City of Golden Shadow (Otherland, Volume 1) Mass Market Paperback – January 1, 1998
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“Tad Williams is the brightest and best of the fantasists working in what is so often, and so inaccurately, described as ‘the tradition of J.R.R. Tolkien’.” ―Neil Gaiman, author of American Gods
“Irresistible characters, challenging ideas, an intricate, and startlingly possible plot―everything any reader of SF or fantasy could ask for in a novel, with gorgeous writing besides. A dazzling book.” ―Melanie Rawn, author of Dragon Prince
“This brilliantly crafted book delivers even more than its title promises: not one other land but many come to life here, each engrossing, glittering, and dangerous. In this intricate geography of the mind Williams tells a cracking good story, but even as the suspense builds, you come to realize that you’re seeing a strangely familiar world―ours as it might come to be. Otherland is one of the best works of science fiction I’ve ever read.” ―Katharine Kerr, author of the Dragon Mage series
“On an epic scale, and most impressive of all (1996’s SF novels), is Otherland, a big colorful novel full of real-world conspiracy and virtual reality wonders, with characters worth caring about.” ―Locus
“Otherland has sparked a phenomenon, drawing even fans who don’t normally read science fiction with a mix of futurism, fantasy, and social criticism.” ―Metro Santa Cruz
“A wonderful mixture of visual imagery and movement…once again Tad Williams paints us a picture so vivid and real that it becomes three dimensional. Highly recommended…” ―Absolute Magnitude
“Tad Williams proves himself as adept at writing science fiction as he is at writing fantasy. Best of all, however, are Williams’s well-drawn sympathetic characters.” ―Publishers Weekly
“The ultimate virtual-reality saga, borrowing motifs from cyberpunk, mythology, and world history.” ―San Francisco Chronicle
About the Author
- Item Weight : 13.1 ounces
- Mass Market Paperback : 800 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9780886777630
- ISBN-13 : 978-0886777630
- Product Dimensions : 4.2 x 2 x 6.7 inches
- Publisher : DAW (January 1, 1998)
- Language: : English
- ASIN : 0886777631
- Best Sellers Rank: #109,411 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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NOTE: Kindle version is just rancid with typos.
Be prepared for a long read. The four books series must all be read to get to ending.
Highly recommended and one of my favorite books
Top reviews from other countries
What really shines, as in all the Tad Williams books I've read, is the characters. The villains are suitably villainous, the kind you love to hate while the protagonists are diverse, deep and fantastically rendered. The perk of the length is that the diverse cast has time to develop and you will truly care about all of them.
If you can look past the sheer length of City of Golden Shadow you'll find great story with some fantastically memorable characters that you can't help but care about. Also I'd give my right arm to play Middle Country it sounds bloody marvellous.
Tad Williams is a man who clearly loves the sound of his own voice but evidently is so boring that he can only get himself heard by writing devastatingly tedious tomes such as this one. Completely absent is any concept of story, plot, pacing, characterisation or anything else that would vaguely resemble an actual novel. In its place are endless, wordy, barely literate paragraphs of what ultimately, when all is said and done, amounts to textual diarrhoea.
What makes this whole desperate endeavour even more disappointing is that there is actually the germ of a good idea buried (very deeply) somewhere in this mess. A novel about VR and conspiracies provides rich material for dramatic storytelling but here this promising concept has been squandered utterly.
Do everything you can to avoid reading this and make sure you warn others who might be tempted by the tantalising cover blurb. I did eventually get to the end of this but I can legitimately say that it is one of the very worst novels I have ever actually read in its entirety and I certainly won't be reading the remainder of this series - the very thought of another 3000 pages of this tripe makes me gag.
I have two complaints and they relate more to Mr Williams' editors than to the man himself: The whole series is way too long. Many of the lands we visit along the way are frankly boring and we spend too long in them. Interestingly it is the virtual reality worlds that have this problem more than the real-life ones. Paul Jonas' experiences in a World War I simulation go on forever, for instance. My second complaint relates to the use of "who" and "whom". Surely there is someone in Orbit Books can search through the text and correct these.
But, aside from these quibbles, I highly recommend this - but make sure you buy all four, because you will not want to stop before the end!