“The Long Earth” Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter – Dissapointing: Incomplete novel. Old fashioned SF. No emotion.

the-long-earthThis book disappoints on multiple levels.

It lacks the humanity that is normally at the core of Terry Pratchett’s books. No matter how odd the circumstances of DiscWorld are, the people, even the non-human ones, a real and you learn to care for them or to hate them. “The Long Earth” is so focused on a (good and original) idea that it never comes to terms with real people. At the end of the book, I still didn’t really care what happened to the main characters. My desire to read was driven by mild curiosity about the plot rather than involvement with the people.

It is not a complete novel. It should be called “Long Earth – the Pilot” -. it’s an interesting start but it doesn’t end it just sets you up for the next installment and then stops.

It rambles a bit. The Long Earth is endless. I get that. But did it have to feel like the parts of the book were endless too? If something is going to be plot driven then the pace has to be well managed. I found my attention wandering.

It is very old-fashioned SF – early Asimov or Heinlein without the passion. All idea and no grit. It’s a sort of “Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy” without the funny bits.

At one point in the book, a character points out that you can’t find out anything about a world by flying over it for a few minutes and then moving on. It’s a shame the authors didn’t apply this thinking to their story. I would have preferred to have passed through less settings and spent more time trying to make any of them mean anything.

Michael Fenton Stevens did a good job with the often slightly dull prose. I suspect he is the only reason I got to the end of the book.

I won’t be ordering the sequel.


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