I just finished Baxter and Pratchett's The Long Earth -- it was pretty good; I'll have to see if I can get my hands on the sequel(s). Having noticed that many of the events and diary entries in the book have been carefully dated, I wonder if the authors included a specific date for "Step Day," the day that the plans for the Stepper (a device that allows travel in between worlds) were posted on the internet, and many people disappeared, permanently or temporarily.

I do recall that certain events are dated by the number of years since Step Day -- if I remember correctly, Sally steps off from the Datum (the version of the Earth from which humanity comes; our Earth) on a precise (10 year?) anniversary of Step Day.

Is a calendar date given for Step Day?

  • 4
    Not sure of exact date, but it takes place some time in 2015. I say on March 12th to honor the passing of Sir Terry Pratchett.
    – Firebat
    Apr 16, 2015 at 1:49
  • There doesn't appear to be a date in the books. In fact, it's described inconsistently throughout given that it appears to be mid-summer everywhere.
    – Valorum
    Apr 16, 2015 at 5:42
  • I don't recollect a particular date either I've only read the first 2 though. Apr 16, 2015 at 9:35
  • @Richard I hadn't noticed that
    – Shokhet
    Apr 16, 2015 at 11:53
  • The book was plotted by Baxter and Pratchett after they met at a scifi convention in mid-July.*
    – Valorum
    Apr 16, 2015 at 12:12

2 Answers 2


There doesn't appear to be an in-book confirmation of the date of Step Day. There are some contextual clues (too many to reference) that it's sometime during the summer in Wisconsin but that's about as good as it gets.

We also know from a quote that it wasn't on the 4th or 5th of July.

Out of universe, Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter met at The 2nd North American Discworld Convention in Wisconsin to discuss the book and do some of the initial research. That conference was held on the 8th of July


Very very late answer but I've just finished reading The Long War so here goes:

On Step Day Sally Linsay is 19 year old (The Long Earth chapter 7). She is 43 in The Long War (chapter 2) so TLW opens about 24 years after Step Day. In TLW chapter 57 the Chinese airships reach Earth East 20,000,000 on the 6th of July 2040. Given that the airships started their journey later in the book and took at least a few weeks (TLW chapter 40) to travel so far (probably a few months given stops for survey work etc.) and also Step Day is in northern hemisphere summer (various references to the weather, mosquitoes, leaves on the trees in TLE), that would put Step Day in the summer of 2015.

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