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1 Beaverton Science Fiction and Fantasy- A to Z

This title in other editions

Other titles in the Otherland series:

Otherland #01: City of Golden Shadow


Otherland #01: City of Golden Shadow Cover

ISBN13: 9780886777630
ISBN10: 0886777631
Condition: Worn Condition or Underlined
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Author's Note

Starting a new book is like falling in love. You live and breathe that story, you find it hard to think about anything else, and all the other books in your past begin to look kind of frumpy by comparison.

Otherland began as an idle thought while I was driving around one day back in about 1989. (I was still in the middle of the trilogy, writing-wise.) So many wonderful books, I thought, are river novels — Heart of Darkness, Huckleberry Finn.

The rivers in novels are metaphors, of course — metaphors for the journey of life, for the exploration of the self — but, I wondered, had anyone ever written a novel where the river itself was completely metaphorical?

It wasn't a long jump to thinking of a river of pure information, and the original title for Otherland was North on the Data Stream.

I combined this idea of an imaginary river with my interest in how information culture is changing the world (and yet leaving many of the same imbalances between the poor and the rich) and began to think about characters.

Writing Otherland, at least the first volume, has been different than writing Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn, both more frustrating and more satisfying.

It's more frustrating in part because it's set in the near future, so I can't just arbitrarily make things up, and even the things that take place in computer-created virtual worlds are sometimes exact copies of real things. (I had to read over a dozen long books and many other bits of source material just to write the Foreword.) If I'm showing the readers a place they know (parts of the book take place in California, North Carolina, South Africa, Columbia, Australia, India — all very real places) then even fifty years or so in the future it has to be very recognizably the same spot.

On the other hand, one of the wonderful things about Otherland is that I get to use modern language. I've always believed that when you write immersive fantasy, you shouldn't use metaphors even in narration that the characters wouldn't know — "electric" in a medieval-ish period, for instance — because it jerks the readers out of the story and into the present. But with this book I can do what I want, and use a palette of words much closer to my everyday way of speaking and thinking.

I've also enjoyed it because I'm giving myself as wide a range of characters (some human, some not) as I did in the trilogy. And I still get to indulge in my standard hideously complicated plot, zillions of connecting strands, squillions of foreshadowings, and tons of bizarre side-tangents and weird supporting personae.

So far my only real unhappiness about the book is that, since it's going to be four volumes, there are going to be TWO middle books. Gack. No one sensible likes to write middle books.

For more, visit the author's website at www.tadwilliams.com

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crowyhead, September 15, 2006 (view all comments by crowyhead)
This is book one in Williams' Otherland series. Williams shows himself to be as adept at evoking a realistic future world as he is at creating high fantasy landscapes. This book moves extremely slowly, frustratingly so at times, but the world is extremely rich and the characters well-drawn and varied.
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Product Details

Williams, Tad
Daw Books
New York :
Science Fiction - General
Fantastic fiction
Fantasy fiction
Fantasy - Series
Science Fiction - Series
Science / General
Science Fiction and Fantasy-Series Adventure
Science Fiction and Fantasy-Fantasy
Edition Description:
MM Picture Book
Otherland Paperback
Series Volume:
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
from 12
6.94x4.14x1.75 in. .79 lbs.
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » Fantasy » General
Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » Series Adventure

Otherland #01: City of Golden Shadow Used Mass Market
0 stars - 0 reviews
$2.95 In Stock
Product details 792 pages Daw Books - English 9780886777630 Reviews:
"Review" by , "At an imposing seven-hundred-plus pages, only the most die-hard SF/computer tech fans will stick with it, but the research, writing, and character development are all remarkably well done."
"Review" by , "Williams proves himself as adept at writing science fiction as he is at writing fantasy....His version of the Net, although obviously indebted to Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash and other novels, is detailed and fascinating. Best of all, however, are Williams's well-drawn, sympathetic characters..."
"Review" by , "An exciting addition to the growing virtual reality literature from the author of Caliban's Hour."
"Review" by , "Another doorstopper fantasy from Williams, book one of a projected tetralogy large enough to satisfy the most gargantuan appetite....[A]fter 782 pages of flabby confusion, readers, like most of the characters, will have only the vaguest idea of what it's all about. If, for whatever reason, you intend to absorb the entire tetralogy, you'll need your reading spectacles, a cool hundred bucks, a prodigious memory, and unlimited patience."
"Synopsis" by ,

Surrounded by secrecy, it is home to the wildest dreams and darkest nighmares. Incredible amounts of money have been lavished on it. The best minds of two generations have labored to build it. And somehow, bit by bit, it is claiming the Earth's most valuable resource--its children.

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