Villordsutch reviews The Long Utopia by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter…
It’s with a morbid observation I begin my review and also with a rather grim link, as I’ve noticed Stephen Baxter is now associated with two of my favourite departed Knights of the Realm, Sir Arthur C. Clarke and also Sir Terry Pratchett. Stephen Baxter would be a gentleman I would like to sit down in a quiet area of a café and bend his ear about working with both these two greats for hours. He’d possibly despise me for it and wish to talk about his rather massive contribution to the science fiction universe, but as the camomile tea flowed I’d keep returning to Sir Clarke and Sir Pratchett.
Returning to The Long Utopia however, which is the latest in the line of the books written by Sir Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter, and it’s here we land at the penultimate chapter of this saga and it does certainly have the feeling that this universe is all slowly coming to a close. The main characters are all maturing and as with life everything is aging, people are taking their own path and separating or even more brutally…dying (or perhaps not). Don’t be dissuaded from The Long Utopia believing it’s all doom and gloom – you don’t need to be listening to Radiohead’s The Bends to tap along with this book. At the core of this book there is still have both a rather excellent science fiction story and also a life story – with some very witty warm humour – threaded throughout this book courtesy of the amalgamation of Baxter and Pratchett.
Now who should be buying the book? Is this for the fans of Stephen Baxter or for fans of Sir Terry Pratchett? This is clearly a sci-fi book and it isn’t a Discworld novel, however neither was Good Omens, and both gentleman have worked well together here with Sir Terry bringing his unique observant humour – warm/cutting/subtle – and his life travels to Mr. Baxter’s expertly crafted fictional universe. There is warmth to where there should be cold steel and there are space elevators to where the Wizards should have failed in an attempt to be a beat a Clacks Tower. It really does work surprising well. Dare I say it, I would put down a Discworld novel for a couple of weeks and give this saga a try. Please don’t see this as me besmirching the Discworld series for my wife and daughter are rather huge Discworld fans and I would be disowned, but in this saga you’ll see a bit more of Sir Terry’s humour and also you may find another author you possible wouldn’t have tried before.
The next Terry Pratchett Novel to be released will be The Shepherd’s Crown on the 27th August, and it’s now available to pre-order from Amazon US and Amazon UK.
Also if you pre-order The Shepherd’s Crown from http://pjsmprints.com/ you can get exclusively from them Sir Terry’s Signature plate embossed onto a satin gold wafer with the book.
For more news on Stephen Baxters upcoming releases click here.
Villordsutch likes his sci-fi and looks like a tubby Viking according to his children. Visit his website and follow him on Twitter.