The Long Cosmos
2070-71. Nearly six decades after Step Day and in the Long Earth, the new Next post-human society continues to evolve.
For Joshua Valiente, now in his late sixties, it is time to take one last solo journey into the High Meggers: an adventure that turns into a disaster. Alone and facing death, his only hope of salvation lies with a group of trolls. But as Joshua confronts his mortality, the Long Earth receives a signal from the stars. A signal that is picked up by radio astronomers but also in more abstract ways - by the trolls and by the Great Traversers. Its message is simple but its implications are enormous: JOIN US.
Reviewed on 18th August 2016
The final novel with Terry Pratchett's name on the cover, this is also the fifth and final story in the Long Earth series. The other author, Stephen Baxter, explains in the introduction that the pair wrote the book several years ago and so Baxter has only had to shepherd it through the publishing process by himself.
Joshua, the original step-day explorer, is heading off on one final time expedition into the many parallel worlds that he discovered, and the whole of the Long Earth is reacting to a strange message from the skies.
It's a great conclusion to a series which looking back on my notes I've enjoyed very much. The story does well to build upon and wrap up a number of the story points raised in the earlier novels without feeling like everything is coming to an end. The narrative is full of the wit and humorous references that are expected in a Pratchett story, and it certainly serves as a fitting end to his fantastic literary output.