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Thread: Anyone read Otherland?

  1. #1
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    Anyone read Otherland?

    I was intrigued by the similarities between Dreamfall and the series of books by Tad Williams called Otherland. The ancient man kept alive by technology at the top of the tower in a garden with two servants who are twins. He controls a world-wide evil corporation in charge of a project that is related to another world. And of course, at the center of it all is a child that is no longer a child and has become a monster of sorts.

    I hadn't seen this brought up before, and just wanted to get it out there.

    For those of you who haven't read Otherland, you should.

    Brett

  2. #2
    Registered Converter Arcade's Avatar
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    I really liked Otherland too. Just did not get the time to read the whole series!
    Last edited by Arcade; 01-28-2007 at 12:00 PM.

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    If you get the time, you should finish it. Everything comes to a point at the end. It's a long read.

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    Cool Otherland

    EXACTLY WHAT I THOUGHT!!!! I wonder if some of it was intentional or subconcious.

  5. #5
    Insane Thinker =KuZ='s Avatar
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    I would be much easier to compare Dreamfall to this series if Otherland was a game series. Unless if Dreamfall was a book?... was it?

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    Script Pixie wandrew8's Avatar
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    Yeah, I've been meaning to write something about the similarities between DF and Otherland ever since finally reading it a few months back.

    If we started a list here it would really help me.

    WARNING: this will probably mean Otherland spoilers for people who may not have read it.

    1. Obsession with dreams, including naming one of the characters "Dream" in a Kalahari Bushman dialect.

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    Pheew, I´ve looked on it´s section on Wiki and I must say that my impression of Dreamfall kinda get worse again. Truely, originality wasn´t much involved...

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    Random Lurker Miral's Avatar
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    Great minds think alike?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Miral View Post
    Great minds think alike?
    Well, someone on Black House forum actually cited Ragnar who admitted the influence.

  10. #10
    Script Pixie wandrew8's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhodan View Post
    Well, someone on Black House forum actually cited Ragnar who admitted the influence.
    That sounds familiar, but I couldn't find anything more concrete than Skizzo's mention of it here, and nothing came up on Ragnar's blog (or his old one).

  11. #11
    Script Pixie wandrew8's Avatar
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    Good ones.

    Returning to my numbered list (yours count as 2, 3 and 4):

    5. In DF Eingana is a big, organic, underground computer that powers DreamNet. In Otherland the whole virtual network is powered by the giant, mutated brain of a telepath that orbits the earth.

  12. #12
    Voltec not Xotec!
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    I'm not sure exactly how much Ragnar was "inspired by" by Otherland. A lot of these concepts are sort of universal in modern-day fiction, especially in the "magic's just around the corner" of modern magical fantasy.

    * Avialle and Faith are actually very similar characters and fall into a kind of trope. Both were:

    ... "created" as opposed to being born.

    ... made as a means to some end as opposed to being a work-around for infertility. Avialle needed to be Jongleur's "mother" and Faith was a guinea pig for drug testing.

    ... supposedly "died" but lived in a kind of not-world that is designed to challenge our perceptions of what is "real."

    ... both repeatedly manifest to their chosen targets and make pleas that are cryptic at best and neither know exactly why they're doing things the things they do.

    * It's possible to shoehorn Paul Jonas as a kind of Zoë. The comparison becomes a bit allegorical, though. Reza serves as Zoë's Avialle - there but not really there, always pulling Zoë along towards an end. Damien and Martine are both of their associated character's "new" romantic links - both of them are willfully blind in a sense and both of them eventually find out the truth but are still reluctant to get involved directly.

    On the other hand, Otherland also is really long-winded at times and the story definitely suffered from Williams losing control of it - too many characters, too many pointless scenes, and so on. It could have been two books, maybe three. I think Williams could have cut out an entire book or two in there (I'd vote for Mountain of Black Glass and a lot of Sea of Silver Light and River of Blue Fire).

  13. #13
    Script Pixie wandrew8's Avatar
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    Hey, Sianna. Good to see you're still around.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sianna Tors View Post
    On the other hand, Otherland also is really long-winded at times and the story definitely suffered from Williams losing control of it - too many characters, too many pointless scenes, and so on. It could have been two books, maybe three. I think Williams could have cut out an entire book or two in there (I'd vote for Mountain of Black Glass and a lot of Sea of Silver Light and River of Blue Fire).
    Sci-fi authors these days have trouble getting stuff picked up unless it's 400-600 pages long and able to be turned into a series. It's what publishers, agents and even readers expect nowadays, and I'm sure lots of brilliant stuff gets ruined because of it.

    10. Felix Jongleur is the founder of an entertainment empire and over 200 years old. He lives in a high tower and keeps Avialle in an arboretum. Alvin Peats is the founder of an entertainment empire and over 200 years old. He lives in an arboretum at the top of a building.

  14. #14
    Voltec not Xotec!
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    Yes, I'm still around from time to time. This board has slowed down a lot - a lot of stuff being re-discussed. But I still come by to read up.

    Quote Originally Posted by Quna View Post
    It is long, but I wouldn't call any scenes "pointless". And I definitly wouldn't cut out any books from there. Actually, the Mountain of Black Glass was my favorite, it reminded me of Dreamfall at some point. That's the book when you as if get answers, get ideas and theories of everything that's going on. I was more bored with River of Blue Fire, but MoBG was really a relief after it.
    There's a bunch of scenes, I'd say. The part where they're naked and wandering around in the mist and haze along with Felix? Horrible, horrible scene. All of the segues in Australia were bad to me, in particular Calliope was just a pointless character to me. Her only claim to fame to me was that Williams wanted to show he could write a homosexual character. I think he could have left both sequences out of the book without it losing neither atmosphere or plot.

    And Williams killed off Sweet William! That guy was such a great character. But what irked me more was that he kept around horrible wet cardboard characters like Florimel and T4B! Argh!

    Quote Originally Posted by Quna View Post
    By the way, have you read Les Misérables by Victor Hugo? Now there definitly was "something' I'd cut out. Tne guy discribes war, goes into very insight of Napoleon, his thoughts an all, and for what? To say that the thief that robbed an injured buy on the battle field after the war was over (lost), was a grandpa of some character, who wasn't even a main one???
    Yep! Les Miserables is definitely better as a musical (it makes me cringe to say that, though) because of that in my opinion. It rambles because it's also a sociopolitical tract as much as it is a story where he liberally injects his own views into things. Writing has changed since then and that kind of stuff isn't really as popular anymore. A lot of older writing like that and writing done in the "old" style. Even Tolkien's Lord of the Rings has all sorts of little segues about big battles in the past or whatever detailing the history of Middle-Earth that has little to do with what's going on at times. Though of course, there's people who like rambling segues like that, so go figure.
    Last edited by Sianna Tors; 06-10-2009 at 07:41 AM.

  15. #15
    Skipping-rope Happy one's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quna View Post
    For example, what would you think when reading that a man saw a pretty woman and fell unconscious because of that, and couldn't recover for weeks? My first thoughts were: "I guess he has some terrible illnes, obviously related to his heart".
    Yeah, it's really like heart illness but unwillingly it made me laugh. What author did write about that?
    Quote Originally Posted by Quna View Post
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