2070-71. Nearly six decades after Step Day, a new society continues to evolve on the Long Earth.
The Next—the hyper-intelligent post-humans—realize that the missive contains instructions for kick-starting the development of an immense artificial intelligence known as The Machine. But to build this computer the size of an Earth continent, they must obtain help from the more populous and still industrious worlds of mankind.Meanwhile, on a trek in the High Meggers, Joshua Valienté is saved from death when a troll band discovers him. Living among the trolls as he recovers, Joshua learns something profound about life and its purpose in the Long Earth . . .