The Long Cosmos

The Long Cosmos

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by Terry Pratchett, Stephen Baxter
     
 

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The thrilling conclusion to the internationally bestselling Long Earth series explores the greatest question of all: What is the meaning of life?

2070-71. Nearly six decades after Step Day, a new society continues to evolve in the Long Earth. Now, a message has been received: “Join us.”

The Next—the hyper-intelligent post

Overview

The thrilling conclusion to the internationally bestselling Long Earth series explores the greatest question of all: What is the meaning of life?

2070-71. Nearly six decades after Step Day, a new society continues to evolve in the Long Earth. Now, a message has been received: “Join us.”

The Next—the hyper-intelligent post-humans—realize that the missive contains instructions for kick-starting the development of an immense artificial intelligence known as The Machine. But to build this computer the size of an Earth continent, they must obtain help from the more populous and still industrious worlds of mankind.

Meanwhile, on a trek in the High Meggers, Joshua Valienté, now nearing seventy, is saved from death when a troll band discovers him. Living among the trolls as he recovers, Joshua develops a deeper understanding of this collective-intelligence species and its society. He discovers that some older trolls, with capacious memories, act as communal libraries, and live on a very strange Long Earth world, in caverns under the root systems of trees as tall as mountains.

Valienté also learns something much more profound . . . about life and its purpose in the Long Earth: We cultivate the cosmos to maximize the opportunities for life and joy in this universe, and to prepare for new universes to come.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
07/11/2016
In this conclusion to the Long Earth series (following 2015's The Long Utopia), set in 2070, Baxter (Ultima) and the late Pratchett (The Shepherd's Crown) take their decades-spanning tale of an infinite chain of parallel Earths to the next level as a mysterious signal from the far reaches of the galaxy urges humans to "join us." While the ultra-intelligent subset of humans known as the Next build a continent-sized supercomputer on a distant Earth to further decipher the message, the famous explorer Joshua Valiente takes a sabbatical far from home, which leads him to an eye-opening encounter with nomadic trolls. Eventually Joshua joins the crew of humankind's inaugural interstellar mission and discovers just what lies at the heart of the galaxy. The story starts off slowly, but it quickly picks up speed as the mystery deepens and the myriad threads come together. There's a definite sense of mortality, but also a sense of wonder as the characters embrace the vast unknown in what might be considered the perfect allegory for Pratchett's final years. It's a wholly satisfying conclusion to the series, though vast amounts of potential remain in the concept. Agent: Christopher Schelling, Selectric Artists Literary and Talent Management. (June)
Io9 on The Long Earth
The Long Earth is a brilliant Science Fiction collaboration with Stephen Baxter: a love letter to all Pratchett fans, readers, and lovers of wonder everywhere… This novel is a gift to be shared with anyone who loves to be amazed.”
Booklist on The Long Earth
“Stay tuned for the next episode of a very old-fashioned sf quest yarn (think Jules Verne and 2001) that, since Pratchett is involved, is crammed with scientifically informed amusement.”
Io9 on THE LONG EARTH
Praise for The Long Earth: “The Long Earth is a brilliant Science Fiction collaboration with Stephen Baxter: a love letter to all Pratchett fans, readers, and lovers of wonder everywhere… This novel is a gift to be shared with anyone who loves to be amazed.”
Booklist on THE LONG EARTH
“Stay tuned for the next episode of a very old-fashioned sf quest yarn (think Jules Verne and 2001) that, since Pratchett is involved, is crammed with scientifically informed amusement.”
Library Journal
02/01/2016
In this definitive-sounding work, completed 18 months before sf legend Pratchett's death in March 2015, the hyperintelligent post-humans called the Next receive instructions about building a giant artificial intelligence known as The Machine. With a 50,000-copy first printing.
Kirkus Reviews
2016-04-13
Final installment of the series (The Long Utopia, 2015, etc.) wherein Earth is one of an indefinite sequence of worlds occupying the same space but separated by some higher dimension (one can almost hear Pratchett murmur, "Nobody knew for certain, but it was probably quantum"). This Long Earth, discovered by people with a natural ability to step between worlds, was opened to everybody by means of a simple device. The only constraints are that most people suffer debilitating nausea with repeated steps and that it's impossible to carry iron from world to world. Also, there are no other humans anywhere, though there are sapient beings—singing, gorillalike trolls, belligerent, doglike beagles, and so forth. By the year 2070, airships equipped with rapid-step devices ply the trade and passenger routes between worlds. Far from the original, or Datum, Earth (devastated by a vast volcanic explosion and partially abandoned), the post-human Next, who generally hold ordinary humanity in contempt, pick up a radio signal from the center of the galaxy—a signal that somehow resonates with the trolls and other nonhumans and whose message is simple yet devastating: "Join us." Embedded in the message are instructions for constructing a huge artificial intelligence, but to build it the Next will need the cooperation and active assistance of all the industrialized worlds. Elsewhere, readers will be reacquainted with familiar parties such as Joshua Valienté, one of the original natural steppers, Lobsang, the ubiquitous AI who invisibly runs things, and retired churchman Nelson Azikiwe. Once again, the purpose is less to tell a story than to discover and explore, in both physical and philosophical senses, an infinite landscape of infinite possibilities. And series fans seem OK with the less-than-compelling narrative and not-especially-engaging characters. Scientist Baxter's naturally rather pedantic and dispassionate tone needed more of the warmth and wit of the late fantasist Pratchett (who died in 2015).

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062297372
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
06/14/2016
Series:
Long Earth
Pages:
400
Sales rank:
40,718
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.40(d)

Meet the Author

Sir Terry Pratchett, OBE, was the author of more than 70 books, including the internationally bestselling Discworld series of novels. His books have been adapted for stage and screen, and he was the winner of multiple prizes, including the Carnegie Medal. In January 2009, Pratchett was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in recognition of his services to literature. Sir Terry, who lived in England, died in March 2015 at the age of 66.

Stephen Baxter is an acclaimed, multiple-award-winning author whose many books include the Xeelee Sequence series, the Time Odyssey trilogy (written with Arthur C. Clarke), and The Time Ships, a sequel to H. G. Wells's classic The Time Machine. He lives in England.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Salisbury, Wiltshire, England
Date of Birth:
April 28, 1948
Place of Birth:
Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, England
Education:
Four honorary degrees in literature from the universities of Portsmouth, Bristol, Bath and Warwick

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The Long Cosmos 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous 11 days ago
Terrific book!