RIP Sir Terence David John “Terry” Pratchett, OBE (28 April 1948 – 12 March 2015).
Forty one Discworld novels have been published. Within Discworld, Pratchett weaved a narrative with many different characters that each had their own narratives across several books. So much so that anyone approaching reading them needs a guide on how to make sense of it all.
The L-Space web has put together the above graphic which suggests starting points for each of the major “series” of stories within the novels. There is an alternative version below.
I picked up The Long Earth when it first came out, excited to see another novel from Terry Pratchett. It has a great world-building concept; a series of parallel earths that can be reached by “stepping” from one world to the next. And the stepping is triggered by an invention straight out of a typical Pratchett novel. Unfortunately nothing after feels anything like Pratchett. Which means the book must be a lot more Stephen Baxter than Terry Pratchett. (But I haven’t read Baxter so I don’t know if it’s all him or the sum of the two authors is just not a great result.) And it’s long and mostly boring and while that may be some kind of meta way of showing how big this long earth is to the reader it still makes for a boring book.
So I don’t really know why I picked up the sequel, The Long War, but I did and I just slogged through it and once again I have no idea how the authors could not have realized how boring the book is. There are fragments of good ideas scattered through both books but the meandering pace is deadening.