For everyone who liked the idea but didn't like the execution: check out The High Meggas
short story in [b:A Blink of the Screen: Collected Short Fiction|13536811|A Blink of the Screen Collected Short Fiction|Terry Pratchett|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1345767740s/13536811.jpg|19098532].
The story packs lots more punch and does not have some embarrassing logical holes. For example, it deals intelligently with the idea that you actually need some energy to step, and it depends on the weight you carry - resulting in the fact that if you're planning to go far, you carry little but spare batteries.
As for this... hem-hem... novel, I find the atmosphere, the abundant conversations, and lack of meaningful plot and resolution all remind me about [b:Foundation and Earth|29582|Foundation and Earth (Foundation, #5)|Isaac Asimov|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1389759320s/29582.jpg|532290], which I also hated. Even the nominal similarities are there - is there any difference between travelling with a human avatar of huge AI and travelling with I/we/Gaia?..
Well, like all Pratchett fans I try to persuade myself that he just didn't really put himself into writing this. On the other hand, I've never yet read anything by Baxter, and now I don't think I shall.