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
[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.