My most recent read was “The Long Mars” written jointly by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter and first published in 2014. This is a third book in The Long Earth series, but aside from one or two details, it is very easy to follow the story and it can definitely be read as a stand-alone book.
“The Long Mars” is a book about the aftermath of humans suddenly gaining access to seemingly unrestrained travel between worlds. What made me love this book the most is its thoughtfulness. While reading, we get to know the main characters well, and it is not only one or two people, but a whole spectrum of different individuals with different personalities and skills. The authors also describe various worlds in a way that made my head spin. I applaud the creativity and the way the new and sometimes plainly weird ideas were tied into the story. If you have ever read a book that introduced a bold, creative idea of a new species, new superpower or anything like that but described it in a way that made you want to scream in frustration, I can guarantee, this is not one of those books.
The story of “The Long Mars” is one of two trips undertaken by completely different people due to completely different reasons. They travel to different destinations and there are very little similarities between them. The journeys are so different, yet slightly similar. Since is a story of exploration, every page is filled with new wonders and unseen landscapes. I strongly recommend reaching for this book at least for that reason and I feel that I cannot emphasize enough how good reading about the new discoveries felt.
Aside from that, I was touched by another important concept in the book. It tackled an issue that I think is very important in the world today, in a classical science-fiction fashion. The issue, half-disguised behind the story, refers to how we react to things unknown and different. This covers other cultures, other ways of thinking, other biology… I think there are enough examples in the book to really take this under a microscope and try to figure out why we, as humans, think the way we do. I feel that the authors ask a lot of questions in the narrative and most of them are answered, but some are definitely left for the reader to think through.
Overall, “The Long Mars” made me more mindful of how I perceive different things. It definitely dragged more of my attention to actually trying to notice the landscape in my local area as well as challenged me to be more open and try to understand opinions and views of people around me. It also reminded me that the fact that book contains very detailed descriptions of places and other non-action elements can still make it fascinating and very far from boring.
Have you read “The Long Mars”? I would love to read your opinions about this book in the comments! I hope you enjoyed reading this post. If you did, please like and share it. Let’s spread the word about good books around!