Book:The Long Earth/Annotations

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Annotations for The Long Earth:

"He (Percy Blakeney) tried French anyway. 'Parley Buffon say?'" - He probably meant to say something like 'parlez-vous français'

Doubleday Edition (UK) p81:- Philip José Farmer's Riverworld series of novels are a classic in speculative fiction. The central premis is that the whole of the human race, everyone who has ever lived (as well as related species advanced enough to share aspects of humanity, like neanderthals and other hominids) have been resurrected on a massive planet known as the Riverworld. One River meanders in long lazy spirals around the world's surface. People have been reborn in approximate chronological order in their social or tribal units. It is possible to die here, but you are simply reborn somewhere else in the riverworld in a new body. Everyone is permanently 25 and sickness has been erased. But people who on Earth were thinkers and explorers are not content. Some attempt to "step" around the planet by repeatedly dying or commiting suicide, so as to experience life in as many places as possible. On a deliberately mineral-poor planet, others, including Samuel Clement (author Mark Twain) exploit a meteorite strike (iron-rich) to smelt materials and build boats - and airships - to explore the Riverworld from above. One such airship on the Riverworld is actually called the Mark Twain....

Doubleday Edition (UK) p131:- The reference to the "trolls" as Mighty Joes. Another shout-out to Philip José Farmer's Riverworld, a book about a sort of alternate Earth, where representatives of a humanoid group which predated humans are ressurrected alongside the whole of the human race. A Titanothrop adopted and taught English by "Samuel Clement"'s group of adventurers is nicknamed Joe....

Doubleday Edition (UK) p150:- Tracklements again. See note for this entry.

Doubleday Edition (UK) p214:- And once, a flapping, spinning, thing that looked for all the world like an octopus, spinning like a frisbee through the canopy trees. How the hell had that got there?

Terry being whimsical, perhaps: a shout-out to Nation and the Tree-Climbing Octopus.

Doubleday Edition (UK) p243:- The settlement of Happy Landings, a town founded by humans who inadvertently learnt to step, and who appear to come from all ages and times in human history on Datum Earth. Another nod to Riverworld, where the continuous death and ressurection cycle spreads people evenly around the planet, who are discovering that "anarchist~" communes, in the classic interpretation, are the only way small human societies can live. Or perhaps to michael Moorcock's creation of Tanelorn - a refuge for those tired of serving Gods, a place where people from all over the Multiverse choose to find peace. Under frequent attacks from the gods of Chaos...

Doubleday Edition (UK) p260:- the Long Chant of the trolls. Trollsong is a way of preserving and communicating information around the whole of the species. In Thud!, reference is made to the Long Chant of the trolls on Discworld. Is this Tery recycling what at present is a throwaway, undeveloped, idea on Discworld and using a different vehicle to elaborate on the theme?

Doubleday Edition (UK) p282:- The power of potatoes for the random traveller, in preserving sanity and providing a potent reminder of home and familiar things. Joshua is evoking Rincewind?

Doubleday Edition (UK) p306:- "First Person Singular", the Leviathan-like sentient being, is twenty-three miles long by five miles wide. Hmmm. A shout-out to Shea and Wilson's Illuminatus! trilogy, where Leviathan (and shipboard supercomputer FirstUniversalCybernetic/KineticUnifiedProgram) gains sentience by speaking the word "I". 23 and 5 are also very special numbers in "Illuminatus!"