The thrilling conclusion to the internationally bestselling Long Earth series explores the greatest question of all: What is the meaning of life?
2070-71. Nearly six decades after Step Day, a new society continues to evolve in the Long Earth. Now, a message has been received: "Join us."
The Next—the hyper-intelligent post-humans—realize that the missive contains instructions for kick-starting the development of an immense artificial intelligence known as The Machine. But to build this computer the size of an Earth continent, they must obtain help from the more populous and still industrious worlds of mankind.
Meanwhile, on a trek in the High Meggers, Joshua Valiente, now nearing seventy, is saved from death when a troll band discovers him. Living among the trolls as he recovers, Joshua develops a deeper understanding of this collective-intelligence species and its society. He discovers that some older trolls, with capacious memories, act as communal libraries, and live on a very strange Long Earth world, in caverns under the root systems of trees as tall as mountains.
Valiente also learns something much more profound . . . about life and its purpose in the Long Earth: We cultivate the cosmos to maximize the opportunities for life and joy in this universe, and to prepare for new universes to come.
About the Authors:
TERRY PRATCHETT was the acclaimed creator of the global bestselling Discworld series, the first of which, The Colour of Magic, was published in 1983. His fortieth Discworld novel, Raising Steam, was published in 2013. His books have been widely adapted for stage and screen, and he was the winner of multiple prizes, including the Carnegie Medal, as well as being awarded a knighthood for services to literature. He died in March 2015.
STEPHEN BAXTER is one of the UK's most acclaimed writers of science fiction and a multi-award winner. His many books include the classic Xeelee sequence, the Time's Odyssey novels (written with Arthur C. Clarke) and Time Ships, a sequel to H. G. Wells's The Time Machine, a Doctor Who novel, The Wheel of Ice, and most recently the epic, far-future novels Proxima and Ultima. He lives in Northumberland.