The Long Earth

Mostly I enjoyed this and the sequel a lot. A couple of questions:

So, iron and steel can’t step. So, what happens to your hemoglobin when stepping? (step, collapse, turn blue, die) Is it only the atomic presence of iron and iron compounds, in which case see above. Or is it only something containing iron in a molecular state which exhibits magnetic moment?  That might be it, since hemoglobin is non-magnetic. However, many grades of stainless steel are also non-magnetic, so stainless could also step it that’s the case.

Next problem: A lot of electronic components have steel in their structure. Switch frames for one example. The leads on most components are a form of copper weld, copper and tin plating over a steel core. Take a small magnet to Radio Shack and see how many electronic components stick to it. The stepper was supposed to be built out of components from Radio Shack so the steel in the parts is definitely a problem. Push the button; one’s stepper falls apart. Oops!

So, how does it all work???

Magnetic ComponentsMagnet with a bunch of components stuck to it


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