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Comments for The Long War

The Long War: 06/02/14

cover art

The Long War by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter is the sequel to The Long Earth. The book opens fifteen years after the bombing of Madison, Wisconsin. Joshua and Lobsang have parted ways, Joshua to get married and start a family. Lobsang to do continue his quest to map all of the Long Earth and to somewhere along the way prove his humanity.

At the gap in the Long Earths, space exploration has begun again in earnest. But it's taking a steep price on the Trolls. Lobsang and Joshua reunite not to work together, but to recruit his wife, who can step better than he can and knows the Trolls better than anyone. They need calm things down before the Trolls, or something worse, decides to wage war on humanity across the Long Earth.

The Long War is more than just a story about learning to live with Trolls. It is also an exploration of what it is to explore and to conquer. The United Kingdom, burned out from its Empire days on Datum Earth refuses to do much of anything with its alternate footprints.

China, not to be out explored by the United States, begins exploring the Eastern direction, laying claim to all interesting or potentially useful alternate Chinas. The United States, meanwhile, is trying to assert its authority on all the United States settlements across the Western direction (as the cultural psyche still urges one to go West).

The Long War is a speculative fiction exploration of Frederick Jackson Turner's frontier thesis, taken with the modern day political scene (for good and bad). I recommend the series for anyone interested in history, social studies, or politics.

Five stars

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