The Long Earth by Terry Pratchett & Stephen Baxter
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Through the discovery of a plan for a “box” device the human race gains the ability to “step” between multiple versions of Earth. The journey causes most people to become sick and disoriented, but that doesn’t stop millions of people from leaving the original Earth, the “Datum”, and colonising the landmasses of neighbouring alternates of the Long Earth.
A few people discover that they are “natural” steppers, such as the novel’s protagonist Joshua, and can travel further out away from the Datum than anyone else. At least as far as they know. Humans seemed to have evolved primarily on the Datum, but there are other inhabitants of the Long Earth that are of great interest to science, and the “Black corporation”. An expedition is mounted with Joshua joining with a companion Lobsang – an artificial intelligence, who claims to be the reincarnation of a Tibetan man. Together they travel to over 2 million Earths to discover how long the Long Earth could possibly be. And to discover it’s secrets.
An engrossing and clever book. The characters are likeable, and engaging. The mystery is endless, and unfathomable. Brilliantly mixing the serious tone of the plot with the levity of humour and character. And it ends on a cliffhanger! So I’m immediately going to have to start the next.
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