Thursday, July 2, 2015
The Long Utopia by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter
If you like: Furballs * imagination * first contact
The Long Utopia continues to explore the expanding world of The Long Earth and all that it entails. The culture of the world has changed dramatically over the years that the Long Earth has been fully realized. As much as people know about the Long Earth, there are always new things to be revealed and discovered. The more people explore, the more the secrets are stumbled upon. The curators of the Long Earth continue to emerge and work together and find each other, no matter how many worlds apart they are.
The mysteries of the Long Earth continue to slowly reveal themselves. Rumors and anecdotes about fantastical things turn out to have nuggets of truth in them. So much of the exploration of the Long Earth is done quickly, worlds at the time. It is impossible to find out all the mysteries contained on the entire planet and evolutionary history in a millisecond. As combers and explorers spread out to each new world some of its secrets are revealed. The secrets of the other creatures on the world are discovered, too. At times it may seem like the threads connecting the worlds are spreading too sparsely and other times it becomes knit together even tighter. Settlers lay claim to their own worlds, even as the animosities between the Datum and the new worlds have grown much less overtime. It is not yet known if all of the people of all of the Earths could band together against an outside threat, but it is known that certain individuals will always stand up for humanity. The caretakers of the Long Earth will always be there in some form or another to take care of what humans do and what they encounter.
The Long Earth series is not just the story of many worlds but of the many people that make them up. Traveling through the series is not static in time. Our friends that we have met throughout each book continue to grow older and develop and mature. When we first met Joshua he was a young man and as each book progresses he's aged into an adult and even into middle age and beyond. The same goes for Roberta, a child when we met her, and Sally who will not be the caretaker of the Long Earth forever. The worlds of along with maybe infinite but the lifespan of anyone individual, whether sentient robot or not, is not infinite. The Long Utopia teaches us that we cannot spend forever exploring along the Earths, and each person's time will come to an end. This is not just the story of infinite possibilities, but of how you explore them when you have a finite lifespan. Will you spend your life reaping the benefits of a Long Earth and not giving anything back? Will you contribute to make all of the Earths the best they can be? The core group who has the best of humanity and the Long Earth in mind continues to grow. As some become too old to carry the torch any longer, new people that they have influenced or those who were strangers altogether begin to step up and fill the roles. In a world of infinite possibilities you can do anything. This can be good or evil, or a can be neutral altogether and indifferent. The greatest gift of a Long Utopia is the possibility to see anything in your lifetime. Infinite worlds with infinite possibilities. Seeing groups that may have never met, or have had periodic encounters over the years come together in order to shape the future of the world is almost magical. With a long war, Mars, and Utopia behind us it is interesting to see the future of the Long Earth evolving.
If you have enough imagination to create a whole new world, read The Long Utopia.
Pratchett, Terry; Baxter, Stephen. The Long Utopia (Long Earth Book 4). HarperCollins, 2015. Kindle Edition.