Mountain of Black Glass (Otherland Series #3)

Mountain of Black Glass (Otherland Series #3)

by Tad Williams

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Third book in New York Times-bestselling author Tad Williams's cyberpunk fantasy series • “Tad Williams is the brightest and best of the fantasists.” ―Neil Gaiman, author of American Gods 

"The Grail Brotherhood has built the most powerful, sophisticated simulation network imaginable. At the same time, they have manipulated ad injured the minds of thousands of children."

This proclamation from the mysterious Mr. Sellars confirmed what Renie Sulaweyo had feared to be true when she first broke into the Otherland network in a desperate search for the cause of her brother Stephen's deathlike coma.

Now Renie, the Bushman !Xabbu, and their companions find themselves navigating a treacherous and ever-changing course―from a strangely unfinished land, ro a seemingly endless labyrinthine House―pursuing a sociopathic killer who has stolen one of their group.

To Renie's despair she is no closer to uncovering the secrets which could help save Stephen's life, and now it appears that something may be very wrong with the Otherland network itself.

As Paul Jonas, Orlando, Renie and the rest strive to reach Priam's Walls, in the heart of Troy, they know that their quest is running perilously short of time. For the Grail Brotherhood has finally set the date for the Ceremony when they will make their bid for the immortality, and thereby seal the fate of Earth's children forever.

But before Renie and her allies can hope to stop the Brotherhood, they must first solve the mysteries of Otherland itself, and confront its darkest secret―an enitity known only at the Other.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780886779061
Publisher: DAW
Publication date: 09/28/2000
Series: Otherland Series , #3
Pages: 784
Sales rank: 203,831
Product dimensions: 4.19(w) x 6.75(h) x 1.59(d)
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 


I always have a hard time explaining Otherland. In today's book world, where people (especially on the sales and marketing end) usually want a description in a few words, leading to a neat category, it gets called things like "cyber-fantasy," "science-fiction virtual reality epic," and other even more hard-to-wrap-your-brain-around titles. It is science fiction, with ideas about the world that's coming soon, the future of the Net, and the shrinking distance between humans and their creations, but it's also an epic fantasy, and the virtual universe I've invented is mostly an excuse for high adventure of the getting-chased-by-monsters variety. (Although this is perhaps the weirdest and most diverse collection of monsters ever featured in one story.) Given the chance, even as an adult approaching the end of his second decade as a writer, I still really, really enjoy having people chased (and occasionally eaten) by monsters.

In Otherland, a group of everyday citizens stumbles onto a disturbing but well-hidden truth: Children all over the world, but especially those who are users of the Net (a vastly expanded version of our own Internet, which has replaced television, telephones, and most other communication media with a single worldwide system), are falling into deathlike comas. Renie Sulaweyo, a young South African teacher whose brother is one of the victims, begins to investigate, along with her student !Xabbu -- one of the last of the Kalahari bushmen. Behind this worldwide outbreak lies the shadow of a network unlike any other -- a virtual reality universe built by a group of the world's wealthiest and most ruthless people, the Grail Brotherhood. With the help of some unusual friends, Renie and !Xabbu manage to break into the Brotherhood's secret project, entering the Otherland network.

As Renie and others discover, Otherland itself is astonishingly sophisticated, its virtual reality simulations so realistic that experiencing them is just like real life -- except that real life was never so strange. With nearly unlimited budgets, the Brotherhood have built playgrounds for themselves from every point in history, literature, and imagination -- entire worlds of the past, perfect evocations of things only mentioned in books, environments as strange and original as Saturday morning cartoons. But the network and its ultimate purpose is a secret, and the Brotherhood have already proved themselves capable of murder to keep it that way. To the horror of Renie and her companions -- the sick teenager, Orlando Gardiner, who has honed his skills in dragon-and-dungeon fantasy games; the blind researcher, Martine; and the mysterious amnesiac, Paul Jonas -- they discover that once inside the Otherland network, they cannot go offline again. They are trapped in a universe of fantastical worlds, and the countless dangers they face, although computer-generated, are now terrifyingly real.

In the first book, City of Golden Shadows, Renie and the others find their way into the network. River of Blue Fire, the second volume, tells of their dangerous journey through the network along the river that ties the simulations together and deepens many mysteries. Volume three, Mountain of Black Glass, not only brings Renie and the others closer to solving the riddles of Otherland but also brings them face to face with the Other, the network's greatest riddle, and reveals their true and most deadly enemy.

In the fourth and final volume, Sea of Silver Light, a number of surprising truths will be revealed, not only about the fate of the characters but also about the fate of all humankind.

Plus, I promise, there will be several more interesting monsters...

—Tad Williams

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Mountain of Black Glass 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 41 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Keep your hunger for the journey sedated
QueenBee70 More than 1 year ago
I'm really puzzled as to why the third and fourth volumes in this series have been published to ebook format before the first and second volumes...I'd like to re-read this series (EXCELLENT story, well-written, btw, hence the 5 stars), but I'd really like to start at the beginning, not in the middle.
Brandon Lovering More than 1 year ago
When I first picked up the first book in this four book series by Tad Williams I was a little confused at first about the overall direction this series would eventually take. After the first few chapters that confusion was replaced by curiousity.After completing 'City of Golden Shadow' I could not wait to delve into the next book in the series. The series has held my attention fully through three well written books and I can't wait to read the final book in the series. A true fan of the mixed genre of sci-fi and fantasy will enjoy this book as well as it's two predecessors.
Hill_Ravens More than 1 year ago
The third installment in the Otherland series adds a mountain of information to the already complicated story. The main characters all continue to develop further into themselves, with some becoming a little too mushy towards each other. Dread continues to live up to his name, delighting in the pain and suffering he inflicts on others. While Rennie and Martine flip from heros to mindless victims several times throughout the book. Really enjoyed the visits in the recent similations. I think I enjoyed this version of Troy to the original poem. Some of the old characters fall off in this installment, not sure if some one will be back to finish the tale or not, or if it will make a huge difference either way. Can't wait to finish the last book to see where it all leads to.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Tad Williams has spawned an amazing series in Otherland. It incorperates many believable future societal possibilities. Not only does his strong use of detail amaze any reader, but Mr. Williams does a beautiful job at 'setting up' his next and final book of the series. The ending is very moving and powerful. It's a curveball that not many would suspect. A must read. p.s. Not only are his books good, but his personality is golden. I had a chance to meet Mr. Williams a few weeks ago and was delighted to find that he is one of the nicest individuals that I have come in contact with.
aleahmarie on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In "Mountain of Black Glass," book three in Tad Williams' "Otherland" tetrology, the sci-fi saga continues. An overly simplified summation of a very complicated plot:Children around the world are being lost to unexplained comas, including Renie Sulaweyo's baby brother, Stephen. Researching Stephen's condition leads Renie to the Otherland, a massively complex virtual reality network. Its architects? A secretive group who refer to themselves as the Grail Brotherhood. In an attempt to save Stephen, Renie and her friend, !Xabbu, find a way into this exclusive network. Once there they discover others who are on similar quests. But in an even more nightmarish twist our adventurers soon learn that they are stuck on the network ¿ and although the environments are simulated, the dangers are all too real. Which brings us to book three:Renie, Orlando, Jonas and their companions are still adrift in the seemingly endless simulations that compose the Otherland. The members of this mismatched group, fractured early on in the series, are braving many obstacles as they try to find their lost friends. During the course of their misadventures each are summoned to "Priam's Walls" by a mysterious woman who is somehow part of the system in which they're trapped. In their quest to reunite the group and reach their destination they encounter a re-created Ancient Egypt that is alive with warring gods, an entire world that exists in a giant house, and even Homeric Troy. Will our heroes be strong enough to survive and make a stand against the Brotherhood?My take:I absolutely love complex world building and juicy make believe. Tad Williams gives me all of that and then some. I will admit to being slightly bogged down about halfway through this tome. There are so many characters and plot lines that my brain needed a breather. But once I came back to it I was instantly hooked again. This tetrology is for those who love epic science fiction* and revel in richly detailed narration. If you prefer a short and sweet novella don't touch this series with a 10-foot pole. You've been warned. *Is epic science fiction a genre? If not, it should be.
Karlstar on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
There are a few surprises in the conclusion of this series. Not the 'Huh?' kind of surprises, but the kind that fulfill the potential of the story and make it seem even better. A great book and a good end to the story.
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
All 4 books are wonderful
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Great at tying up all the loose ends
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