The fourth novel in Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter's internationally best-selling Long Earth series, hailed as "a brilliant science fiction collaboration...a love letter to all Pratchett fans, readers, and lovers of wonder everywhere" (Io9).
It's 2045-2059. Human society continues to evolve on Datum Earth, its battered and weary origin planet, as the spread of humanity progresses throughout the many Earths beyond.
Lobsang, now an elderly and complex AI, suffers a breakdown and, disguised as a human, attempts to live a "normal" life on one of the millions of Long Earth worlds. His old friend, Joshua, now in his 50s, searches for his father and discovers a heretofore unknown family history. And the superintelligent posthumans known as "the Next" continue to adapt to life among "lesser" humans.
But an alarming new challenge looms. An alien planet has somehow become "entangled" with one of the Long Earth worlds, and, as Lobsang and Joshua learn, its voracious denizens intend to capture, conquer, and colonize the new universe - the Long Earth - they have inadvertently discovered.
World building, the intersection of universes, the coexistence of diverse species, and the cosmic meaning of the Long Earth itself are among the mind-expanding themes explored in this exciting new installment of Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter's extraordinary Long Earth series.
©2015 Terry and Lyn Pratchett and Stephen Baxter (P)2015 HarperCollins Publishers
I really enjoyed the earlier books in the series, but the plot (and worse, the constant exposition) is really getting pompous. The original stories looked at a million ways society would change given the sudden ability to "step." But as the series progresses, it becomes less of the interesting "what if" and more outlandish and self-important. The performance is excellent, as usual, but by halfway through, I couldn't stop rolling my eyes at the storyline.
Chapman was taken.
People are strange creatures. Often we do things that defy explanation. We might ignore money or choose the wrong girl. Maybe we develop a love of Jazz. No one really gets it, but it just strikes a chord with some people.
The Long Earth was a great book. I read that one in print. A really intelligent idea that was well executed. My mind wandered for days. What would I do? Where would I go? What if I couldn't step? I've read more Baxter than Pratchett over the years, but this didn't matter.
Then I was introduced to The Long War and Michael Fenton Stevens. I didn't enjoy the War nearly as much but it didn't matter. The narration just felt right.
The same goes for The Long Mars and The Long Utopia.
Not as good as the first in the series, but it doesn't matter. Great narration, check. Intelligent ideas and storytelling, check. All the great characters, check. Though I have to admit, I'm no fan of Miss Linsay. Talk about a chip fit for a Long Earth! But I digress.....
I like the Long Earth world and am quite happy to spend time there. Even though the story doesn't hold me like it used to it is still strangely satisfying.
It might not make sense in a spreadsheet. But let's be honest.
What really worthwhile thing ever does?
I like the Long Earth series, the story is new and interesting and I often find my self thinking "what if..."
But as the series progressed it seems as if the authors got lost in their own story line, developing additional story threads while failing to complete their original idea. There are so many possibilities within the long earth, yet the third book has steered the story towards the extraterrestrial and it seems that this is where it remains.
This book The Long Utopia once again seems to ignore the actual long earth idea in favor an external threat which to me was disappointing.
The writing itself is fluent and brings the story to life vividly, yet for the most part the book feels like a "filler" introducing a new idea than just stretching it out... hopefully the next book will be more to the point.
And I'll get it as soon as I can. this series has been an addiction and I've devoured every book I could, the writing is superb and Michael Fenton Stevens preforms it beautifully.
I'd thought the series to have stopped being interesting by now, but Baxter came through with the goods. Not a dramatic barnburner, but lots of fun to read.
Sharing similarities with the other Long Earth stories, this started off slow, but once it took off it was consistently interesting. The voice acting was wonderfully diverse. The ending really blew my mind thinking of the potential for the series.
I am a fan of the series and once again they told us a riveting tale. I listened to the entire audio book in one weekend with no regrets other than fear with no more Terry Pratchett the series may be over. I hope that is not the case and I hope Michael Fenton Stevens returns to bring the voices back to these iconic characters.
God I love almost everything Terry Pratchett has had a hand in. I literally laugh out loud and cry real tears from these books. RIP Sir Terry Pratchett.
I tremendously enjoyed the first novel, The Long Earth. Unfortunately none of the rest of the novels ever really recaptured the sense of adventure and exploration found in the first (Although The Long Mars came close)
I mostly enjoyed this last novel. It mostly answered a lot of questions raised by the first three novels, but still left a lot unanswered. I'm not sure there is much else to do with the series. But all in all it was fun to listen to and I enjoyed Michael Fenton Steven's performance.
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