Amph A Tad Williams Discussion: "Otherland", "Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn", "War of the Flowers", etc

Discussion in 'Archive: SF&F: Books and Comics' started by droideka27, Feb 15, 2006.

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  1. droideka27 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    May 28, 2002
    star 7
    I first was introduced to Tad Williams through his Otherland series. I'm pretty sure I picked it up because I saw it on some list of popular Sci-Fi books or something. I have to say, the first book was really confusing for the first half, and I almost didn't get through it, but I sure am glad I did. The following three books of the series sucked me in and I raced through them. The Otherland series is set in the near future, and has a lot to do with the internet, that has now advanced to a world of incredible virtual reality. Otherland itself is a Virtual Reality world that has been created by the richest in society that can best be compared to quilt, or a checkerboard. The virtual reality world is made of of squares that are separated by rivers, and when you cross a river, suddenly you slip into the next virtual world. There are amazing worlds in here, from popular works of fiction, moments in history, or even things like a world where all humans are ant sized. While I think it is science fiction, so much of it takes place in the virtual reality worlds that it feels like fantasy. There are a lot of pages to get through, but it's well worth it.

    I picked up the Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn "trilogy" shortly after. And i really enjoyed it. It's a fantasy series, with a hero on a long treking journy and things like dragons and trolls, but the characters are great and I zipped right though them. I hope there are others here that have read these so we can get a discussion going! :p

    I just last week read War of the Flowers. I have to say, it was entertaining, but not something I'll ever reread. It was a fantasy with pixies and faries and goblins and such... a mortal loser guy transported into this world. Some really good characters, but overall parts were a bit predicatable, and that took away from the story for me.

    But checking his website today i noticed he's got a new series coming out, called Shadowmarch. It looks pretty good, I'll probably get it when it is out. Like I need yet another series to get into :p
  2. Excellence Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2002
    star 7

    The Happiest Dead Boy in the World was one of the more interesting Legends 2 stories. Mystery until the end, even if you couldn't guess the cause of the disappearing woman, and it developed the idea of comuputerised birth, whether it eventuates into anything or not. I heard Otherworld was longer than it needed to be, though, with new advenutres doing the same escape-from-this-world throughout the books.
  3. CodeName_Targeter Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2003
    star 5
    I've read Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn. They're a pretty good read even if it did take me a little bit to get into them. The size of those books is a tad daunting. :p I rather enjoyed even if I did shout "I so knew that was going to happen!" after a few "events."
  4. JEDI-SOLO Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 12, 2002
    star 5
    I have everyone of these books including Shadowmarch but have never read them.

    As a matter of fact I was just going to read the Dragonbone books but I decided to read The Second Chroncils of Thomas Covenant instead.
  5. Excellence Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2002
    star 7

    What's the verdict on Shadowmarch, which has a startling number of "similarities" to Game of Thrones?
  6. droideka27 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    May 28, 2002
    star 7
    So I picked up Tailchaser's song from the library this last weekend... it is about cats :p

    Looks kind of weird but I thought I'd give it a try.

  7. JEDI-SOLO Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 12, 2002
    star 5
    Started reading Otherland yesterday.
  8. JEDI-SOLO Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 12, 2002
    star 5
    Well I finished the first book and now am on book two.

    Book one was very good although at times I just couldn't get myself to read it. Sometimes the the chapters are just too damn long for certain characters(like Renie and Xabbu). Most of the time I could just really care less about the whole Bushman life style or Renies dealings. I just wanted to get back to Paul's chapters or Dreads.

    I must say the last hundred pages was written great. I did not have a hard time reading the book then!
  9. droideka27 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    May 28, 2002
    star 7
    Yeha otherland is pretty confusing and that makes it drag at times. I zipped through the last books though.
  10. JEDI-SOLO Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 12, 2002
    star 5
    Out of the 4 which is your favorite?
  11. droideka27 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    May 28, 2002
    star 7
    I think I enjoyed the last one the most, as everyone was pretty much together and the places they were and the thigns that were happening were pretty crazy. Plus everything is finally really explained!
  12. JEDI-SOLO Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 12, 2002
    star 5
    Man I am having a tough time reading these books! I really like the story and characters alot but at times the book just seems to go on and on. I am still on book 2 and have been reading it for over a month now. That is not cool as I would usually be at least on book 3 by now if not book 4.

    The thing is with these books I just sometimes do not want to read them. Like I said I like the story VERY much but for ex: When Orlando and Fredricks are stuck in the kitchen for over half the book it just drags and drags. I just want them to get out and go to a new place. As is sometimes how I feel about Renie and !Xabbu I like them but I hate the place they are in. It is just boring!

    Actually Tad Willaims is reminding me more and more of Terry Brooks. Once again I love the story and all with his books but at times I just can't bear to read a chapter or even a page for days at a time. I have to wait for months and sometimes a year before I can bring myself around to reading one of his books.

    I am fearing that is what is happening here. So far this series has WAY to many boring sections and it is really bringing it down for me. But I love the story. I am weird I guess.
  13. Jairen Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 1, 2000
    star 4
    I love Tailchaser's Song, it is a superb read and really enojable throughout.

    I read the Memory, Sorrow and Thorn series, and was lucky enough to go to a singing 2 days after the third book was released. I had to have a chat with him separate to the others there because they hadn't finished it yet. He signed it "For Phill, who reads too fast" lol! But I loved that series as well.

    I haven't been able to get into Otherland at all, so I've missed it for now. I have War Of The Flowers in my collection, but I'm just not feeling that either. I think that's more to do with my choice of setting, since Otherland and War of the Flowers have links to this world, wheras Memory, Sorrow and Thorn don't.

    I also read Shadowmarch and really enjoyed it. Whilst there are some similarities between it and Game Of Thrones, it's only because there are similarities between most fantast fiction. Shadowmarch felt familiar, but original, to me when I read it, and I'm looking forward to Shadowplay, the second in the series. At least it doesn't appear to be a direct port of the War of the Roses (which Game of Thrones pretty much is - though I like that series too!)
  14. droideka27 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    May 28, 2002
    star 7
    Honestly, with War Of The Flowers, you just need to skim along (if you are having difficulty) until he goes to their world. the story prior to that interested me very little, but i enjoyed it a lot once he got in there.
  15. khallandra Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Nov 16, 2004
    I live War of the Flowers and adored Otherland series. Memory, Sorrow and Thorn sometimes was a little boggy but the entire story was good.

    Shadowmarch was terrible though, it had all the boggy elements of MST and none of the light heartedness and fun of WotF & Otherland - it was a big dissapointment - glad I only borrowed it from the library rather than buy it.

    Will I read its sequel though? Most definately - it might just pick up.
  16. JEDI-SOLO Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 12, 2002
    star 5
    I couldn't take it anymore I was on Book 3 and I had to put it down Way to boring for me. I will still try reading MS&T but it will be a long time down the road before I can stomach readind Williams again.
  17. emilsson Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 5, 1998
    star 6
    Tad Williams was one of the first fantasy writers I read when I discovered the genre 10-15 years ago. A few months ago I reread Memory, Sorrow and Thorn and I realised I like his way of writing when it comes to keep a story going, but I often find myself not caring that much about the characters. Otherland felt more interesting in a way, but it also was more confusing.

    That's how I felt too. I also appreciated the different setting since it's a departure from medieval feeling you get in Memory, Sorrow and Thorn.
  18. KissMeImARebel Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 25, 2003
    star 4
    I've only read one of his books: Tailchaser's Song.

    Really good read - very creative and original, esp considering animal fantasies have been beaten to death by both good and bad writers over the years.
  19. Queen_Pixie Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 1999
    star 4
    You'd be proud of me, I finally made it through Otherland! I have 2 of the other books in the series now, but not #2 yet, so I've gotta buy that one before I read them all.

    I've got about 10 books to read before that though..stupid Bookcloseouts and their buy 1 get 1 free sale.

  20. JEDI-SOLO Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 12, 2002
    star 5
    good luck getting through it... lol
  21. Soontir-Fel Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 18, 2001
    star 5
    This guy is taking over writing on Aquaman.
  22. marte Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 4, 2005
    star 4
    Jedi-Solo, I partly agree with you. I only read Otherland so far, and there were chapters where I simply skipped a few pages because it was going on so loooooooooooooooooooooong... What I missed a bit was a connection between the stories earlier in the book - not necessarily the whole plot, but hints that these stories might be remotely connected. Would have made it easier to follow and more curious about what would happen and how the stories actually relate to each other. the last few chapters however were great and I couldn't put it down. can't wait to read the remaining two!
  23. JEDI-SOLO Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 12, 2002
    star 5
    I just started reading The Dragonbone Chair.

    Well I have all the books till GAT II

    I was looking on Amazon and they have Storm Green Angel Tower book 4.

    What is this book? There is no snyopis for it and I have never heard of it before.
  24. emilsson Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 5, 1998
    star 6
    I've started reading Shadowmarch and I find it decent. Although I think Williams' way of introducing characters in this one is rather weird.

    And as always, I can predict what's coming. He seems to be using the standard formula for fantasy again.
  25. Lord_Riven Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 13, 2001
    star 4
    Finished Shadowplay this morning. Because I hadn't read Shadowmarch in over one year it got a bit confusing.
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