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Authors: Tad Williams

Mountain of Black Glass

BOOK: Mountain of Black Glass
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Table of Contents
 
 
 
 
 
“The Ceremony is coming . . .”
“Several members of our organization who have been killed in simulations have also died in real life.”
Something Orlando had long expected was now confirmed. He felt a cold lump in his stomach. “So what good will figuring out the gates do us?”
The stranger gave him a hard look, then turned his eyes back to his figures. “It will allow us perhaps to stay a step ahead of the worst destruction—to stay alive as long as possible. Because otherwise there is no hope at all. The Ceremony is coming, whatever it is. The Grail Brotherhood have launched their endgame, and we have nothing yet with which to counter it.”
Orlando looked at the man, who seemed to have stepped through some mental gateway of his own and was already miles away. Little yellow monkeys stirred uneasily on Orlando's shoulder.
We're going to get herded like animals,
he could not help thinking.
From world to world until there isn't anywhere else to run. Then the killing will really start.
Praise for OTHERLAND
“On an epic scale and most impressive of all is
OTHERLAND
, a big colorful novel full of real-world conspiracy and virtual reality wonders, with characters worth caring about.”
—
Locus
 
“This is the best thing Williams has ever done, and it deserves attention, time, praise. More, it deserves to be read.”
—
The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction
 
“Exciting . . . intricately plotted international adventure and suspense thriller set in the near future.”
—
Library Journal
 
“Epic in scope and size, this near-future cyberspace adventure has likable characters, heinous villains, a plethora of classical references and a slew of powerful action sequences that propel its many-tiered plot forward . . . . Williams fills his pages with the sort of stories and characters that readers of epic fantasy are sure to love.”
—
Publishers Weekly
 
“The sheer breadth of Williams' knowledge and the richness of his imagination make this book, like its predecessors, a complex and slow-paced feast. Otherland still remains the state of the art in integrating virtual reality and folklore into a single comprehensive narrative.”
—
Booklist
 
“Once again, Williams displays remarkable talent in making the unbelievable seem more than plausible. The many virtual worlds he creates in Otherland offer entertainment, insights, and commentary on a near-future Earth that is often downright scary simply because it seems so familiar—in a bad sort of way. The author manages to portray a callous, uncaring society that still has concerned and unselfish citizens. Tad Williams is a master of description. Scenes seem to leap off the page, grab you by the collar, and then pull you into the story.”
—
Science Fiction Weekly
—
www.scifi.com/sfw
 
“The ultimate virtual-reality saga, borrowing motifs from cyberpunk, mythology, and world history.”
—
San Francisco Chronicle
 
“With
River of Blue Fire,
Tad Williams has done something amazing. Not only has he made the second volume of a vast SF epic enjoyable and exciting, he has also made the reviewer itch to read the third.”
—
Interzone
 
“OTHERLAND has true speculative grandeur . . . sticks in your head like Zen toffee.”
—
Time Out
 
“This sequel to
OTHERLAND
:
City of Golden Shadow
delivers a kaleidoscopic array of dreamscapes and nightmare worlds that form a setting for a complex tale of conspiracy and betrayal. Williams displays a prodigious talent for spinning multiple variations on a theme as he alternates between real and virtual worlds.”
—
Library Journal
 
“One has the powerful sense, reading this novel, of a writer at the peak of his craft, in absolute control of his material. There are no unlikely coincidences, implausible reversals, awkward juxtapositions, or obvious plot devices. There is only the story—smooth, organic, and completely enthralling. I suspect that in OTHERLAND we're witnessing the birth of a classic, one of the “must reads” for future generations of SF/fantasy fans.”
—
SF Site
—
www.sfsite.com
DAW BOOKS PRESENTS THE FINEST IN IMAGINATIVE FICTION BYTAD WILLIAMS
 
TAILCHASER'S SONG
 
MEMORY, SORROW, AND THORN
THE DRAGONBONE CHAIR (Book 1)
STONE OF FAREWELL (Book 2)
TO GREEN ANGEL TOWER (Book 3)
 
OTHERLAND
CITY OF GOLDEN SHADOW (Book 1)
RIVER OF BLUE FIRE (Book 2)
MOUNTAIN OF BLACK GLASS (Book 3)
SEA OF SILVER LIGHT (Book 4)*
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
*Forthcoming from DAW Books in hardcover
Copyright © 1999 by Tad Williams.
All Rights Reserved.
eISBN : 978-1-101-52432-9
 
 
DAW Book Collectors No. 1129.
 
DAW Books are distributed by Penguin Putnam Inc.
 
 
Selection from “Sailing To Byzantium” by William Butler Yeats reprinted with the permission of Simon & Schuster from THE POEMS OF W.B. YEATS: A NEW EDITION, edited by Richard J. Finneran. Copyright © 1928 by Macmillan Publishing Company, renewed 1956 by Georgie Yeats.
 
All characters in this book are fictitious.
Any resemblance to persons living or dead is coincidental.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
First Paperback Printing, September 2000
DAW TRADEMARK REGISTERED
U.S. PAT. OFF AND FOREIGN COUNTRIES
—MARCA REGISTRADA.
HECHO EN U.S.A.
 
S.A.

http://us.penguingroup.com

This is still dedicated to you-know-who,
even if he doesn't.
Maybe we can keep this a secret
all the way to the final volume.
The list of the Kind, the Helpful, and the Patient who have contributed to the OTHERLAND books now includes the following excellent souls: Barbara Cannon, Aaron Castro, Nick Des Barres, Debra Euler, Arthur Ross Evans, Amy Fodera, Sean Fodera, Jo-Ann Goodwin, Deb Grabien, Nic Grabien, Jed Hartmann, Tim Holman, Nick Itsou, John Jarrold, Katharine Kerr, Ulrike Killer, M. J. Kramer, Jo and Phil Knowles, Mark Kreighbaum, LES.., Bruce Lieberman, Mark McCrum, Joshua Milligan, Hans-Ulrich Möhring, Eric Neuman, Peter Stampfel, Mitch Wagner, Michael Whelan, and my friends on the Tad Williams Listserve and the message boards of the Tad Williams Fan Page and the Memory, Sorrow and Thorn Interactive Thesis.
 
As always, I am especially grateful for the support and encouragement of my wife Deborah Beale, my agent Matt Bialer, and my editors Sheila Gilbert and Betsy Wollheim.
 
Confusion to our enemies!
 
 
 
For more information, visit the
Tad Williams website at:
http://www.tadwilliams.com
OTHERLAND: City of Golden Shadow Synopsis
Wet, terrified, with only the companionship of trench-mates
Finch
and
Mullet
to keep him sane,
Paul Jonas
seems no different than any of thousands of other foot soldiers in World War I. But when he abruptly finds himself alone on an empty battlefield except for a tree that grows up into the clouds, he begins to doubt that sanity. When he climbs the tree and discovers a castle in the clouds, a woman with wings like a bird, and her terrifying giant guardian, his insanity seems confirmed. But when he awakens back in the trenches, he finds he is clutching one of the bird-woman's feathers.
In South Africa, in the middle of the twenty-first century,
Irene “Renie” Sulaweyo
has problems of her own. Renie is an instructor of virtual engineering whose newest student,
!Xabbu,
is one of the desert Bushmen, a people to whom modern technology is very alien. At home she is a surrogate mother to her young brother,
Stephen,
who is obsessed with exploring the virtual parts of the world communication network—the “net”—and Renie spends what little spare time she has holding her family together. Her widowed father
Long Joseph
only seems interested in finding his next drink.
BOOK: Mountain of Black Glass
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