Title: The Long Cosmos
Author: Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter
Page Count/Review Word Count: 470
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.