So to The Long Earth
To anyone who knows me, the Terry Pratchett link is the obvious one, but I suppose it is worth making it explicit. TP was a discovery from the mid 1980s - I mentioned just before in the Proulx review that my Mum a was a librarian and brought home books from the library that he thought I'd like. It got to the point where the library threw out books if nobody EXCEPT me had ever issued them --- it was a given that I had read them…
So I read Dark Side of the Sun and Strata and The Colour of Magic and so on at the same time as I read The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, the Stephen Donaldson Trilogy, a bunch of Sci fi like Isaac Azimov's Foundation series and the Dune books and - before I disappear into an 80s reverie I need to move on. Let's just say that I was into TP before he was cool, OK hipsters?
I'm not sure that The Long Earth fits into my favorites yet. I just read through for the second or third time - and I haven't bought the sequels yet. Partly I dislike the modern 'buy today and preorder book two even though we haven't yet written it' thing, although I accept it's good business. Partly I worry that TP was at the end of his creative path and his illness meant that these books were ghost written, but we will get through that. Partly I think I read this as an ebook and ebooks are hard to judge in the same way I judge paper. As an academic I argue that ebooks/pdfs/online resources are about content and availability, and I rate them - but as a reader, I like books. But I'm coming around to ebooks via kindle, and I like the reduced clutter and the fact I can read on my phone, iPad, kindle, whatever, wherever. But does it lack gravitas? Do I believe that my possession of my ebook is as significant as that of a hardback? And do I judge the content differently because the reading experience is different?
More later, it's late..