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The Long Earth

(The Long Earth #1)

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  45,735 ratings  ·  4,513 reviews
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1916: the Western Front, France. 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 has the mud, blood and blasted landscape of No man's Land gone?

2015: Madison, Wisconsin. Cop Monica Jansson has returned to the burned-out home of one Willis Linsay, a reclusive and some said mad, others d
Hardcover, 379 pages
Published June 21st 2012 by Doubleday UK (first published June 19th 2012)
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Sardinicus I don't believe that happened, or was mentioned, in this book (possibly later in the series which I haven't and likely won't read). At the conclusion…moreI don't believe that happened, or was mentioned, in this book (possibly later in the series which I haven't and likely won't read). At the conclusion of this first book (spoiler) Agnes is presumably among the group of nuns mentioned helping to evacuate the Home orphans from Datum Madison. (less)
Andrea Yes, that's addressed in the book. Each earth represents a potential geological and evolutionary outcome. All the earths exist at the same time.

Community Reviews

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3.76  · 
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 ·  45,735 ratings  ·  4,513 reviews

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Mark Lawrence
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
Sean Barrs the Bookdragon
Science fiction is full of stories that go backwards and forwards; they swing through the spectrum of time and explore the popular trope in all its possibilities. Pratchett and Baxter, on the other hand, step sideways.

The Long Earth is a seemingly endless series of alternate realities with Earth being the focal point. By using a Stepper, a piece of technology that is powered by a potato (Pratchett at work no doubt), the user can travel along the spectrum of Earths and step foot on thousands of d
Jan 02, 2014 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 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.
Jan 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Ms. Smartarse
May 29, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In 2015 humanity discovers a (potato-powered) device that enables it to travel to parallel worlds. While most people need these devices, there are some natural steppers who don't need them, and also some that can't step at all, having to be "carried" over by others.

Fast forward a few years. Natural stepper Joshua Valiente, along with Lobsang the super computer, decide to test the limits of these parallel worlds and go on the journey of their... ugh... lives (?). In the meantime, the rest of huma
Jun 22, 2012 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 27, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
May 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the second time I'm reading this book but the first time I tried the audio. And I can happily report that both forms are great.

The Long Earth series is not one of those action-laden scifi stories. Rather, it's more of a smart and funny thought experiment with the occasional action - making it far more realistic.

We are on Earth. Earth as we know it. It's called Datum Earth in this series. One day, someone publishes the plan to the so-called Stepper. A device that let's you go left or righ
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
Such a great concept, the execution though fell way short of my expectations. Going to give the sequels a pass...
Aug 30, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 rated it really liked it
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
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 17, 2013 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
Ova - Excuse My Reading
I finished this book but I turned into edge of abandoning it many times. It was a bit slow and there were parts I just wanted to skip. It started so good and promising, feeling a bit sad that I won't read the rest of the series. The writing is good so and it's Pratchett so I can't give less than 3 stars!
Feb 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An adventuresome tale of kids who follow a mysterious geek’s design on the internet to employ some simple electronic gear from Radio Shack (and a potato) to construct a device that allows them to go stepping into parallel worldlines. Some of these alternate earths are little different, but others are almost empty of people. It was a lot of fun to experience the discovery process of the pioneering participants and equally so the emerging response of governments and society, faced with the disappe ...more
Like others, I'm often a bit skeptical about collaborations between authors, be they both well-known authors or not. In this case, I was very worried because their styles are very different and they take an amazing jump between hard-SF and character-driven world-building fantasy.

HOWEVER, I couldn't be more pleased with the combo. I was thrilled by the characters and felt the wonderful sense of adventure and then suspense as things got dire. And that's just it. We get the best of both worlds, the
Jul 15, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Barry Cunningham
A fabulous book with fabulous concepts. So many unanswered questions, I suppose I have to figure it out for myself. Its great when you have to use your own imagination to supply the mechanism for the brilliant ideas in this book. A partnership of authors cut short too soon!
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 24, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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

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.
Arielle Walker

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
Scarlett Readz and Runz....Through Novel Time & Distance
It’s a Meet Cute!

“The Hobbit”
“Star Trek”
“The Long Way to an Angry Planet”

The idea of stepping from Earth to Earth for evolutionary purposes or exploration, self-preservation and new beginnings is the concept in this fantastical Sci-Fi adventure. It turned all my thoughts and know how upside-down as it explored deep niches of my understanding of what is possible and brought forth so many questions!

“The way I see it, my ancestors put a lot of effort into getting out of the goddamn ocean and I
The Long Earth is the first book in a five-book science fiction series by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter. The main premise is that humans have discovered that it’s possible to “step” to a seemingly-unlimited number of alternate earths, all of which appear to be pristine wildernesses with no humans to be found. Many people take advantage of this discovery for a variety of purposes: to start new pioneer colonies, to exploit resources, to enjoy solitude, and to just explore.

I thought the premis
Jun 06, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Book discussion (unlimited resources). 1 6 Jan 10, 2019 12:45PM  
Opportunities of a Long Earth and your ideas? 7 76 Jan 10, 2019 10:19AM  
A disappointment 45 356 Jan 10, 2019 09:59AM  
Jesus 2 97 Jan 10, 2019 09:49AM  
Dragons & Jetpacks: The Long Earth/Overall Discussion/***SPOILERS*** 12 29 Aug 25, 2018 09:35AM  

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Born Terence David John Pratchett, 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, i

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)
“Modesty is only arrogance by stealth.” 76 likes
“Maybe the only significant difference between a really smart simulation and a human being was the noise they made when you punched them.” 35 likes
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