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The Long Earth (The Long Earth #1)

3.73  ·  Rating Details ·  36,013 Ratings  ·  3,848 Reviews
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From the back jacket:


The Silence was very faint here. Almost drowned out by the sounds of the mundane world. Did people in this polished building understand how noisy it was? The roar of air conditioners and computer fans, the susurration of many voices heard but not decipherable.... This was the office of
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published June 19th 2012 by HarperCollins Harper (first published 2012)
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Bryan Murdock The stepping is not actually thought to be going into the past, just into a different reality where slightly different things happened in the past. In…moreThe stepping is not actually thought to be going into the past, just into a different reality where slightly different things happened in the past. In most of these realities intelligent life never evolved because it's such a statistical anomaly. I can't remember if it's this book or later in the series where other statistical anomaly worlds are encountered and they are labeled by the humans as Joker worlds. Our Earth is a Joker world too.(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Mark Lawrence
May 25, 2012 Mark Lawrence rated it it was ok
Everyone loves Sir Terry. I love Sir Terry. I love the books & have great respect for the man. This review is simply my opinion of the success of this particular collaboration. I'll be 1st in line for the next T.P book and I'd even give T.P + S.B another go.

From the slew of 4 & 5* reviews already on show I may be out on a limb on this one - so don't listen to me - give it a try.


Collaboration. It’s a word with an unfortunate aftertaste. Collaborators get a bad rap. Sir Terry
Jan 02, 2014 Carmen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Science-Fiction Fans
"The next world is the thickness of a thought away."

This co-authored book (Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter) is a wonderful idea, lovingly executed. The Long Earth refers to the discovery of infinite dimensions all next door to one another.

When a scientist publishes the blueprint for a "stepper" - a device that can allow you to step from Earth to the next dimension (Earth 1) and from there onto the next Earth (Earth 2) and the next - online free for all to use, in order to thwart a greedy corp
Will M.
Nov 28, 2014 Will M. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The main thing that made me interested in reading this would be the promising premise. It offered a million possibilities, and I was not disappointed. While the novel was not perfect, it was still an amazing novel that promises even more exciting things to come in the next novels in the series.

Embarrassingly I haven't read any of the Discworld novels of Pratchett, and none of Baxter's novels too. While anything space related has caught my interest ever since i was young, I haven't invested mysel
Melissa McShane
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 22, 2012 Andrea marked it as flipped-to-the-end  ·  review of another edition
A did not finish read.

I think, in its way, this could be regarded as a form of apocalyptica. A device allowing easy jumping to countless alternate worlds (conveniently free of human populations) is invented. Many people embrace this passionately, and rush off to stake their claim in a 'land rush' with no visible end game. A small percentage can't go and others don't want to, but the effect of this mass dispersal is economies collapsing, new religions, fighting among old religions. It's a book ab
Jan 28, 2017 Apatt rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi
“It is hard for scientists even to talk about the Long Earth without babbling about m-brane manifolds and quantum multiverses.”

It would be hard for Stephen Baxter to resist waxing lyrical about quantum whatsits I suppose. I read his Xeelee omnibus and only understood half of the science expositions (and that is an optimistic estimate). However, with The Long Earth Baxter has the late great Terry Pratchett to help make the science part more palatable and also infuse the novel with the magic of hi
Jan 27, 2013 Rebecca rated it did not like it
Shelves: science-fiction
You know how famous authors will occasionally complain about how readers will come up to them at cons and tell them that they have this amazing idea for a book; the author should write the reader's idea, and then they can split the money. The moral to this kind of story is always that this is a ridiculously ignorant concept--ideas are easy, it's execution that's hard.

This is a novel in which two extremely prolific authors forgot this.

Well, to be honest, calling this a "novel" strikes me as gene
Brendon Schrodinger
I did not expect that much going into this book, I was just hoping for a fun fluffy read. I borrowed it from the library, so the worst case scenario was returning it unfinished. But I was surprised and delighted by this novel and I'm jumping right into the next book.

In a plot that you may feel has been done to death, a mad scientist disappears and leaves instructions to build a stepping device on the internet. Kids throughout the world make a copy and end up travelling into a parallel world. It
Aug 30, 2012 Juan rated it really liked it
Shelves: scif-fi
I finished The Long Earth yesterday, and came to see what others thought, and in many respects I agree; The Long Earth has an incredibly novel premise, but a storyline that in the end, doesn't really go anywhere (no pun intended).

The book essentially offers a thought exercise of what would happen if relatively unlimited inter-planetary (or more correctly, inter-dimensional) travel were available to the masses on Earth. What would people do? Would there be a mass exodus? Would people try to explo
Jan 24, 2012 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Those poor French. You lose to Spain at the Euro and Terry Pratchett takes an accurate pot shot at you in this book.

C'est la vie.

I'm unsure to give this three or four stars. I really am. I didn't quite really like it, but I didn't just like it. I went with four because it is my default when I read such a book and it makes me think.

The idea behind this book will be slightly familiar to those who watched Sliders or who have read comic books. The twist is that most people can step to the words eith
May 17, 2013 Tfitoby rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was quite the infuriating book to end up enjoying. A strange blend of young adult and science fiction written for the novice and almost as many pop culture references as Ernest Cline. If I'd only been informed in advance to expect a young adult novel I would have been less annoyed, Pratchett has written some of the very best YA there is, but as it stands this is apparently a book for adults. Stephen Baxter has written some of the most complex science fiction I've ever picked up let alone re ...more
Simple concept, brilliantly executed. This was my first non-discworld Pratchett and my first Baxter and between the two of them they put together an excellent novel.

The premise behind The Long Earth is a fairly simple one at first glance - there are multiple universes parallel to our own and with the aid of a stepper you can move from one to the next in a "linear" fashion. Easy concept, but as with most things, the devil is in the details.

On each Earth, evolution has taken a slightly different
One day, humanity discovers they can "step" from our world into parallel worlds. Each of these other Earths is slightly different from the next--but humans exist on no other world but our own. Humans immediately start stepping into other worlds to explore and create new homes. Resources and space are no longer scarce; old hierarchies start breaking down.

Joshua Valiente is a natural Stepper, someone who can jump from one world to the next without any ill effects. And so the first AI to be declare
May 13, 2012 Tari_Roo rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Arielle Walker
Feb 18, 2013 Arielle Walker rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy-unusual

Though this book feels in many parts like an awkward blend of The Hitch-hiker's Guide and The Time Machine, but lacking in Adams' trademark humour and oddities (and Pratchett's, come to think of it) The Long Earth is still an interesting read. Focusing on ideas rather than plot has been pretty unusual in recent releases so it's quite refreshing to be allowed to explore all these worlds - different earth versions - without having to keep up with multiple relationships and character development

For Lynn and Rhianna, as always - TP

For Sandra - SB

Private Percy woke up to birdsong. It was a long time since he had heard birdsong, the guns saw to that. For a while he was content to lie there in the blissful quiet.

A third of the way through and am not enjoying. I know, it's PTerry, but seriously this is not doing it for me.

I'll have a break from it for a while - maybe curosity will get the better of me.
Jun 06, 2012 Brad rated it really liked it
The basic conceit behind The Long Earth is simple: There are parallel universes and one day human beings discover they can "step" from one to the next quite easily.

But while most parallel universe stories would use this as a stepping stone to tell about the conflict between our world and one where the Axis powers won World War II, or where the meteor that wiped out the dinosaurs never struck the earth, The Long Earth takes a different approach: humans don't seem to have evolved on most of the ot
Jul 15, 2012 Dianna rated it it was ok
Shelves: disowned-books
I finished 'The Long Earth' and it was dreadful. I can barely deal with how dreadful it was. There's a smug AI that claims to be the reincarnation of a Tibetan motor cycle repairer. The hero becomes his Doctor Who companion ("Doctor, I am dumb. Please explain stuff.") as they fly over landscapes. "Look, there's a big ocean, there's a crocodile, there's an animal that's half elephant half rhino." Whenever the authors need to do some exposition that the AI and the companion aren't around to see, t ...more
Sep 24, 2014 Ivan rated it it was ok
Shelves: sci-fi
1.5 stars, I really struggled to finish it, I even skipped passages.

This is by far worst Terry Pratchett's book I read.Sure I given 2 stars to some Discworld books but that is because they where relatively weak compared to other Discworld books, I still had some fun with them.Story is uninteresting and most of the characters are just totally dull.Only reason I didn't give it 1 star because Joshua's PoV parts are not that bad and there are occasionally flashes of Pratchett's witty writing but tha
Bob Milne
Feb 29, 2012 Bob Milne rated it it was ok
The Long Earth is a concept Terry Pratchett first developed back in the mid-80s, around the same time that he was finishing up the third Discworld book, Equal Rights. The novel was a victim of Pratchett's own success, getting left behind when the Discworld series proved to be so successful. Sadly, as much as I wanted to like it, and as promising as the first few chapters were, it really does feel like a book that was written 25 years ago, handed off to somebody else, and then rushed into print. ...more
Apr 02, 2014 David rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 20, 2016 Kenchiin rated it it was ok
The Long Earth is a clear example of a great idea that's been poorly executed.
They are both great writers, but the plot goes nowhere and many pages later you're wondering why were you reading this in the first place.
Dec 30, 2013 Zanna rated it really liked it
Recommended to Zanna by: Ardene
The premise: using a potato-powered device that you must build yourself for it to function, almost anyone can travel from ‘Datum Earth’ to other, geographically similar Earths with alternate, human-free histories. Suddenly, there is infinite land and space, over which governments scramble to seize control while people respond in myriad ways.

My favourite character in The Long Earth is Lobsang, a human personality whose body has died; he’s a program. He is able to design, build and animate hardwar
Oct 09, 2012 Britain rated it really liked it
GREAT fun! I love Pratchett, and this did not disappoint. Really interesting idea--humans suddenly realize we can travel through endless stacks of parallel universes, each created by a different branch on the probability tree. Hugely entertaining descriptions of how this discovery impacts politics, property ownership, police, industry, and of what these worlds look like--why humanity is unique to our own. A great 'what if' story, with the narrative built around a thread of the main character inv ...more
Mar 20, 2013 Mike rated it it was ok
I suspect that there's much more Baxter than Pratchett in this book. I stopped reading Stephen Baxter (and in fact hard SF in general) years ago, because of exactly the hard SF flaws that infest this book: characters that exist almost solely so they can give you idiot lectures, other characters that exist largely to be mobile cameras for the tourist documentary about the setting, and hardly a protagonist in sight.

There are some characters with great potential. The leftist nuns, who we mostly see
Dec 24, 2013 Jason rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-books, read-2013
4 Stars

This is a case where I actually would give it full marks because it is right up my alley. I loved this story. The concept and themes are very thought provoking. The book really suffers as it broaches so many heavy themes that it does none of them any real justice.
Stepping the beginning:

“‘Well, maybe. At least he gave people a new option. Although he said people were going to have to learn to think, out there in the Long Earth. He said once, “I am giving mankind the key to endless worlds.
Sep 29, 2012 Sandi rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is a really good example of a great idea that's poorly executed. It really needed more of a plot, better continuity, drama, character development, or something. Just choosing one of those elements would have elevated The Long Earth to something special. As it was, it just kept reminding me of Ozzie's journey on the Silfen roads in Peter F. Hamilton's Commonwealth Saga. At times, it seemed like I was re-reading those books but not enjoying it as much.

I gave this book two stars based on the
2 stars - Meh. Just ok.

Another book that started at its apex and subsequently went downhill. I loved the unique world idea, but towards the end, it became a bit silly and the plot seemed to melt into a big pile of randomness. It also wrapped up with an extremely abrupt "ending" (if you want to call it that). I'm not referring to a cliffhanger, just something that felt more like a chapter ending, or even a paragraph ending. I dislike when authors of trilogies/series do not give each book its own
Tudor Ciocarlie
Jun 19, 2012 Tudor Ciocarlie rated it really liked it
Great fun, despite the fact that this book feels like it's only building the setting for the next one. And it gives you so much food for thought regarding the evolution. A perfect blend between the warm and funny voice of Pratchett and the spectacular imagery and the scientific rigorousness of Baxter.
11811 (Eleven)
Apr 26, 2016 11811 (Eleven) rated it it was ok
My first Pratchett novel and I didn't care for it. Slow moving and uneventful. It picked up a little near the end but not enough to suck me into a seven book series. Too bad. The premise had potential for some dark and crazy stuff but apparently this isn't that type of story.
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Sir Terry Pratchett sold his first story when he was thirteen, which earned him enough money to buy a second-hand typewriter. His first novel, a humorous fantasy entitled The Carpet People, appeared in 1971 from the publisher Colin Smythe.

Terry worked for many years as a journalist and press officer, writing in his spare time and publishing a number of novels, including his first Discworld novel,
More about Terry Pratchett...

Other Books in the Series

The Long Earth (5 books)
  • The Long War (The Long Earth, #2)
  • The Long Mars (The Long Earth, #3)
  • The Long Utopia (The Long Earth #4)
  • The Long Cosmos (The Long Earth, #5)

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“Modesty is only arrogance by stealth.” 67 likes
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