Joachim Breitner

Tad Williams' Otherland - Part II

Published 2005-12-29 in sections English, Buchkritik.

Just before Christmas, I finished reading the second volume of Tad Williams' "Otherland" quadrilogy, "The river of blue fire". Most of what I said about the first part still holds, especially what I said about the similarty to "games" like Second World, and how Williams forsees where stuff like Telepresence leads us.

By now, some of the story lines have crossed or merged, others are still independant and a few new ones have begun. The largest part of this volume consists of helplessly stumbling through virtual worlds. By doing so, Williams has all freedoms to create strange and interesting settings. At quite a few spots I thought: Wow, that would make a great movie szene. I hope some visually gifted will someday make a (or better: a few) Otherland movies.

A few of these worlds are perverted versions of famous literature, notably H.G. Well's "War of the Worlds" and "The wizard of Oz". Oddly, I have only heard of these stories before, but just about the time I read about them in Otherland, they somehow re-appeared somewhere around me: The recent "War of the Worlds" movie (which I actually haven't seen) and the old "Wizard of Oz" movie being shown at a small local theater in Karlsruhe.

I'm looking forward to reading the next volume, but I have to wait for my brother to finish it, so I'll probably squeeze another book in between.

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