Otherland, the quartet of which Mountain of Black Glass is the powerful third part, combines some terrifying speculation on the future of virtual...more
Otherland, the quartet of which Mountain of Black Glass is the powerful third part, combines some terrifying speculation on the future of virtual reality with adventures none the less terrifying because they are technologised dreaming--these are dreams from which the adventurers cannot awaken and in which, if they die, they are dead...An epidemic of comatose children has led Rennie and her San friend !Xabbu into the net and to a series of dream worlds created as palaces by the corrupt aspiring immortals, the Grail Brotherhood; two of those children, Orlando and Fredericks, have become adventurers in their own right, while their parents' lawyer Ramsey follows real world money, and lesbian cop Calliope tracks a serial killer with serious ambitions to become an angry god. In this volume we have adventures in a mythic Ancient Egypt and a rambling Gormenghast-like house before all the virtual adventurers meet where they were always destined to, before the walls of Troy... All around, death. It was not a quiet presence during the long day--not a pale-faced maiden bringing surceasse from pain, not a skillful reaper with a scalpel-sharp blade... Death on the Trojan plain was a crazed beast that roared and clawed and smashed, which was everywhere at once, and which in its unending fury showed that even armoured men were terribly frail things. Tad Williams takes the gameworld and turns it on its head, passionately; how do we know that what bleeds does not feel pain? He is writing a classic of cyberspace adventure which has a sorrowful heart. --Roz Kaveney less
Rarely do I manage to go through 700 pages within a week. Kept me engrossed. The weaving of plots, building up of characters and treatment of VR and RL are pheonomenal. A modern day Tolkien. First part of a 4 part series.