That if there was not just one Earth? What if there was not just a hundred earths? What if there was an infinite amount of versions of Earth, and suddenly, you could explore them all? What would you see? What would the social atmosphere of politics and policies be like if people did not have to live under the original umbrella of a over-governed Earth? The Long Earth series by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter attempts to answer all these questions in an amazing multiverse depiction.
Joshua, a natural “born” stepper who does not feel the side effects of stepping (which is stomach-heaving nausea), is taken on an adventure by Lobsang, a used-to-be mechanic who becomes the world’s first artificially intelligent to be declared a human. Onboard a helium filled airship called the “Mark Twain,” Lobsang and Joshua venture out into the Long Earths to discover the mysteries behind the phenomenon of multiverses.
Their first major discovery is the finding of a nearly sapient humanoid called “trolls.” Creatures with limited intelligence, they have something called a “long call,” which allows them to share information via singing across the Long Earth. Lobsang, fascinated by these creatures, devotes himself to understanding their mode of communication.
Turing a ground exploring of one unique Earth, Joshua bumps into a woman explorer named Sally. Sally, like Joshua, has ventured farther than anyone else in the Long Earths. She knows secrets Joshua and Lobsang do not. Her father was the inventor of the stepping box. With the help of her knowledge of the intricacies of the Long Earth, Sally introduces these two explorers to a place called “Happy Landings” — A unique utopia that blends both the Trolls and Humans in a living society.
In Happy Landings, Joshua and Lobsang learn that something is amiss in the Long Earths. The trolls seem nervous, even in Happy Landings. Some are migrating away from the west Long Earths, appearing in settlements closer to Datum, Earth, the original home of humans before “Step-Day” — the day that humans began to set out across the Long Earths.
From Happy Landings, Joshua, Sally, and Lobsang, all aboard the “Mark Twain” together, set out on a quest to figure out what has the trolls so nervous. Their adventure will take these three characters into imaginative Earths that stretch the minds of readers. They’ll encounters earth’s without land mass, planets filled with giant swarms of locust called “Jokers,” and discover evidence of true intelligent life.
That has the Trolls scared? What could be so powerful and scary that they would flee thousands and millions of copies of Earths to get away from? To find out, you’ll need to pick up the first book of a five book series. There’s nothing worse to a book than a spoiler.
The Long Earth series can be purchased in various formats either through an online distributor or any local bookseller. Go and pick one up today. You just may find you have left all your problems behind as you explore the infinite Long Earths.