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Mountain of Black Glass (Otherland, Volume 3) Mass Market Paperback – September 1, 2000

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Frequently Bought Together

Mountain of Black Glass (Otherland, Volume 3) + Sea of Silver Light (Otherland, Book 4) + River of Blue Fire (Otherland, Volume 2)
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Product Details

  • Series: Otherland (Book 3)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 784 pages
  • Publisher: DAW (September 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0886779065
  • ISBN-13: 978-0886779061
  • Product Dimensions: 4.1 x 1.7 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (114 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #73,233 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

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 no less terrifying because they are technologized dreaming. These are dreams the adventurers cannot awaken from and in which, if they die, they are really dead.

An epidemic of comatose children has led Renie 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, adventures take place in a mythic ancient Egypt and a rambling Gormenghastlike 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 surcease 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 armored 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 writes a classic of cyberspace adventure that has a sorrowful heart. --Roz Kaveney, Amazon.co.uk --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Trapped in the exotic virtual simulation known as Otherland, Paul Jonas, Orlando Gardner, and Renie Sulaweyo continue their separate explorations into the heart of the reality that surrounds them. As they confront puzzles and obstacles in re-creations of ancient Egypt and Homeric Greece, they come closer to the black glass mountain that may offer them the key to the mysterious Grail Brotherhood that controls the passages to and from Otherland. Synopses of the previous volumes (City of Golden Shadow; River of Blue Fire) of Williams's ambitious epic provide enough information for newcomers to the series, but the entire story is best read in sequence. Filled with complex plot threads, a wide variety of virtual and "real" characters and vivid descriptions of numerous worlds, this series belongs in most sf collections.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Former singer, shoe-seller, radio show host, and inventor of interactive sci-fi television, Tad Williams is now a full-time writer. His 'Memory, Sorrow and Thorn' series established him as an internationally bestselling fantasy author. The series that followed, 'Otherland', is now a multi-million-dollar MMO launching in 2012 from dtp/realU/Gamigo. Tad is also the author of the fantasy series, the 'Shadowmarch' books; the stand-alone Faerie epic, 'The War of the Flowers'; two collections of short stories ('Rite' and 'A Stark and Wormy Knight'), the Shakespearian fantasy 'Caliban's Hour' and, with his partner & collaborator Deborah Beale, the childrens'/all-ages fantasy series, the 'Ordinary Farm' novels. Coming in September 2012 are the Bobby Dollar novels, fantasy thrillers set again the backdrop of the monstrously ancient cold war between Heaven and Hell: the first is 'The Dirty Streets of Heaven.'

Tad is also the author of 'Tailchaser's Song': his first novel spawned the subgenre of cats and fantasy that we see widely today. 'Tailchaser's Song' is currently in preproduction as an animated film from Animetropolis/IDA.

Customer Reviews

So many places, so many great characters, so much plot.
The plot was believable even in the fantastic setting, and with such great characters, the story was completely absorbing.
I can hardly wait till the end of the series just so I can see how everything is finally resolved!
Branden Poole

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 32 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 12, 1999
Format: Hardcover
MoBG is the third volume in the Otherland saga, and I actually enjoyed it even more than the first two books in this series. Williams combines his usual terrific writing skills with some fabulous visual images of different worlds taken from ancient folklore, such as Egypt and ancient Greece. I especially liked the fact that, while there are many more secrets to be revealed in the final volume of Otherland, some information is finally disclosed to the reader and there is a climax of sorts at the end of the volume. I actually enjoyed the ending immensely, though I can understand if others were mystified by it. Of course, Williams has a Herculean task with the fourth novel, Sea of Silver Light. I counted at least twelve developing subplots without answers yet, and so I'm hoping that Williams doesn't fail to provide a great finish to this powerful and exciting series, as so many other fantasy writers have failed to do in the past. Of course, it goes without mention that you must read the first two volumes in this series to understand this book. Ignore the Kirkus review above, unless you really have a problem with reading books over 400 pages. However, if you like detail, well-developed characters, and powerful visual images, then you must read this book. It's the best fantasy novel I've read in the last two years. Here's hoping that Williams finishes Otherland on the same roll!
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By M. Rich on January 26, 2000
Format: Hardcover
City of Golden Shadow, the first book in the series, set the stage and introduced us to the Otherland world, set sometime in our near future. In the second installment, River of Blue Fire, our various heroes found themselves spread out across the virtual realm of the Otherland virtual network. Now, in the third book, Williams has managed to up the ante, and things actually happen. I felt the first book was excellent as an introduction, but the second fell off as nothing of any real import seemed to occur. Now, in Mountain of Black Glass, Williams has paid off on the promise he made in Golden Shadow. The first two books are must-reads to understand this masterpiece, but the payoff is worth it. Williams' ability to create another world is unmatched, and his capacity to weave an ever-increasing number of storylines into a compelling and coherent narrative is startling. Well worth the read, though this lengthy series is not for the faint of heart or short of attention span.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on January 6, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Well, I have been greatly enjoying this series and I don't mind the character development that people have mentioned as being a problem. I feel that the stories of the people themselves are as interesting as the main plot (though some might very well see this as a problem). The prose is good and the plot complex. In many ways it reminds me of Donaldson's 'Gap' series in the interweaving of characters with groups of power and attempting not to be crushed by them. However... Just as in the second book, Williams managed to irritate me somewhat. In the second, I was not pleased with the jarring attempt to keep people from guessing the identity of Dread when he controlled one of their party. In this novel, it seemed _very_ obvious to me that he extended the series by changing the previous ending (there were originally only going to be three novels) in one key element, therefore being able to continue. I do admit that it's preferable to the Robert Jordan method of continuing a series by adding more and more words and descriptions in less and less 'book time', but it was still jarring and seemed to cheapen some of the sacrifices made by characters. Still, I look forward to the final book in the series.
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23 of 29 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 24, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I'm only halfway through this volume but I have to write since I've had one thought running through my mind for the last 300 pages -- no, make that 500 pages since the feeling started in book 2: this is just a vehicle for Tad to indulge himself. The central storyline is great, don't get me wrong, and it's the reason I'm still willing to slog through hundreds of pages of those wild, wacky adventures that do nothing to advance the plot and to endure "exposition" of the most meaningless sort. Do we really need to know about the childhood of someone who could charitably be called the twentieth-most important character in the book (Dulcie)? Do we really need yet another different world, the story of which reads like any other fantasy novel you could find on the shelf? Does Paul Jonas need to endure every single trial of the Odyssey? I hate to say it, but simply adding a one-off sentence at the end of a given chapter where (take your pick) a> the bird lady shows up, b> the Twins show up, c> the Other does something enigmatically sinister or d> yet another of those weeeeeird Otherland phenomena somehow manifests itself doesn't mean that that chapter moved the plotline ahead.
I'll say it again -- the overarching plot is quite interesting and I love the concept. But the more I read this, the more I'm finding that each chapter is likely to be essentially a self-contained and not particularly rewarding short story. I _never_ speedread or skim, but I'm starting to because pages pass where _nothing_ important, interesting or particularly novel happens. Stick to the main plot, Tad, or at least keep the tangents worthwhile. I'll stick the series out but my enthusiasm is waning. If you're looking for bloated epics, Jordan's are better-written and more interesting. This is fun, sure, but you can only meander so much before it hurts the quality of the work.
I _am_ still curious to see how it ends.
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