“When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive – to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.” ― Terry Pratchett, The Long Earth.
The Long Earth by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter is a science-fiction book about multiple worlds. The book starts with the premise that people get into other worlds by building their own ‘stepping’ machine that when you flick a switch, takes you into another one of multiple Earths. In these versions of Earth, there are new species of animals, new landscapes and new rules that give rise to infinite possibilities of outcomes.
Joshua, a teenage boy is different to other humans in that he does not get ill after ‘stepping’ as other people do, and also he doesn’t require a self-made box to ‘stepp’, he can do it by himself- which others cannot do. These skills are the reason that he is taken on a mission to go and find the end of the Long Earth with a super computer who has the consciousness of Lobsang, a long dead Tibetan monk.
The plot is a far fetched and almost ridiculous at times; it reminded me a lot of ‘Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy’. However, in its defence, the book is readable, escapism and you can quickly catch up with the plot between picking it up and putting it down. I don’t think I am that swayed that I will read the other books in The Long Earth series, but it has been an enjoyable and sometimes thought-provoking, read.