett] succeeds in working seamlessly with Baxter, with his ever-present whimsy...adding a welcome shot of fun to the world of science fiction." (Alison Flood Sunday Times)

"a wonderfully rich fantasy, full of ingenuity, humour and some rather deep thoughts" (Reader's Digest)

Book Description

The UK's bestselling adult novelist and a giant of British science fiction combine forces to write the first novel in an astonishing, mind-bending new series...The Long Earth

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
201 of 213 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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109 of 119 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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Long Read to Nowhere 12 Oct 2013
Format:Paperback
Definitely not Pratchet or Baxter at their best, this collaboration just does not seemed to have worked, both authors seemed to be drowned by the other. I have loved Pratchet's humour but there was little to laugh at in this novel, although the theme of the book was laughable. Baxter's past collaboration with the late Arthur C. Clark resulted in a great trilogy of books, but here there was little depth in the plot at all.

The storyline just rambles along with no particular direction other than West. Characters are very shallow, with some having no point at all and lending nothing to the story. The end is a real anticlimax, and the whole book seems to have been written as propaganda in support of the Theory of Evolution, which seems to be something that is forced down our throats from every direction these days. Strangely, despite all of the above I continued to the end, and would buy the next in the series, possibly in the hope that there will be a point to the story.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By Big Ben TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The collaboration between two of my favorite authors is a scary event for me.
The possibilities are wonderful, but they raise expectations that might be disappointed, so it was with a mixture of trepidation and gleeful anticipation that I opened The Long Earth for the first time.
No need to worry!
The writing is assured, and the central topic is based on science rather than Discworld Magick - one might assume that this is down to Stephen Baxter rather than Sir Terry Pratchett, but Sir Terry is also responsible for the remarkable Science of Discworld series that combines entertainment, humour, fantasy and proper science in a number of (highly recommended) volumes.
Laugh as you learn, indeed.
The Long Earth is all-new in both concept and execution.
Nothing of other works by these two excellent authors was detected in it. It brings the infinite worlds view of the universe screaming into the 21st century with the aid of a potato.
Yes, you can tell that Terry Pratchett is involved! But the potato is there for a solid scientific reason.
.
At one stroke the two authors have created a vast canvas on which to display their skills, and the characters depicted on that canvas do them justice. One of the more interesting characters is no longer wholly human, which adds greatly to the possibilities.
The old Hollywood blockbuster maxim was something like "Start with an earthquake, then build to a climax", this book starts with the deconstruction of human society as we know it, and yes, it does builds to a climax that left me wanting more.
The Long Earth is the first of a trilogy (at least) since there are now three books in the series, I'm about get in the queue to buy them.
.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I love it
my brothers gift, he loves anything Terry Pratchett
Published 30 minutes ago by josie paige
4.0 out of 5 stars One potato, two potato, et voila !
Interesting perspective on the Multiverse theory and examination of the issues it would throw up (sorry!) in this version of it. Read more
Published 4 days ago by embramike
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting...
Pretty cool thought experiment; what if all that tethers human expansion disappeared overnight, replaced by some simple rules that may or may not be absolute? Discuss. Read more
Published 8 days ago by Foggie Loon
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
Best book he ever wrote
Published 11 days ago by cyberjeannie
4.0 out of 5 stars A Different, But Fun Direction
Terry Pratchett is so well known for his Discworld novels that it is hard to know how to react when he steps out from under their shadow and tries something totally different. Read more
Published 14 days ago by Perpetual Man
5.0 out of 5 stars love the trolls.
This isn't something that instantly grabs you - you have to stick with it, but it is worth it. It is a very interesting concept. Read more
Published 16 days ago by Moira Wilkinson
3.0 out of 5 stars life mastery but only the first step of three
The book resembles my lifelong search, but only the first (subjective ) aspect. The second third should address the objective and the final third should consolidate the first two... Read more
Published 20 days ago by Malkuth Zadek
4.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed all the protagonists even
I found this to be a refreshing and engaging take on the concept of parallel universes. I enjoyed all the protagonists even, or perhaps especially, the AI ones. Read more
Published 21 days ago by sashaknits
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
brill
Published 22 days ago by lesley albiston
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
An excellent, imaginative, and gripping story. I can't wait to read book 2, The Long War!
Published 24 days ago by Adam Dopadlik
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