In The Long Earth, when the protagonists first run into the Gap:

"I don't think it was the stepping." Sally rubbed her own stomach. "It was the weightlessness. And then the sudden return of gravity. It was like falling."

"Yeah. It really happened, didn't it?"

"I think so," Sally said. "We found a gap. A Gap in the Long Earth."

Then, shortly after Lobsang appears,

Sally was furious. "How did you manage to hit a vacuum on Earth?"

Lobsang sighed. "Sally, we stepped into a place where there is no Earth. A total vacuum, interplanetary space. ..."

When I reached the first quote, I read it to mean what Lobsang later confirmed, that the "Gap" is a missing Earth in the Long Earth. That's presumably why she said "Gap" in the first place. But her question to Lobsang makes me think she didn't think it was a missing Earth after all. Since she did say, specifically: "How did you manage to hit a vacuum on Earth?", with emphasis by the authors.

This feels like a discontinuity in the narration - as if Sally realised what had happened, named it the "Gap" with a capital G, and then immediately forgot what happened.

  • She does mean that they hit a point where there was no Earth only space. – Bellerophon Nov 18 '16 at 16:14
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    The "Gap" is simply a stepwise world where the Earth is missing. In later books they site a space program there since the 'cost' of getting into orbit is zero dollars instead of billions. – Valorum Nov 18 '16 at 16:28
  • @Valorum I haven't read the later books, but I understand what the Gap is. The question is, what does Sally mean when she first says it? – muru Nov 18 '16 at 16:29
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    @Muru - She means what she says. How did they hit a vacuum on Earth. Lobsang tells her that they had unexpectedly gone into space. – Valorum Nov 18 '16 at 16:30
  • @Valorum I think we're talking at cross-purposes. – muru Nov 18 '16 at 16:31

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