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Otherland Books In Order

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Publication Order of Otherland Books

City of Golden Shadow (1996)Description / Buy at Amazon
River of Blue Fire (1998)Description / Buy at Amazon
Mountain of Black Glass (1999)Description / Buy at Amazon
Sea of Silver Light (2001)Description / Buy at Amazon

The Otherland series is an excellent series of science fiction, epic fantasy, speculative fiction, and adventure stories. It is written by a well known American writer named Tad Williams. The series is comprised of 4 books, released from 1996 to 2001. Tad Williams has set the stories on Earth during the last years of the 21st century. Some plots indicate the period to be between 2082 & 2089. Tad has mentioned that technology has taken a more advanced form than what it is at present. A standout aspect of advanced technology is the large scale availability of full-immersion installations of virtual reality. These installations allow people to gain access to the Net, a distinct online world.

The intricate plot woven by Tad Williams spans the four volumes and paints a picture of a society in the future where the real and virtual worlds are integrated fully. In the stories, Tad Williams has given alternate interpretations of several classical literary gems, including The Odyssey, The Wizard of Oz, Through the Looking-Glass, The Iliad, and The War of the Worlds. These works exist in this series as entertainment simulations. One of the primary characters, Orland Gardiner, spends most of his early life in a world equivalent to JRR Tolkien’s fictional work, MMORPGs. The events depicted by the author in the series have a strong resemblance to Tolkien’s The LOTR. In the beginning, Paul Jonas is introduced as an infantryman in the British Army in an apparent section of the First World War’s Western Front.

With diminishing hopes of survival and deep wounds on his body, Paul dreams about a mysterious ‘bird-woman’. When he wakes up, he finds a feather of the bird-woman lying beside him. Paul thinks that the world is not what it appears to be and flees with his comrades Mullet and Finch. Paul suffers from memory loss almost completely and moves through bizarre worlds as he seeks answers about himself and his link to the mysterious bird-woman. During his travel, the bird-woman appears before him in different guises. After this, the story switches over to the late 21st century, where technology is highly advanced and shows people using Virtual Reality on a vast scale.

Some of the essential characters created by Tad Williams for this series include Mr. Sellars, Paul Jonas, Xabbu, Irene Sulaweyo, Martine Desroubins, Florimel, Singh, Orlando Gardiner, Quan Li, Salome Fredericks, Sweet William, Daniel Yacoubian, Javier Rodgers, Ricardo Klement, Bolivar Atasco, and several others. Mr. Sellars is shown as a mysterious man under the arrest of the United States for trying to access the secrets of Otherland with the help of people recruited by him. Paul Jonas, a British national, is stuck in Otherland and sought after by a mysterious woman and the Twins. Irene Sulaweyo is depicted as a South African woman and a professor in a college in Durban. She is headstrong and looks for the cure of a disease that put her younger brother in a state of coma.

Likewise, other characters also play important roles to take the series forward and unfold the various events. In 2008, a video game was announced to be developed by DTP entertainment and RealU. However, the development got canceled after a few years due to issues between the partner companies. In 2014, another company called Drago Entertainment had succeeded in developing the Otherland game and was all set for a worldwide release. But again, problems continued due to some technical issues and the release was canceled. Finally, it was in October 2016 that the game was finally developed and released for worldwide users. Warner Bros. had obtained the rights to make a film based on the Otherland books. Dan Lin and John Scott III were finalized as the producer and scriptwriter respectively.

An exciting book of the Otherland series written by author Tad Williams is entitled ‘River of Blue Fire’. It was released by the Daw Books publication in 1998. This book opens with the description of Otherland as the most stunning achievement of humankind. It’s a multi-dimensional, private universe developed over 2 generations by the 21st century’s greatest minds. But, this exclusive place is also a place where the darkest secrets of the world are kept. It is under the control of an organization that consists of the most ruthless and powerful individuals in the world. The organization is a private cartel that goes by the name, The Grail Brotherhood. It is known only to those who are aware of its existence.

The purpose behind the creation of Otherland is still not clear, but it is about to get revealed. In the process of creating Otherland, the cartel exacted a heavy price from the humans. And now, their crimes are not going to remain hidden even by their perfectly managed global conspiracy. A group of adventurers have managed to get hold of deep secrets and found a way to enter Otherland. However, after entering the amazing world, they find themselves trapped. As they are not able to find a way to escape and reunite with humankind, the group gets widely scattered due to the fear of various dangers. Now, the only way they can get out of the entrapment is by returning to the River that is known to flow through different worlds in different forms.

With the odds being against them completely, the adventurers get lost in different realms as they face tribes from Ice Age, dangerous insects, and other mysterious beings. And most dangerous of all is the sociopathic killer sent by the cartel to kill each one of the adventurers so that their secret cannot go out. Another mindblowing installment of this series is called ‘Mountain of Black Glass’. It was also published by Daw Books in 1999. This novel opens with the proclamation from Mr. Sellers that by creating the sophisticated and powerful simulation network, the Grail Brotherhood injured and manipulated the minds of millions of children. This proclamation confirmed Irene Sulaweyo’s fear that she acquired when she first stepped into Otherland while desperately looking for the cause of the deathlike coma of her brother named Stephen.

While still in Otherland, Irene, Xabbu, and other companions navigate through an ever-changing and treacherous course. They cross a strange, unfinished land and reach a labyrinthine House while pursuing a killer sent by the cartel, who has abducted one member of their group. When Irene reaches closer to finding the secrets that could save the life of her brother, she learns that something has gone too wrong with Otherland’s network. So, before dealing with the Brotherhood, Irene and the others decide to solve Otherland’s mysteries and confront the darkest secrets it holds.

Book Series In Order » Characters » Otherland

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