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Stadt der goldenen Schatten (Otherland #1)

3.89  ·  Rating Details  ·  19,114 Ratings  ·  642 Reviews
Eine Gruppe mächtiger Männer, die sich Gralsbruderschaft nennt, hat mit enormen Geldmitteln das Simulationsnetzwerk »Otherland« entwickelt. Es ist mehr als nur die Spielwiese einiger Exzentriker: Von langer Hand vorbereitet soll es das gigantische Kontrollsystem werden, das die gesamte Menschheit beherrscht.

Nur wenige haben eine Ahnung davon, welche Ausmaße das Netz bereit
...more
Paperback, 992 pages
Published September 2nd 2005 by Heyne Verlag (first published 1996)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Chris
Mar 12, 2008 Chris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Let me just start by saying this: the first time I finished this series, I immediately went back and started reading it again. I can't think of any other series that I've done that with.

This is one of Tad Williams' "economy-sized manuscripts," similar to his fantasy classic Memory, Sorrow and Thorn. Similar in size and scope, anyway - four giant tomes chock full of all things awesome. It's a series of grand scope, amazing scale and great imagination, well worthy of your time. Seriously, top-shel
...more
Michael
Jun 11, 2010 Michael rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Robert Jordan level wordulency,
plus SF internet idea outdated before its publication date,
minus appealing writing style,
divided by Michael Springer's mid-semester attention span,
times 90-bunjillion pages in four volumes,
equals "FUCK YOU, TAD WILLIAMS, YOU GO TO HELL! YOU GO TO HELL AND YOU DIE! YOU FUCKIN' DIE! WHAT THE FUCK!" *Throws book against the wall, then walks over and urinates on it*

(Okay, so I actually just took it back to Half Price Books. Whatever.)
seak
Tad Williams has been one of those authors I'd never really gotten around to even though he's a pillar of fantasy literature. Technically, I did read his story contained in Songs of the Dying Earth (which was excellent), but never one of his mainstays such as Otherland and his epic, Memory, Sorry, and Thorn series.

Apparently that day has come and I've officially read Tad Williams. And what did I think? I hate to say this, but mostly meh.

That's not to say I didn't enjoy City of Golden Shadow, but
...more
Kaitlin
Feb 15, 2016 Kaitlin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-sff-faves
I'm giving this book a 3.5* rating which seems a little harsh to me becuase I genuinely really really enjoyed it. Honestly, the only reason it's not quite scooping the 4*s is becuase although I really enjoyed it, it's a 900 page book and it's only just starting the overall plot by the time you reach the end.

This is probably one of the most surprising books I have read in a while as it's a slightly older fantasy/sci-fi crossover (pre-2000s) and so I kind of assumed it would be a classic style. It
...more
Rob
Executive Summary: Slow in places, but this story really works for me. Interesting world building and decent characters has me looking forward to the continuing on this series.

Audio book: George Newbern does an excellent job with this book. Good inflections and emotion, as well as a variety of accents. He is definitely a narrator that adds extra enjoyment to the book.

Full Review
My only experiance with Tad Williams prior to this book was his urban fantasy book The Dirty Streets of Heaven. I was
...more
Freya
Oct 05, 2014 Freya rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I picked up this book I initially thought it was fantasy... and for some reason to do with faerie - it really isn't. Well, not very much!

Otherland is a story about a virtual world where people can shop, meet up, have businesses, play games, or anything you really want to do! Think if you will of the evolution of the internet. It actually sort of reminds me of OZ in the anime Summer Wars.

Something has gone wrong and children are falling into comas and having seizures, and some people are dis
...more
Matt Standley
I think Renie's quote from the middle of the book sums up my feelings entirely:

"...We still don't have any answers or any way to bring my brother back, and the search just seems to get more complicated and more vague. If this were a detective story, you'd have a body and some bloodstains and footprints in the garden - it's definitely a murder, and you've definitely got clues. But all we have here are things that seem a little strange, bits of information that might mean something. The more I thi
...more
Karen
Jan 25, 2009 Karen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't know what to think of this book. I liked it, but I was confused, so I looked up some reviews on Amazon, and then decided that I didn't like it based on what people said, but then I kept reading, and then I liked it a lot and made my peace with it being just the first part of a four-book series, and then I was totally into it, and then they spent too much time on the villains and their complicated pseudo-Egyptian mythology simulation, and I am sick of completely evil antagonists who are c ...more
Jeffery Moulton
I picked this book up on a whim, not realizing that it was just the beginning of four very long books with a myriad of characters and challenges. Fortunately, the book and the series are both amazing.

The Otherland series takes place in the near future where the Internet has become fully interactive with rich people literally able to plug themselves into the net and others using less effective virtual reality equipment. In this world, a varied group of people stumble upon a secret plot put in mot
...more
Chris
Jul 11, 2010 Chris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Let me just start by saying this: the first time I finished this series, I immediately went back and started reading it again. I can't think of any other series that I've done that with.

This is one of Tad Williams' "economy-sized manuscripts," similar to his fantasy classic Memory, Sorrow and Thorn. Similar in size and scope, anyway - four giant tomes chock full of all things awesome. It's a series of grand scope, amazing scale and great imagination, well worthy of your time. It's a complex, int
...more
Nnedi
Dec 13, 2009 Nnedi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love this series. I read it years ago, picking it up only because of the cool cover. It's not the type of book I usually read. I'm not a fan of cyberpunk lit. But then again, Otherland is far from typical. Heck the main characters are black South Africans (unlike in District 9, Tad's rendering is realistic and free of prejudice).

*Smile*, little did I know that years later, my novel would be bought by the very editor who worked on this awesome series.

I'm on page 268 and I'm enjoying it in the s
...more
Luke Burrage
Cyberpunk but with the emphasis on non-punk elements.

Full review on my podcast, SFBRP episode #281. Really.
terpkristin
Audiobook from Penguin Audio
Narrated by George Newbern
Length: 28.75 hours

I hate to admit this, but I judged this book by the cover at first. I knew nothing about the book when I started listening, I hadn't even read the blurb in the description. I saw a fantastical-looking image on the cover and, knowing that Tad Williams typically writes fantasy novels/series, I just assumed it was a fantasy novel. I was wrong. This is actually a cyberpunk book, a quite good one at that. There was only one down
...more
Linette
Jan 30, 2016 Linette rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyed this, lots of different worlds and good characters. No resolution at the end though, will just have to get the second book in the series to find out what happens next.
An Odd1
Feb 04, 2012 An Odd1 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I got to p76. "Otherland" by Tad Williams starts with assorted quilt squares I didn't have the patience to wait for assembly. WW1 mud-soaked Paul explodes, climbs a cloud high tree-stem to a trapped bird-woman, chased by a Giant to awaken back in the trenches. South African college tutor Renie guides bushman !Xabbu through basic virtual reality scenarios, rescues her 11-year old brother from a dangerous sim club, then loses him to a coma, three weeks after her drunk father kicks the boy out to l ...more
KostasAt
8.5/10

This is the second series that I’m reading from Tad Williams and I have to say that I’m really impressed of how different it is compared to his most famous series, Memory, Sorrow and Thorn, although personally I quite liked it even if it’s not outstanding.
In this series Tad Williams changes his style and goes to Science Fiction but he also raises his skill level as he has mixed Cyberpunk, lots of mystery and a touch of Fantasy that, I believe, makes all the difference!

The story is set most
...more
Lanica
I read the Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn series and loved it. I read it twice and have autographed copies to save. I enjoy epics. I enjoy detail. I enjoy science fiction, computers, virtual reality, anthropology, history, sociology, political intrigue and all the other individual elements of this series. Unfortunetly, I really disliked this book.

I liked the little girl who got messages through her computer, and I liked the sick boy who created a virtual reality that was easier to live in. Other than
...more
Aleah
Feb 27, 2011 Aleah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
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 mo ...more
Anthony Ryan
Oct 04, 2014 Anthony Ryan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Williams' near-future sci-fi epic is a compelling exploration of the social/psychological costs and benefits posed by the advent of true virtual reality. A disparate cast of heroes find themselves trapped in an array of artificially constructed realities where death is an all too real possibility. Williams' pedigree as an epic fantasy author is evident in the scope of the narrative and the presence of a dark lord of sorts lurking at the heart of this web of invented worlds. Reading the whole ser ...more
Christopher
Apr 23, 2015 Christopher rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Alexandra
Jun 21, 2012 Alexandra rated it really liked it
Alle begeisterten Rezensionen stimmen: Dieses SF-Epos, und so kann man es wirklich nennen mit seinen 1000 Seiten a 4 Bände ist atemberaubend und eine Achterbahnfahrt der Fantasie.

Perfekt ist eine zukünftige eigentlich nicht mehr ferne Welt konzipiert, in der sich die Menschen sowohl im Realen Leben RL als auch in virtuellen Realitäten VR bewegen. Mit einer Schnittstelle am Kopf als User Interface, kann man in den künstlichen Welten auch fühlen, riechen schmecken und manche finden auch nicht mehr
...more
Paul
Sep 06, 2010 Paul rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
(Whole story - All four volumes)This is, without a doubt, the best series novel I have ever read. Multiple plot lines in a fantastic world that slowly twist and turn until they eventually merge. A simple beginning, children falling into comas for no apparent reason, leads to an epic quest typical of fantasy but applied to science fiction, the historical novel, Victorian children's literature, detective fiction, myth and much, much more. A large cast of unforgettable characters, written beautiful ...more
Joey
Mar 22, 2016 Joey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-library
The Matrix has them and they can't escape. If you die in the Matrix do you die in real life? They don't know yet and they don't want to find out. I haven't read The Neuromancer, but I assume this book was greatly influenced by it. I was hooked right from the beginning though some of the middle was quite repetitive at times with the "what could be happening....who could be behind this" questions but still a page turner. You're left hanging at the end so it's another "a bit to thick and heavy to r ...more
Lia
For me,this is a book that is very difficult to review. I loved certain aspects of it, and disliked some. To make it easier to pinpoint, I am separating them to the one that affected my enjoyment the most while reading it.

The Bad:
- The story develops in a very slow pace.
- A lot of unnecessary details. I found myself skimming most of Paul Jonas' early stories, and skimming most of the story inside The Brotherhood organization.
- My God, the ending was terrible! Some books' cliffhangers were subtl
...more
Antonella
OTHERLAND #1 – City of Golden Shadow, 1996.

È il primo libro di una tetralogia fantascientifica che non è mai stata tradotta in italiano. La storia è composta da 6 plot che ad un certo punto si intrecciano: a) Renie Sulaweyo; b) Paul; c) Christabel e Mr. Sellars; d) Orlando Gardiner; e) “Osiride”/Felix Jongleur.

È ambientato in un futuro indefinito, verosimilmente intorno al Sud Africa del 2080, in cui vita reale (RL) e realtà virtuale (VR, cyberspazio) sono perfettamente integrate nella vita di
...more
Abby Goldsmith
I just finished re-reading Tad Williams' four book Otherland saga. This series is everything The Matrix films should have been, and better. It's just a stunningly awesome tale. It's deep on many levels. It's about the nature of reality, the nature of religion, the way humans perceive things, the nuances of the human psyche, all wrapped in a shell of epic science fiction with romance, adventure, and overtones of fantasy. It blows my mind that so few people have enjoyed this series, or even know w ...more
Ashley
Dec 19, 2009 Ashley rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: never-finished
This novel, to me, is 780 pages of nothing. With five main characters, there is a lot of running around, random descriptions that seem to me are pretty uneccessary, and a LOT of confusion. When a new chapter starts, there is a tendency of character switching, so you are left with a few pages just trying to figure out which character you are focusing on. If Williams only focused on Renie and !Xabbu, I would have been content with this novel, considering that's where most of the focus is on, anywa ...more
Meg
Jun 07, 2007 Meg rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: WoW players

I've read lots of Williams before and thought he was excellent, though I remember specifically avoiding this one because it's sci-fi, not fantasy. I was quite disappointed when it came out, actually, that he switched genres like that when I'd eagerly awaited new installments of Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn before this came out.

It's good that I waited. It came out in 1996, in the very early days of the WWW and, I belive, very few MMORPGs beyond MUDDs. (Heh...lots of acronyms there). But about 75% of
...more
Amanda
Mar 13, 2009 Amanda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tad Williams is really known as a fantasy writer, but this sci-fi series was quite interesting. There are four books in this series and they're pretty mammoth in size, but definitely an interesting read. Lots of virtual reality/parallel world kind of stuff, with some Egyptian mythology thrown in the mix.
Peter
Aug 29, 2007 Peter rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
This is one of the best Sci-Fi Series ever. Basically there's LOTR, then The Baroque Cycle, then Otherland. The concept enables you to have everything, magic and hard science and multiple worlds that make a logical sense.

It delivers on everything The Matrix could not live up to.
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
German audio play - adaption or edition? 1 3 May 04, 2016 06:13AM  
What's The Name o...: Sci-fi meets YA in virtual life [s] 3 29 Sep 27, 2014 11:30AM  
What's The Name o...: A girl searches for her brother lost in the internet /s 6 68 Aug 22, 2014 04:53AM  
Otherland soundtrack... 1 67 Nov 22, 2008 07:57PM  
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6587
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 ...more
More about Tad Williams...

Other Books in the Series

Otherland (4 books)
  • River of Blue Fire (Otherland, #2)
  • Mountain of Black Glass (Otherland, #3)
  • Sea of Silver Light (Otherland, #4)

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“He had once thought it was strange to have a friend you'd never met. Now it was even stranger, losing a friend you'd never really had” 23 likes
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