The year is 2070 and 60 years ago a young Joshua Valienté was one of the first people to “step” into the millions of different Long Earths. Since then most of humanity stepped and started new lives on one of these strange Earths.
As some people were stepping the human population on Datum Earth (regular Earth) nearly killed themselves with a nuclear bomb. Then Yellowstone National Park almost destroyed the world when its volcano erupted sending Datum Earth into a nuclear winter. People were forced to step out of Datum Earth in order to survive.
Now, 60 years later, Datum Earth is healing although the nuclear blast has left some places still radioactive and the Yellowstone National Park eruption changed the climate prolonging the winter months.
Joshua Valienté, now in his mid sixties, just wants to go back to Datum Earth, his real home, but he needs to have one last adventure. He wants to be by himself in the High Meggers and contemplate things.
He steps into a Long Earth millions of steps away from his Datum Earth home and has found some strange and dangerous animals living there. He’s also found a group of trolls and made friends with the oldest male whom Joshua names Sancho. Joshua wasn’t all that happy finding the trolls because he wanted to be by himself but it was a good thing the trolls were with him since they helped him in more ways than he was ever able to imagine.
Just before Joshua leaves Datum Earth all the Long worlds and its inhabitants get a message from the stars: “Join Us.” With the help of the very smart new humans “The Next”, the Long Earths realize that the message is sent by a superior race from another planet and all life forms on all the Earth are invited to join the alien race but join them where and how?
Meanwhile, Joshua and his old friend, Lobsang, agree to help their friend, Nelson, locate Nelson’ grandson who disappeared just as Nelson was getting to know the child.
“The Long Cosmos” by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter is one complex book, but all the books in this very creative five-book series are complex.
First of all you have to read them in order otherwise you’ll get confused. Each book leads you into the next one and you better remember what you’ve read previously and all the characters.
Authors Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter create an interesting place doing their best to explain things by giving lengthy spiels on how their science works. Honestly, the science stuff went over my head but the many plot lines kept me reading to see how this massive series ends.
I enjoyed “The Long Cosmos” along with the previous four books but I think the first in the series, “The Long Earth”, was my favorite. This series is not for everyone. It’s loaded with science and you should like science fiction because some things have to be taken for what the are, like stepping into other Earths and meeting all the strange new creatures.
Definitely give the Long Earth series a try if you like the idea of just stepping into a whole new world and creating a new life for yourself.