Fresh from his latest collaboration with Terry Pratchett on the Long Earth sequence Stephen Baxter now returns to the mysteries and challanges first hinted at in his acclaimed novel PROXIMA.
In PROXIMA we discovered ancient alien artifacts on the planet of Per Ardua – hatches that allowed us to step across light years of space as if we were stepping into another room. The universe opened up to us. Now in ULTIMA the consequences of this new freedom make themselves felt. And we discover that there are minds in the universe that are billions of years old and they have a plan for us. For some of us. But as we learn the true nature of the universe we also discover that we have countless pasts all meeting in this present and that our future is terrifyingly finite. It’s time for us to fight to take back control.
This is grand scale, big idea SF of the best possible sort. It is set to build on the massive success of PROXIMA and define Stephen Baxter’s work going forward.
[Stephen Baxter] is one of the few still producing massive, fastidiously textured SF epics that engage the intelligence of the reader. Ideas come thick and fast, and an exhilarating sense of wonder is guaranteed.
Stephen Baxter is an incredibly skilled author - a successor to Arthur C Clarke and Philip K Dick who has kept me entertained for years with his clever books written around huge ideas and concepts.
Ultima is a tour-de-force of grand Space Opera, where an unbridled enthusiasm and super-long timelines create a tale full of wonder and cool imaginings. Whilst enjoying the travelogue, it is clear that, in the finest Clarkean tradition, the joy of discovery leads to even greater mysteries to be understood. Ultima is great fun. I loved this book, even more than the first, and I really want to read the next book as soon as possible. Definitely one of my favourites of 2014.
this is a hard SF novel that battles bravely with big ideas. With every passing year, the oft-made remark that Baxter is Arthur C. Clarke's heir seems more and more apt