Tag: Terry Pratchett

Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter – The Long Cosmos | Review

Title: The Long Cosmos

Author: Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 470

Rating 3/5

 

 

Okay, I feel like this series has jumped the shark by this point, and I think I know why. Pratchett passed away before the book was finished and so Baxter edited it on his own, and he also explains how the series itself came about in an introduction to it. They basically had the idea for the first book, which ended up being so big that it was split into two. Then The Long Mars came about because they felt like they couldn’t leave it unexplored, and then they added two more books on to the end just to round it off.

To be honest, I kind of got that feeling from reading it, with the series going slowly downhill as it continued. The first book was also packed fall of cool ideas, popular science and psychology and all sorts of other stuff that basically meant I flagged every page of the damn thing to talk about it. By this one, my interest in the series was waning, and most of the flags that I added were references to the earlier books.

For me, if the last book in a series is mostly interesting because of the little references to the earlier books, it’s a sign that it’s not standing up so well on its own. Sure, there is a story line here, it’s just that it’s not particularly interesting and it’s starting to feel as though the same ideas are being rehashed, and along a similar plot too.

 

 

I quite liked The Long Mars, but I think it would have worked best if the series had ended there and been a trilogy. Without it, I’d say that the first should have been a standalone, and I’d say while it’s worth checking that one out, it’s not worth continuing with the series unless you really loved it. Luckily, I did.

So I’m glad that I read this one, even though it was a little bit of an anti-climax. I’m a huge Terry Pratchett fan (he’s my most-read author), and so this was a vital part of completing the full set of his published works. It was better than some of it and not as good as some others, but overall if you’re a science fiction fan then you’re probably going to like it. Although I’d probably still recommend starting with the Discworld.

Now that this is done, my next book is going to be a 760-page Stephen King book, and I’m not sure if that’s such a good idea. After reading these, I feel like I need to read something short as a palette cleanser, but I don’t have anything short. But oh well.

 

 

Click here to buy The Long Cosmos.

 


Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter – The Long Utopia | Review

Title: The Long Utopia

Author: Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 448

Rating 3.5/5

 

 

At this point, I’m pretty much just continuing to read these books to see what happens next. It’s not as though there’s anything specifically wrong with it, it’s just that I think the series was best right at the start when all of the ideas were still fresh. The idea of people being able to step from one world to another is a solid one, but there’s only so much that you can do with it. By this point, the concept no longer feels freeing, because a lot of the possibilities have been explored by now. Now it feels as though the story line itself is being dictated by its own constraints, and that could be a problem – especially for the last book.

Still, I’m enjoying myself enough, and I will be picking up the last book in the series. I’ve also come around to the way in which huge amounts of time pass between each book, because while it does get annoying just to discover that so-and-so broke up with their wife between books or whatever, it does at least mean we get to see each of the characters throughout their entire lifetime.

And the writing itself is pretty good, and I’m still enjoying the sense of humour as well. In fact, if I were to judge this as a standalone instead of as part of a series, I’d probably be a little more optimistic about it, because it is a good book. It’s just that this one and the last one had nothing on the first series, and we’re now getting to the point at which it feels as though they’re just tying up loose ends and following the science to its inevitable conclusion, instead of just telling a story.

 

 

But it still has all of the good stuff that made me love this series, including a whole heap of references to popular culture, popular science and popular psychology. This is one of those rare fiction novels where it actually feels as though you’re learning something when you’re reading it, and you come out the other end feeling much more intelligent than you did when you started.

So would I recommend this one? Of course I would, although I can also see how it might not be for everyone and there’s really no point skipping straight into it. Instead, you should start from the beginning and just keep going, especially if you find yourself enjoying it. What more could you want? Give the series a go – you won’t be disappointed.

 

 

Click here to buy The Long Utopia.