|The Long Earth by Terry Pratchett and Steven Baxter is just a great, layered look at parallel earths. The crux of the book centres around the fact that a device has been developed that allows people to move east or west along the long line of parallel Earth's. The Earth's closest to ours (1 east, 1 west) are near identical to ours but unpopulated by humans. As you get further down the chain the Earth's get more and more different than ours. The only limitation when travelling between Earth's is that you cannot bring any iron.|
Pratchett and Baxter bring do a great job of looking at the economic impact of discovering many worlds. There is one particularly funny scene where a gold prospector slides over to a parallel Earth intent on taking advantage of the Yukon gold rush. Only to discover that many people have had exactly the same idea and then the price of gold crashes as we now have a near infinite supply.
Also, as the explorers head down the chain of Earth's they run into "trolls" and "elves". It is surmised that these parallel Earth creatures once visited our own Earth giving rise to legends and fairy tales. If you know much about the fae they can't stand iron so that ties into the fact you cannot take iron to the parallel Earths. Since the trolls and elves are natural world travellers the iron would be of no use to them.
I really loved this book. It was so well put together with it being funny and serious at times. This is good science fiction folks as it makes you think.
|Fables Vol. 16: Super Team by Bill Willingham. Once upon a time (see what I did there) I couldn't wait for the next instalment of Fables. The series was hitting on all cylinders up until the resolution of their war with the Adversary in volume 11. Volume 12 introduced a new big baddie in Mr. Dark but it felt like a bit of a rehash of the story they'd just got done telling. Then volume 13 took me completely out of the story with the great Fables cross over. Since then the subsequent volumes have been increasing in quality which brings us up to volume 16.|
Super Team is more of a commentary on super hero comics than anything else. I do like how Willingham makes fun of the regular tropes of super hero comics but the resolution of the volume should have been titled "Deus ex machina" because it didn't seem to grow organically out of the story. It just seemed like Mr. Dark needed to be removed from the board and this is how we are going to do it.
So volume 17 will open up a whole new direction that I will check out but can't imagine I'll go too much past that if it is just another rehash of the original story direction.