A new book (and universe) by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter. The Long Earth. One of the “editorial reviews” seems to give the best summary. Here’s a partial excerpt:
Eccentric, reclusive genius Willis Linsay of Madison, Wis., publishes on the web instructions for building a strange device consisting of a handful of common components, some wires, a three-way control and a potato. A flick of the switch (“west” or “east”) sends the builder into an alternate Earth–one of a possibly infinite sequence–where there are no humans at all, though there are other creatures descended from hominid stock. Some people are natural “steppers,” able to step into the Long Earth without any device. Another minority are phobics, unable to step at all. Steppers can take with them only what they can carry, while iron in any form doesn’t cross. Thanks to the strange circumstances of his birth, Joshua Valienté is a natural. The transEarth Institute, a wing of the huge Black Corporation, offers him a job exploring and reporting on the new worlds. His partner in the enterprise will be a zeppelin inhabited by Lobsang, a distributed artificial intelligence whose human component was once a humble Tibetan. Meanwhile, back on Datum, the original Earth, officer Monica Jansson grows increasingly concerned about the anti-stepping rants of powerful demagogue Brian Cowley. Thousands of steps from home, Joshua runs into another independent-minded stepper, Sally, who turns out to be Willis’ daughter. They visit a community, Happy Landings, founded thousands of years ago by natural steppers and trolls, gentle hominids who communicate via music. But both trolls and their viciously homicidal cousins, elves, are step-fleeing toward Datum from something very scary indeed.
You can pre-order it now, and it comes out June 19. I’ve already added it to my B&N Nook Library (I guess it will show as a “free preview” when it comes out and I can order it then). It also reminds me that I need to get caught up on my Discworld reading, and get my dead-tree library caught up as well – I have every Discworld book up through Going Postal, but I’m missing a couple of the ones after that.
On a related note, yesterday was payday, so one of the first things I did was buy the e-ARC of Larry Correia’s Monster Hunter Legion. I’m about halfway through (I had to recharge my Nook, and didn’t feel like reading on the computer screen or while tethered), and I’m liking what I see so far! Keep ‘em coming, Sir!
Other books I’m currently reading:
The Two-Space War by Dave Grossman and Leo Frankowski (Good premise, but the frequent poetry gets really tedious if you aren’t into that kind of thing – which I’m not.)
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