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The Long Mars

(The Long Earth #3)

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  13,461 ratings  ·  866 reviews
From the combined talents of the UK's bestselling novelist and a giant of British science fiction comes the dazzling new chapter in the extraordinary and bestselling The Long Earth sequence.
     2040-2045: In the years after the cataclysmic Yellowstone eruption there is massive economic dislocation as populations flee Datum Earth to myriad Long Earth worlds. Sally, Joshua
Hardcover, 361 pages
Published June 19th 2014 by Doubleday UK (first published June 17th 2014)
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Morgan Storey You will understand it, Baxter and Pratchett are excellent authors so they recap what you need to know.

That being said, I was in the same predicament…more
You will understand it, Baxter and Pratchett are excellent authors so they recap what you need to know.

That being said, I was in the same predicament as you, buying the Long Mars at under half price. I decided once I looked inside the cover I would get the first two, they are a very easy and quick read and do give you some nice back story.(less)
Laura The Long Mars name checks KSR's Mars Series, which charmed me. On a very high level of abstraction, they're similar. Instead of trying to build a bett…moreThe Long Mars name checks KSR's Mars Series, which charmed me. On a very high level of abstraction, they're similar. Instead of trying to build a better world, most of the folks in this series are trying to find one. The Long Earth series is much gentler, and less complicated. Far fewer characters; far fewer zero-sum conflicts. None of the characters in this series are as vividly drawn as the ones in KSR's, and there's more whimsy. It's not hard science fiction; even granting the "step" technology that lets you set across worlds, it's still got some big fantasy elements. Or whatever you call it when a Tibetian motorcycle repairman gets reincarnated as a computer. The ideological conflicts are there, but again, not as vividly drawn as in KSR's books. (less)

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Jun 21, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
E.M. Forster once wrote that when it comes to fiction, story is the thing that makes you ask “what happens next?” while plot is the thing that makes you ask “why did that just happen?”

For example, here's a short piece of fiction I just wrote that's full of story and devoid of plot.

Opening the garage door and what Johnny found there

Johnny knew he shouldn't open the garage door, he knew the rumours. Nobody who opened this door ever left here alive. But, dammit, he really liked that Spongebob Squar
May 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
I feel this series is a classic "marmite" series in that you will either love it or you will hate it. As this is the third book I expect everyone to have decided what they think by this point but I am one of the former. I adore the light-plot style of these books with them focusing more on a journey through amazing worlds with a limited plot point that ties the characters together. I thought this one was the best of the series so far.

The Long Mars is probably an inappropriate title as it is one
Jun 30, 2014 rated it it was ok
The series continues its arc down for my enjoyment. The writing remains constantly good, but the plotting meanders.

There's a really strange lack of knowledge of evolution that drives most of this book. Like, seriously, bad science going on.

And the whole Mars part of the book (which is supposed to be important? but really isn't) is marked with a strange sort of logic that I really don't get. (view spoiler)
May 08, 2014 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: People who need to read EVERY Terry Pratchett book.
This book had three parallel stories, and I enjoyed two of them. Unfortunately, the third one was the source of the title, so it was kind of important. I enjoyed the on-going adventures of Joshua Valiente, but he was kind of lost by the end of the book. His family totally disappeared, but they were fairly unimportant in The Long War as well. I enjoyed the ever further venturing of Maggie Kauffman and her navy crew on board the airships. They travel out into the 100,000,000s and beyond range, whe ...more
Tim Hicks
Oct 27, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: science-fiction
I have nearly all of Terry Pratchett's solo books, and I've enjoyed some of Baxter's work.
Long Earth wasn't bad. Long War was a little disappointing. This one was depressing.

It's boring.
It feels as if it's written for bright 12-year-olds.
And it's sloppy.
(Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play?)

There are in fact some scenes where stuff actually happens. But by the time I got to them I was skimming pages, whipping over them in a way disturbingly similar to the twains' fligh
Apr 01, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: science-fiction
How could two of the best SF & F authors of the modern era make a story of two epic journeys across billions of worlds so boring?

Virtually the whole book is taken up by these journeys - one across the multiple Earths, and another across similar multiple Mars's - and both journeys come across as "here's this world and it's got this going on, then there's this different world and it's got this different thing going on" - and it goes on like this for millions of worlds.

Along the way, the authors se
Peter Tillman
Not starting out well at all. At p.40, I'm already bored.

"How could two of the best SF & F authors of the modern era make a story of two epic journeys across billions of worlds so boring?", asks Otherwyrld,

Do yourself a favor, and read some of the 2 and 1-star reviews before you take this one on.

Long Earth #1 was very good, Long War (#2) was pretty good, this one looks like it's headed back to the library soon. I'm closing it out as as DNF after 40 pages,
Thomas Edmund
Jun 19, 2014 rated it it was ok
When I saw the next 'Long' series was titled The Long Mars, I immediately credited Baxter and Pratchett for at the very least taking the series places unexpected. Since the mildly disappointing Long War, I was somewhat geared for not so much low expectations, but an assumption that Long Mars would follow a similar pattern of the majority of the book being a sort of sociological exploration with a very intense world(s) changing event at the end.

Even with differing expectations this book unfortuna
B Schrodinger
I enjoyed the last two volumes in this series because the characters were interesting and the ideas presented were fascinating. They are strange books, there is not so much of a plot to them, they're more like a series of fascinating ideas. Stuff happens, but it's more like a documentation of events rather than a drama.

The third book carries on this style, and introduces some new concepts to the Long series, with an expedition to Mars, and then through the Long Mars with Sally. Joshua is embroi
Maureen Wynn
Jun 08, 2014 rated it did not like it
I could never have imagined giving a Terry Pratchett book one star, but I'm afraid this book deserves it. I have always enjoyed the "what if?" idea as a starting place for a story, and I loved the "what if there was an infinite number of Earths?" idea at the heart of The Long Earth. Unfortunately, it was an idea that was not fleshed out with an actual story - it was just a long series of "what if?" speculations. Each book in this series has been weaker than the one before it, and I doubt that I ...more
Jun 01, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: books-read-2015
It is now 2040 and on datum Earth the Yellowstone Caldera has finally blown. Most of the population is fleeing to other Long Earth worlds, and it is causing huge disruption. Sally, Joshua, and Lobsang are helping those that cannot step easily and getting them to safe havens. Out of nowhere Sally is contacted by her father, Willis Lindsay, the creator of the original Stepper. He is planning on going to Mars, and wants Sally to come along.

Whilst this is happening, the US Navy is intending on going
Mar 25, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, fantastical
There's so much wrong with these books that have such an imagination inspiring premise, potentially all of it stemming from the apparent dumbing down of two very intelligent British authors as they write what to all intents and purposes is an American YA series. Why would this be the case? Vignette after vignette slowly and obviously making a statement about colonial crimes, genocide, hatred of the other etc. complete with an inordinate number of references to the Cold War and Adolf Hitler mount ...more
Nov 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
Not as good as The Long Earth but better than The Long War, hopefully this series is back on the way up. This time round I really enjoyed each of the three parallel story lines. Plenty of things happened and some of the characters became really interesting. There was a bit less philosophising which helped the book progress faster and the introduction of the Next offers exciting possibilities for the next book. ...more
Nov 17, 2014 rated it did not like it
I love Terry Pratchett so you can imagine how excited I was when I saw he'd written a new science fiction novel. In fact three of them! And what an intriguing title! What could it mean? Ididn't know this Stephen Baxter guy but I figured he was bound to be okay if Terry Pratchett liked him.

Oh, how my hopes were dashed!

I'm writing only one review and putting it on all three books: The Long Earth, The Long War, and The Long Mars. That's because the books are basically indistinguishable. Yes, I rea
May 29, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2014, e-books
2.5 Stars

First let me say that I have enjoyed every minute of reading the three books in this trilogy so far. The Long Mars was a fast and fun read for me that did not suffer until the end. This is by far the weakest of the three books and it does have some major flaws. That being said, it is still a fun read set in a cool world that explores some potentially major themes.

The Long Mars is three separate story lines that unfortunately all do almost the exact same thing. By the end of this book it
Oh man. While I still thoroughly enjoy the concept of this world, the quality of the story telling is continually lacking. This is the worst yet as far as that goes.

The problem, I think, is that there is too much going on, with not enough time spent on any one thing. I've read plenty of novels with more than one perspective, and it's doable, but each needs to be done well. So much here felt pointless. Transitions between characters were haphazard. Motivations are questionable. The general point
Jul 02, 2014 rated it liked it
This book is kind of strange. It feels like the world's longest story starter... There are three separate stories, practically separate novellas that all feed into a short climax piece. But each takes the world of the Long Earth into different directions - past 250 million steps, to Mars, and to explore the next step of evolution among humans. Each is interesting (although the Mars story had the most interesting new developments), but they all feel kind of underdeveloped; and the transitions bet ...more
Too preachy. I could stop there, but there might be more questions than answers with that.

Pratchett/Baxter's ideology has always been tinged with left-of-center/counter-culture propaganda, and that has been okay with me [though I lean to the middle ground of a Libertarian right]. The main reason for my being okay with their propaganda is that the books have been wildly entertaining. The first book in this series was, but beginning with The Long War the books were light on the entertainment and
Alger Smythe-Hopkins
Maybe there is room here to draw comparisons to the development of the Discworld series, where the first few novels were pure goofs on the sci-fi fantasy genre and only later developed into an entirely unique and lasting contribution to imaginative literature. The evidence is that it takes time for Pratchett to inhabit a world enough to populate it with real and living characters, and time to give himself permission to let himself play. I know much less about Baxter's writing, although my sense ...more
Jul 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
It's taken me a long time to appreciate The Long Earth series. The first book was fine enough, with the basic premise starting things off: humanity gains the ability to walk into different alternate worlds. And then big question, then, is what happens next. I liked the book but didn't love it. It felt like there wasn't very much Pratchett in it for one thing (which isn't entirely true; his latest Discworld books suggests he's moved away from the humor a bit, at least in comparison to what the bo ...more
Michael Brookes
Jan 06, 2016 rated it liked it
I've enjoyed the series so far and this third book has continued that appreciation. The core premise of the Long Earth, a seemingly endless array of parallel worlds is an effective one. The light style of the writing carries some fascinating concepts and this book carries them further with the introduction of the Long Mars.

It's the exploration of these worlds that is the real strength of the series for me. There are some vivid and strange worlds on offer here and to be honest I would happily hav
Mar 18, 2014 rated it did not like it
I've never felt the need to give a book a 1 star review but this one earned it (it is also the only book I'm not recommending to anyone). I feel really let down by this series, three books in and nothing has really happened except the main characters travelling back and forth across the Long Earth's - and now Long Mars' - but not really going anywhere. All three books even have near carbon copy endings - Bk#1 Nuke, Bk#2 Yellowstone going nova and Bk#3 asteroid strike.

Considering the standing me
Laurène Poret
I would put 3.5 stars, because while this book certainly was long and boring in parts, there are some amazing ideas behind it. It's obvious it's a collaboration between two amazing SF/fantasy writers, but maybe they're not that well suited to work together? But it's really hard to find new ideas in SF books anymore, and I was pleasantly surprised.

I am really tired of these series of books that start by one book then two/three/four books ... I don't like ending a read on a 'oh you'll know the end
Chris Dietzel
Jun 21, 2016 rated it liked it
This was an odd book in terms of story dynamics: there was no conflict in the book until the very end. Because of this, the book came across as more of an appreciation of space exploration and the possibilities of the universe than a novel. That by itself is okay, but a story with no conflict makes it impossible to care about what is happening and what the characters are saying and doing.
Jul 30, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I feel this series has been on a downward slide since book 1 and I have a feeling it was as Pratchett contributed less and less. This book was darker, more drawn out, more boring, than the previous. I really don't know if I want to continue the series even though I have book 4 on my Kindle already. ...more
Having read the first two and listened to this third, I think this writing style lends itself much better to audio for me. I loved the first book which sort of meandered and zigzagged its world building. But book 2 was much more in the traditional western storytelling style and it took me over a year to finish because I got so bored with it. The story and the people are interesting and I love the premise of the Long Earth. But the writing gets stuck in trying to still world build while telling a ...more
Mar 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Long Earth series is a what if story. What if mankind suddenly discovered an infinite number of uninhibited dimensions all laid out in a line? With each book in the series so far the authors have taken this question and created an entire universe for us to enjoy. Each book takes the reader further and keeps him surprised.

Pratchett and Baxter are able to blend genres better than most other books I've ever read. On the one hand we have a hard sci fi feel, telling the story of the Long Earth o
Dec 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
It is always satisfying when a trilogy you just finished leaves you feeling that more questions were answered than not. When it doesn't leave you in the lurch, feeling totally unsatisfied - but calm and thankful.

That is how I feel right now. Thankful that two awesome authors put their heads together and came up with the consept, characters and very satisfying plot for these stories. I have absolutely NO complaints.

If you are a follower of Star Trek and Discworld and Sci-Fi, you may recognize so
Dane Cobain
Aug 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
By now, we’re up to book three of five in this series, and while I do think that the first book was incredible, it’s struggled to live up to the same high standard as the series has continued. We’re helped by the fact that the basic idea behind the story is pretty good and so it’s fun to watch the authors investigate.

In the first of these books, we follow what happens when stepping, a sort of new technology, is unleashed on the unsuspecting population of the world that we live in. With stepper b
Started this book the night before I heard Terry Pratchett died. I will mourn him a long time. His books have made me laugh and made me think and made me rage and made me feel a little less alone.

I am lukewarm on the Long Earth series. I suspect, though I don’t know, that it is setting us up for a hell of a payoff. But so far, there’s a whole lot of set up and not that much righteous moral excitement.

The conceit is promising. One day, we humans learn that our Earth is just one of a series of E
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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 Earth (The Long Earth, #1)
  • The Long War (The Long Earth, #2)
  • The Long Utopia (The Long Earth #4)
  • The Long Cosmos (The Long Earth, #5)

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