I always remember this series as 6000+ pages of the following:

"They went somewhere different, everyone was tired, and some of them cried".


Tooooooo funny!
I didn't read this series but love your summation.

Where were you with the cliff notes when I was writing reports for my high school english lit class?

I especially like the emotion evoked at the end of your summation.
Otherworld, for me, is a very good series, and very looooonnnnggg. I read them all over a year. During that time in real time, several gamers died, or became very ill, while hooked into a game. I also stay with a lot of the research using pc hook ups for people such a Hawkins, and others using prostheses. Fantastic stuff. These books surely indicate one direction that the pc-individual hook ups can go, in a bad way.

I've checked a couple of Williams' fantasy books, and don't like them nearly as well as I did Otherworld. :eek:
Overall I liked it. My main criticism was the South African guy and his endless backstory; just too much info, and it felt the author was trying too hard to bring a character alive by reading tons of info on a culture that was pretty irrelevant to the plot.

The Macguffin element was pretty weak too as well. A bit of a stretch.

But i thought he did a good job of immersing the reader into the world he had created.
Oh, I loved the Otherland books so much. I wanted them to be longer, and that's saying a lot, isn't it? I actually can pick up any of the four, dive in on any page, and just surf in it for awhile. Maybe that's weird, but that's how much I like the imaginary worlds that he created. There was talk about an on-line game for it, but I was never really enthused for it - how could you ever create a good game based on something so gigantic?

Has anyone ever read the short stories that were put out later, about Orlando's life in the virtual world? There were two and they are both pretty super if you liked the Orlando character, or if the idea of living in virtual reality appeals to you.
There's another thread comparing Otherland to MS&T in the Williams' sub-forum. I went back to visit what I said about it then, just to see if other things I've read from Williams since might have changed my mind. Unfortunately, his subsequent works (I'm speaking in reference to the Shadowmarch series) make me wish he'd moved on to them instead of Otherland! Perhaps member Thiel put it best in his aptly named thread here...."A Turgid Wade".

(Maybe you could make the point that, having gotten Otherland out of his head and onto paper, he had that much more room to maneuver for Shadowmarch? :D)
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I thought this was a good series, not epic, but good enough for me to finish it.

This reminds me that there was a short story after this one that follows Orlando, did anyone ever read it?

Oh as I'm typing this and glancing up @Wicke asks the same thing :)
Also, I always find it kind of cool when there's a Filipino character in a book. I mean, the one in this one had a few issues (to put it lightly). The only other I've come across was Johnny Rico in Starship Troopers.
M,S & T I thought was excellent and had me gripped. Otherland started well but absolutely fell off a cliff for me. Completely agree with Brian:

Tad Williams - Give me back my life!
I've read #1 and I have #4 for when I get #2 & #3
More believable than ST-TNG anyway ... Tanks with sensors, drugs, force feed back and retinal projection, not holodecks or Stereoscoptic is the future of Virtual Reality. Which isn't a cheery thought
Robert Sheckly or Brunner, I think has wired in folk (causing a distopian society) and so has Anvil by Nicolas Van Pallandt (Nina & Fredrick's son, he died in 2006). Anvil so far is far better than Otherland, but I'll read the rest.
Everytime I think about the time I spend reading all 4 volumes of Tad William's "Otherland" series, all I can think is:

"Give me back my life!"

I seriously feel the story was an over-bloated waste of my time.

Sure, it's very well written, and very imaginative - but somehow the entire story as I remember it is essentially irrelevant - no one really achieves anything, what does happen is ad hoc, and characters you were introduced to as important from the beginning fail to really be.

I always remember this series as 6000+ pages of the following:

"They went somewhere different, everyone was tired, and some of them cried".

Give me back my life, Tad Williams!!

Couldn't agree with you more!
There were moments of brilliance but in the end I just got tired of the whole tedious story.
Oh, please. Don't remind me of these books!

Apologies in advance, Brian!

These books are very polarising, I see! I've just started on a re-read - I don't know why, but they came to mind recently and I decided to revisit them. I had fond memories of the books from the first time I read them, which had to have been twenty years ago or more now, but I have forgotten a lot of the details. Regardless, the first book has hooked me in and I'm about three-quarters of the way through in somewhat record pace for me at the moment.

For books written in the late nineties, Williams' extrapolation of technology has held up really well, I've found. Except for the fact that everything needs to be plugged in to work - obviously wireless technology seemed a step too far at the time!

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