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FREE DOWNLOAD Ó City of Golden Shadow ⚼ Tad Williams made his name in fantasy with the immense Memory, Sorrow and Thorn trilogy His Otherland quartet, opening with City of Golden Shadow, is mid st century SF set in an ultra sophisticated software universe containing countless worlds This episode features a deadly nature reserve of giant insects, a poisoned Oz, a madcap cartoon reality, London as in The War of the Worlds, th century Venice, Xanadu, ancient Egypt, the Odyssey s Ithaca and the Drones Club Otherland is the playground of the monstrously rich and unscrupulous Grail Brotherhood, who hope for on line immortality and are abducting children s souls into their VR system Opposing them is the enigmatic Circle , plus a handful of ordinary folk who ve penetrated Otherland and are trapped there, floating from world to world on the digital river of the title There s a spy in this group, though Otherland s operating system is becoming unstable the Nemesis program that hunts down software anomalies seems murderously out of control Williams writes fluently and evocatively, conjuring up a vivid succession of virtual realities as he manipulates numerous storylines inside and outside Otherland, climaxing with multiple cliffhangers It s slightly frustrating, though, that halfway through the series we ve learned little especially about the tantalizing suggestion that Otherland is a metaphysical threat to real reality than emerged in bookNext volume Mountain of Black Glass David Langford My previous experience with Williams writing was his Memory, Sorrow and Thorn series, so this book was a bit of a shock to the system While that series took place in a rather mediaeval setting, this one is set in the future and largely in virtual reality One thing that remains consistent is the size of each book, being rather brick like It took my about 170 pages before I was convinced that I really wanted to read this volume It reminded me of a lot of books that I ve read before The littl My previous experience with Williams writing was his Memory, Sorrow and Thorn series, so this book was a bit of a shock to the system While that series took place in a rather mediaeval setting, this one is set in the future and largely in virtual reality One thing that remains consistent is the size of each book, being rather brick like It took my about 170 pages before I was convinced that I really wanted to read this volume It reminded me of a lot of books that I ve read before The little vignettes at the beginning of each chapter made me think of Stand on Zanzibar All the virtual environments were reminiscent of Neuromancer and as characters plugged things into their bodies, I thought of When Gravity Fails The time spent in Eight Squared a chess board , complete with a Red Queen threatening Off with their heads was obviously referencing Alice s Adventures in Wonderland The emphasis on Egyptian mythology also reminded me of The Anubis Gates The guy without a memory running through the virtual word made me think of The Bourne Identity Early in the book, our amnesiac man has a Jack and the Bean Stalk adventure too.This is another conspiracy theory heavy story I seem to have run into several of those lately I m relieved that I finally found my footing around the 200 page mark, as there are threebooks in the series and on my reading list They may still end up being tough sledding, but at least I have a bit of hope Book number 336 in my Science Fiction and Fantasy Reading Project 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 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 shelf stuff here, people.It begins with the children in a near future world Renie Sulaweyo, a teacher in South Africa, has a brother in the hospital He, like many other children around the world, has gone into an inexplicable coma, the causes of which defy medical science The only clue she has is that the outbreaks of these comas coincide with the availability of access to the Net a virtual reality internet that is what Second Life dreams of becoming Here, depending on your equipment, you can live in a virtual world that isvibrant and exciting than anything the real world can offer And you can do it in full sense surround 3D.Renie s brother, Stephen, engaged in the usual mischief that any kid with access to his own virtual universe might do, and finally got caught Something shut him down, and Renie was determined to find out With the assistance of her student, a Bushman named Xabbu, Renie uncovers an amazing virtual world, something that puts the best virtual reality to shame It is the Otherland, a playground for the obscenely wealthy And it may hold the secret to what has afflicted her brother.That s the short version There s a ton of other storylines going on in there as well There s young Orlando Gardiner, who compensates for a crippling illness by being the baddest barbarian on the net There s little Christabel Sorenson, upon whose earnest desire to help the funny looking Mister Sellars the entire future of the Otherland rests There s the aptly named Dread, an assassin extraordinare whose strange twist gives him an edge in all things electronic And, of course, there is Paul Jonas, a man trapped in an imaginary world, whose escape threatens the greatest dreams of the richest men the world has ever known.All of this, as the series title suggests, centers on the Otherland project, a virtual reality of monumental proportions It s a world that isreal than the real world is, a world of digitally created, but very deadly, dangers The slightest misstep could spell disaster.And just FYI, Otherland predates The Matrix by three years and, kung fu aside, is a much better story.The really fun part is re discovering things in this series There are some things I remember very clearly, but other little details that pop up and make me think, Oh yeah, I forgot all about that There s just so much stuff crammed into this series that even after two back to back readings, I still let details slip away.So, make a sandwich and find a comfortable place to sit This ll take a while, but I guarantee it ll be worth it 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. 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 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 for the ending we get i.e., the status of the characters at the end , there s not really a whole lot to show for it It s a long book, and not really all that much happens There are tons of mysteries, but I found myself not really caring about some of the main characters and that made it difficult to say the least.At the same time, I feel compelled to go on Though I was disappointed with where we got in the end of the book, I wasn t so much disappointed in the ending itself It was exciting to finally see things moving along, to see progress I was finally sucked in by the end, but how did it take just under 800 pages to do that I won t go into the story, I feel like I m one of the last to finally discover Williams so it s weird describing it, but it s interesting and mysterious and I guess that s what kept my interest for so long.Additionally, I listened to this on audio and I really wonder if I would have pushed through had I been reading this page by page It s so long and slow moving, I honestly think I might have given up I m glad I listened to it because I m excited to see what happens now that the story can finally begin But that s one long intro And I have to say that the narrator, George Newbern, did an excellent job That certainly helped as well His accents for the different characters, including Indian, Spanish, and Bushman Xabbu were always impressive He switched through them effortlessly as well and though some sounded similar, it was also distinct Overall, I m glad I finally read City of Golden Shadow and after doing so to completion I might add I m convinced that Williams deserves the praise he gets I was bored at times, but interested and even captivated at other times I enjoyed it in the end, but I don t know if it s worth the slog for everyone because it really was a slog at times I ll have to readin the series forincite.3 out of 5 Stars for a slow start but eventual payoff recommended