Saturday, 21 February 2015

SCIENCE FICTION REVIEW: Ultima - Stephen Baxter

Release Date: 27/11/14
Publisher:  Gollancz


Fresh from his latest collaboration with Terry Pratchett on the Long Earth sequence Stephen Baxter now returns to the mysteries and challenges 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.


Space, whilst not quite the final frontier is perhaps one that we, as readers, love to explore with our favourite Science Fiction authors and for me, I have Stephen Baxter at the top of my TBR pile when I want that exploration. As you’d expect from the author the tale is one of wonder, brings cracking thoughts to the reader and when it ties in to hi previous title Proxima, all round helps expand the universe in so many different ways.

Add to this a cracking arc, wonderfully descriptions and a set of characters that really step off the page all round makes this a cracking read and one I was more than happy I spent the time working my way through. The only real warning I’ll put on this is that you should read Proxima prior to this otherwise you won’t get the full experience.

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