City of Golden Shadow (Otherland Series #1)

City of Golden Shadow (Otherland Series #1)

by Tad Williams

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Surrounded by secrecy, it is home to the wildest dreams and darkest nightmares. Incredible amounts of money have been lavished on it. The best minds of two generations have labored to build it. And somehow, bit by bit, it is claiming the Earth's most valuable resource--its children.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781101551264
Publisher: DAW
Publication date: 01/01/1998
Series: Otherland Series , #1
Sold by: Penguin Group
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 792
Sales rank: 61,206
File size: 3 MB
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Tad Williams has held more jobs than any sane person should admit to—singing in a band, selling shoes, managing a financial institution, throwing newspapers, and designing military manuals, to name just a few. He also hosted a syndicated radio show for ten years, worked in theater and television production, taught both grade-school and college classes, and worked in multimedia for a major computer firm. He is cofounder of an interactive television company, and is currently writing comic books and film and television scripts as well. Tad and his family live in London and the San Francisco Bay Area. You can find Tad Williams at 

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City of Golden Shadow 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 93 reviews.
kmoberly86 More than 1 year ago
This is the second Tad Williams novel that I have read and it remains one of my favorite books of all time. The first book I read by Tad was Tailchaser's Song, and while that was a good book, it was easy to see the simplistic style of writing. The Otherland series however shows a great deal of growth in writing style and plot development. For those who have not read beyond this novel, I implore you to continue at least through River of Blue Fire. There are four novels total and each one gets better and better. Follow Renie as she searches to find a cure for her brother's sudden comatose state... Get to know Thargor and Pithlit (aka Orlando and Fredricks) as they search for the secret behind the City of Golden Shadow. While I didn't find this book to be a slow start at all, others might be waiting for something more exciting to happen. My advice to them is to bear with it, continue on with the story and you will not be disappointed!
Deborah_Beale More than 1 year ago
Deborah Beale here (Tad partner & wife): we recently received this rave review from Christopher Paolini, and I thought I would take the liberty of posting it here. "Tad Williams is a huge inspiration for me. He's one of the main reasons I started writing fantasy. His books are epic, exciting, and filled with fascinating characters. When it comes to inventing imaginary worlds, he's as skilled as J.R.R. Tolkien and Frank Herbert. "Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn is one of the great fantasy epics of all time. I can't even remember how many times I've read it. It kept me so enthralled, I plowed through the last book in just one sitting! Here be magic, dragons, sprawling battles, thrilling feats of derring-do, ancient mysteries, hidden secrets-all the things a good story needs. These are the books, along with a few others, that led me to write Eragon. "Otherland is an awesome sci-fi story. The scale of Tad Williams' ambition and accomplishments as a storyteller in this series is amazing. He weaves together so many characters, locations, and unique worlds, you can't help but be impressed! Also, with Otherland Tad predicted the rise of the internet and online gaming long before it was invented. "Tad Williams' work is an essential part of any science fiction and fantasy library. I look forward to each new book he writes. If you like exciting, thought-provoking fiction, you owe it to yourself to give Tad a try. "His books are thick enough to stop a bullet! I know!" - Christopher Paolini
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I absolutely LOVED this series, I originally read this series when it was first published; actually, I had to wait for the final book to be written & released. I couldn't wait for him to finish writing it & get the conclusion out to the bookstores. Well worth the wait! I've found all the volumes in this series to be consistently well-written. As it's been some years since I discovered the Otherland saga, I am getting set to read these books again. I was disappointed to find that you cannot get the whole series in e-book format. You CANNOT read these books as stand-alone novels, if you want to get the entire idea behind Tad's concept. If you skip ANY of them you'll miss a LOT!!!! WHY would anyone want to do that?!?
Guest More than 1 year ago
Few people know this, but the Matrix movies were based off of the principle of this book, but Wiliams is more complete than the Wachowski brothers at showing how developing technology will possibly affect the globe. The first book starts slow and concentrates on setting up a theory of computer science that will raise the eyebrows of compsci experts with its insightfullness. Williams also concentrates on building characters and plots throughout the City of Golden Shadow. The second book is where theory turns into adventure. This is, by far, the best series I have ever read. The characters, the dozens of plots that all connect, the ideas and perspectives are all nothing short of spectacular. If you are in search of a read that will stretch your imagination and introduce you to a truly unique cast of players, please PLEASE don't let a slow start disuade you. The four thousand pages of the series are a wonderful adventure that is well worth the journey.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
towo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The first volume of an epic compassing four books, Tad William's "The City of Golden Shadow" deals with a handful of individual fates discovering that the world-spanning Virtual Reality network is more than an abstract man-machine interface. Renie, a college teacher and her Bushman student !Xabbu, Orlando, a seriously ill teenager and his friend from the contemporary kind of MMORPG, as well as Paul, a rather lost man without much of a memory inventory, are all lead along a series of strange and intimidating events to approach a shared fate.So much for the fluff. The book begins with an anachronistic historical setting of Paul in WW1, but as the book progresses and introduces virtual reality like any decent [cyberpunk] novel, it soon becomes apparant that Paul seems trapped in a VR simulation. Williams describes a rather epic tale of this VR, called Otherland, which far exceeds any kind of VR that the background supplies.The book can be regarded as science fiction, although (with a rather apt analogy to the children playing MMORPG - which might be unintended, though) everything man creates for himself is fantastical, and less SF.What bothered me most was that at times, [Tolkien] seemed a lot more action-paced than Willams when it comes to storytelling, or, put bluntly: some passages are inanely meticuluos to read and utterly boring.And it's only one fourth of the whole enchilada.Don't get me wrong, Willams creates a rather interesting universe, but it suffers from inept oversaturation. Conspiracy theories, life of the Bushmen, Mayan mythology, corporate interests and individual stories all glued together. At times it works rather well, but getting the whole Bushmen thread in any kind of sensible relation than an overly elongated character backstory will prove challenging in the successors. Willams isn't [Neal Stephenson], that's obvious.Mixed feelings. Try for yourself.
puttocklibrary on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is the hardest of the series too get into, as Williams spends a lot of time introducing the characters and setting the stage for this epic story (as he puts, its one huge novel split artificially into 4 parts simply because it can't be bound any larger) The first time through this book I could barely get through it. However, I do remember that I found the payoff at the end of the 4th book to be quite satisfying, so in re-reading it again, I was able to enjoy the time spent getting to know the characters and their situation much better than the first time around. If you can get through the first book, you will likely find this series to be a wonderful mix of sci-fi & fantasy (with the emphasis on sci-fi in the first volume), and a diverse host of interesting characters who have all become part of a vast conspiracy called "Otherland".
Anrake on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I'm sorry. I really wanted to like this series. It sounded great. I like long, involved, epics, but it just didn't live up to any of my expectations. In fact, it was miserable to read. After a couple thousand pages and nearly two months living with these characters I never really cared what happened to anyone expect maybe Orlando, Fredericks, and Sellers. There's way too much description of minor characters, plot elements, stories, and settings that never pays off. Much of the stories seem simply repetitive. They're just doing the same thing in a new setting. Then towards the end of the last volume Williams suddenly backfills the story with a couple hundred pages of new things that have never been addressed so far just to bring the story to some kind of conclusion.
blindhippo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Compelling story, but Williams has a nasty tendency to drag things out and randomly break the story up with new characters. I found that I got really irritated when the story would suddenly shift to new characters.Overall, the story and the concepts were enough to convince me to stick through it and buy the next book in the series.
rbtwinky on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I have picked up this book three times, I'm about 150 pages from the end, and I just don't care to finish it. I'd read Williams before, and I knew I was in for a slow start. This one just never got good!
Crowyhead on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is book one in Williams' Otherland series. Williams shows himself to be as adept at evoking a realistic future world as he is at creating high fantasy landscapes. This book moves extremely slowly, frustratingly so at times, but the world is extremely rich and the characters well-drawn and varied.
Nichi on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I have a feeling that bad reviews need to be longer than good ones... why did I not like this one...?For starters, there are about 20 stories in this book, which probably have something to do with each other, but as it's the first in a series of 4, they don't really cross paths. It gets even more confusing, because each story with the characters plays in a different "dimension" with different rules, sort of like Through the looking glass on crack.You don't get to spend enough time with the characters to start to care or to understand why they do what they do and then the book is over.I had to wait years for the next one and by then I had forgotten what it was about. Honestly, I like complicated stories and I have enjoyed works of Tad Williams, but this one aimed to high. It didn't draw me in and I stopped reading the series in the middle of Book 3 (of 4).
c.pergiel on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
What a rip! 780 pages, multiple converging story lines, and then, nothing. The End. You want to find out what happens? You have to read the next book in the series, which probably does the same thing, which means you have to read all three (or is it four?) volumes to find out what's going on. Geez what crock. On another note, for most of the book I thought the protagonist (Irene) was of moderate stature, 5'4" or so. At the end, she is tall, like 6 feet. Admittedly that was in a simulation, but still it bothered me. I supposed I could have missed a clue somewhere along the way. There is also a lot of pointless argument going on, especially in her story line. And how do you pronounce Renie? ree-nee? reny? Since her given name is Irene, I suppose it's Ree-nee, and I guess the spelling is acceptable, but I don't like Ree-nee, it sounds too harsh. Ren-ee sounds easier on the ears, but can you get there from Irene?Best part about the book is that characters were introduced slowly and completely so that I was able to keep them all in mind. I think I can still name most of them. There's Irene, Stephen, !Xaboo, Jeremiah & Long John. Then Orlando & Fredericks, Vivien & Conrad. Dread & the Egyptian gods. Atasco & his wife.
SimaZhou on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Excellent Sci-fi series - multi-genre tie in with characters being original - main protagonists are: a Bushman, a Nigerian professor (female) and a 14 dying boy. Antagonists are the wealthiest members of the world looking for immortality via technology at the cost of innocents.
Mary6508 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I love this story, and will read all the rest of the books in this series.
surreality on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Plot: There's very little of it, especially in the first half. Williams is clearly planning for a multi-volume story here and takes his time setting it all up. Good if you want to stick with it, but it makes for a very slow tale in the first installment. Another issue is that nothing gets resolved at the end at all. Characters: Solid, average genre work. The central character is a little too much of a Mary Sue to be likable, and the side characters seem to be chosen for exotic values more often than not. Style: Everything bar the kitchen sink is in there, and the sink is probably going to be added in the next volume. Mythology from all over the place is thrown into the mix,which makes for a confusing blend of legends. Too much description by far. Williams keeps getting lost in describing virtual reality and never seems to find his way to any points he'd like to make. Plus: Williams has experience when it comes to writing, and it shows. Minus: There's a certain something lacking that makes this book interesting. It's solidly done, but the spark is missing. Summary: If you like epic science fantasy, yes. Otherwise, probably no.
david.ww1 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a hard book to rate. I really enjoyed many of the concepts in the book, the characters were believeable and easy to empathize with. It just took forever to get to the point. I felt like the first 750 pages were background for the last 30. I may read the second book, just to see if the story finally picks up.
leld on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Very ambitious series, that delivers quite well. Lots of details and storylines. I suggest reading the series without stopping for very long between books. Wonderful world creation and storytelling. Great character work. The whole thing is staggering.
dgrayson on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Nothing is resolved at the end of the book. I didn't really find the characters compelling
jenreidreads on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A very interesting book, unlike pretty much anything I've read. I enjoyed the way Williams mixes scifi and fantasy through the use of virtual reality online. It was incredibly dense and I had to slog through it sometimes, but I think I'll read the rest of the series. After a break first, though.
aleahmarie on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In the first installment of Tad Williams "Otherworld" series the reader is introduced to a future where the net and virtual reality are readily available to anyone with enough credits. A virtual reality professor at a South African University, Renie Sulaweyo, becomes good friends with her student, !Xabbu, one of the last remaining African Bushmen. Renie and !Xabbu become entangled in a conspiracy involving the most powerful and dangerous men in the world. The scope of what needs to be done is more than Renie can really comprehend, but she can't give up while her young brother, Stephen, is somehow entangled in these powerful men's dark machinations.I continue to be surprised by how prophetic Science Fiction can seem. "City of Golden Shadow" was completed in 1996, but in it Williams imagines people watching "netflicks" instead of movies. His young characters spend hours battling monsters with their online friends, a nod to the popularity and evolution of massively multiplayer online roleplaying games (MMORPGs). (After some cursory checking it seems the company Netflix didn't begin operations until a year later, in 1997, the same year that the acronym MMORPG came into use.) Suffice it to say that this novel gave me everything that I love about Tad Williams -- an intricate plot, detailed world building and enough details to choke a horse. Williams weaves the sci-fi elements of networked computing and virtual reality with traditional South African folklore, to beautiful effect. A strong female lead character was just icing on this yummy sci-fi cake.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good stuff though slow in parts. Liked the characters and variety of genres represented from science fiction, conspiracy theory, evil cabals, sword and sorcery, and epic quest.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Book one leaves me eager for the next in the series
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I tried to give this book a chance. I really did. I was intrigued at first, but eventually reading this got very tedious. Characters have to keep a story afloat. I really didn't care much about the ones in Otherland. And it takes forever for interesting things to happen. This book was not for me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago