The Long Utopia (Long Earth)
Terry Pratchett, Stephen Baxter
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The fourth novel in Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter’s internationally bestselling “Long Earth” series, hailed as “a brilliant science fiction collaboration . . . a love letter to all Pratchett fans, readers, and lovers of wonder everywhere” (Io9).
2045-2059. Human society continues to evolve on Datum Earth, its battered and weary origin planet, as the spread of humanity progresses throughout the many Earths beyond.
Lobsang, now an elderly and complex AI, suffers a breakdown, and disguised as a human attempts to live a “normal” life on one of the millions of Long Earth worlds. His old friend, Joshua, now in his fifties, searches for his father and discovers a heretofore unknown family history. And the super-intelligent post-humans known as “the Next” continue to adapt to life among “lesser” humans.
But an alarming new challenge looms. An alien planet has somehow become “entangled” with one of the Long Earth worlds and, as Lobsang and Joshua learn, its voracious denizens intend to capture, conquer, and colonize the new universe—the Long Earth—they have inadvertently discovered.
World-building, the intersection of universes, the coexistence of diverse species, and the cosmic meaning of the Long Earth itself are among the mind-expanding themes explored in this exciting new installment of Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter's extraordinary Long Earth series.
around his shoulders, with no resistance from his followers. Roberta murmured, ‘I once told you that you’d lose him, Martha. One way or another. At least this is a good way, a positive way—’ ‘No,’ Martha snarled. ‘There is no good way.’ And before the boys got back through the crowd, she broke away from the women and hurried off. 51 ON EARTH WEST 1,217,756, the end game was close, everybody said. Joshua could sense it. If you stood out in the open on this world, under the streaming sky,
pressed his thumbs into his temples. ‘Sometimes I feel incomplete. As if I am losing memories, and then losing the memory of the loss itself … Yellowstone to me was like a lobotomy. ‘Since then I have had – doubts. I told you of this, Joshua. I have had the odd sensation that I remembered my previous incarnations. But that is not the accepted norm, under the Tibetan tradition; if my reincarnation has been fully successful I should shed all memory of my previous lives. Perhaps this reincarnation
business is done.’ ‘Oh, is it? You think you got “closure” now?’ He made quote marks in the air with his fingers, to Joshua a very old-fashioned gesture highlighting an old-fashioned word. ‘Hey, where you going? Will you come see me again?’ Joshua considered that. ‘Maybe.’ ‘Listen,’ Freddie called after him. ‘I know you’re disappointed. Whatever you expected of me, good or bad, I’ve always been that, at heart. Disappointing. But I’ll tell you something, Joshua. You never knew about me, but I
leaned over the beetle on its table, a facemask over her mouth. The dissection had progressed a lot since Jha had last seen the specimen, but in the body’s interior she made out nothing but a kind of spongy mass, undifferentiated. ‘I’m just a lowly plant biologist, but even I can see we’re lacking in internal structure here. No obvious organs, no skeleton.’ Bowring shrugged. ‘We think the ceramic shell acts as a kind of exoskeleton, to support the weight. And there is a lot of weight; that
who assembled himself from the iterations, the backups you left behind.’ ‘There’s much I can deduce, by your very presence. Something has happened.’ Joshua said gently, ‘You could say that.’ ‘Are the odds against us? Is the situation grim?’ ‘You could put it like that,’ Sally said. ‘Although that sounds like a line from a movie. You two will never grow up, will you?’ Joshua dug in his pocket, and produced a memory pod, a small capsule. ‘He – Lobsang – gave me this. He says it contains the