By Stephen Baxter
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.
By Dave Duncan
The old Imperor was dead at last. His popular soldier grandson, known as Shandie, had succeeded him... Hadn't he? No, he hadn't. The man who sat the opal throne was not Shandie, but an illusion created by the mad dwarf, Xinixo. Year after year he had stealthily been ensorcelling sorcerers, turning them into loyal minions. Now, wielding their combined power, he was irresistible. He ruled the Impire, so he ruled the world. He would continue to rule it for centuries. Anyone who knew the truth or opposed him in any way, he would destroy or enslave. That especially included his old enemy, King Rap of Krasnegar. And Shandie, the rightful Imperor, of course. And all their supporters, their friends, their families. All of them! First he had to catch them. With his infinite magic, that ought to be easy. Rap and Shandie had other ideas, but even they could see that their cause looked hopeless.