History Literature / Otherland

21st Aug '17 3:56:12 AM Baeraad555
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* CentralTheme: Facing old age, personal irrelevance and the prospect of death. Conversely, and as a response to the above: children and parenthood.
21st Aug '17 3:38:56 AM Baeraad555
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* AdmiringTheAbomination: At one point one of the heroes notes that as evil and twisted as Jongleur is, there is something magnificent about a man who's ''declared war on death itself.''
21st Aug '17 3:25:00 AM Baeraad555
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* BabiesMakeEverythingBetter: Insofar as the series presents any solution to the problem of facing your mortality, it's this trope - the fact that you are leaving children (literal or symbolic ones) behind makes death easier to bear. Olga even paraphrases the trope itself at one point, claiming that "somehow children seem to make sense of things." Also, in the stand-alone short story ''The Happiest Dead Boy in the World'', [[spoiler: Orlando perks up from his bout of the CloningBlues when he finds out that thanks to the peculiarties of post-Other Otherland, he's about to become the father of a great number of simulated children.]]
21st Aug '17 2:55:11 AM Baeraad555
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* ReplacementGoldfish: In an odd version, the real [[spoiler: Paul Jonas]] manages to become this to his own virtual clone. When [[spoiler: Martine]] is inconsolable following the death of the [[spoiler: Paul]] she got to know and had started developing feelings for in Otherland, she suddenly realises that the original is alive in the real world, and promptly goes to find him.
23rd Jul '17 10:42:00 AM Malady
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''Otherland'' is an epic PostCyberpunk novel series written by Creator/TadWilliams, comprising four volumes: ''City of Golden Shadow'' (1996), ''River of Blue Fire'' (1998), ''Mountain of Black Glass'' (1999), and ''Sea of Silver Light'' (2001).

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''Otherland'' is an epic PostCyberpunk novel series written by Creator/TadWilliams, comprising four volumes: volumes:

#
''City of Golden Shadow'' (1996), (1996)
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''River of Blue Fire'' (1998), (1998)
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''Mountain of Black Glass'' (1999), and (1999)
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''Sea of Silver Light'' (2001).
(2001)



* AnyoneCanDie: Well, it's definitely not {{Kill Em All}}, but it's occasionally surprising just who gets killed next.

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* AnyoneCanDie: Well, it's definitely not {{Kill Em All}}, KillEmAll, but it's occasionally surprising just who gets killed next.



* BadDreams: A rare villainous example with Felix Jongleur, partly to distinguish his motives from Dread's. They are also used to {{foreshadow|ing}} his [[spoiler:KarmicDeath]].

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* BadDreams: A rare villainous example with Felix [[spoiler:Felix Jongleur, partly to distinguish his motives from Dread's.Dread's]]. They are also used to {{foreshadow|ing}} his [[spoiler:KarmicDeath]].



* DreamApocalypse: Well, VR apocalypse. There's a fair amount of speculation by the characters as to whether the inhabitants of the simulation are truly alive, and hence whether destroying the simulation would be murder. [[spoiler:Fortunately, there's a way to {{Save Both Worlds}}.]]

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* DreamApocalypse: Well, VR apocalypse. There's a fair amount of speculation by the characters as to whether the inhabitants of the simulation are truly alive, and hence whether destroying the simulation would be murder. [[spoiler:Fortunately, there's a way to {{Save Both Worlds}}.SaveBothWorlds.]]


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* IdiosyncraticEpisodeNaming: [Location] of [Color] [Material-ish thing], for each of the 4 books:
** ''City of Golden Shadow'' (1996)
** ''River of Blue Fire'' (1998)
** ''Mountain of Black Glass'' (1999)
** ''Sea of Silver Light'' (2001)
6th Nov '16 8:45:45 PM Angeldeb82
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There is a (work in progress) [[Characters.{{Otherland}} Character Sheet]].

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There is a (work in progress) [[Characters.{{Otherland}} [[Characters/{{Otherland}} Character Sheet]].



* AGodAmI:
** Quite literal in the case of Jongleur, whose personal simulation casts him as Osiris in a fantastic Egypt, with thousands of virtual worshipers. Some of the Brotherhood call Jongleur on this theatricality, but he points out that through their wealth they have as much power as men who were called kings and gods. [[spoiler: He also privately considers that they may find eternity living in simulations [[WhoWantsToLiveForever tiresome]] if they insist on treating them as fake.]]
** Dread gets a severe case of god syndrome after he takes over the system from Jongleur, embarking on an orgiastic campaign of destruction and subjugation in the virtual worlds. As the fourth book progresses, you can see his sanity slipping as his megalomania takes over.



* BadDreams: A rare villainous example with Felix Jongleur, partly to distinguish his motives from Dread's. They are also used to [[{{Foreshadowing}} foreshadow]] his [[spoiler:KarmicDeath]].

to:

* BadDreams: A rare villainous example with Felix Jongleur, partly to distinguish his motives from Dread's. They are also used to [[{{Foreshadowing}} foreshadow]] {{foreshadow|ing}} his [[spoiler:KarmicDeath]].



* ColonyDrop: At the end, the Other [[spoiler:crashes the satellite it is housed in into the headquarters of J Corp.]] The chapter in which this occurs is poetically titled "Star Over Louisiana".

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* ColonyDrop: At the end, the Other [[spoiler:crashes the satellite it is housed in into the headquarters of J Corp.]] Corp]]. The chapter in which this occurs is poetically titled "Star Over Louisiana".



* CreepyCrossdresser: [[spoiler:Dread poses as a female member of the group for a very long time. None of his true personality breaks out.]]



* TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt: A psychic predicts the world will be destroyed. After the good guys win, she comes out of seclusion saying her prediction came true. A dense reporter says, "Because the world is ending and beginning again every day?" to the psychic's disgust. It's because [[spoiler: the true depth and realness of Otherland died with the Other, leaving only the world's largest and most sophisticated computer simulation.]]

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* TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt: A psychic predicts the world will be destroyed. After the good guys win, she comes out of seclusion saying her prediction came true. A dense reporter says, "Because the world is ending and beginning again every day?" to the psychic's disgust. It's because [[spoiler: the true depth and realness of Otherland died with the Other, leaving only the world's largest and most sophisticated computer simulation.]]simulation]].



* TheFarmerAndTheViper: Dulcinea Anwin, who falls in love with Dread and tries to civilize him. For his part, he considers her an amusing toy that he keeps around because she's useful. [[YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness When that's over, though]]... [[spoiler:Fortunately, she realizes the danger ''before'' Dread tries to kill her.]]

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* TheFarmerAndTheViper: Dulcinea Anwin, who falls in love with Dread and tries to civilize him. For his part, he considers her an amusing toy that he keeps around because she's useful. [[YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness When that's over, though]]... though...]] [[spoiler:Fortunately, she realizes the danger ''before'' Dread tries to kill her.]]



* FoeTossingCharge: [[SubvertedTrope Subverted]] when Orlando attempts to rescue Sam in the Trojan War simulation. He rides out like an Olympian hero to confront Hector, [[spoiler:but is too ill to fight effectively and is defeated]].

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* FoeTossingCharge: [[SubvertedTrope Subverted]] {{Subverted|Trope}} when Orlando attempts to rescue Sam in the Trojan War simulation. He rides out like an Olympian hero to confront Hector, [[spoiler:but is too ill to fight effectively and is defeated]].



** In the Trojan War simulation, characters' avatars are automatically chosen by the system unless they know how to override them, resulting in some [[HilarityEnsues hilarity]].

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** In the Trojan War simulation, characters' avatars are automatically chosen by the system unless they know how to override them, resulting in some [[HilarityEnsues hilarity]].{{hilarity|Ensues}}.



* AGodAmI:
** Quite literal in the case of Jongleur, whose personal simulation casts him as Osiris in a fantastic Egypt, with thousands of virtual worshipers. Some of the Brotherhood call Jongleur on this theatricality, but he points out that through their wealth they have as much power as men who were called kings and gods. [[spoiler: He also privately considers that they may find eternity living in simulations [[WhoWantsToLiveForever tiresome]] if they insist on treating them as fake.]]
** Dread gets a severe case of god syndrome after he takes over the system from Jongleur, embarking on an orgiastic campaign of destruction and subjugation in the virtual worlds. As the fourth book progresses, you can see his sanity slipping as his megalomania takes over.



* JustBetweenYouAndMe: Jongleur and Paul Jonas share a moment of truth in ''Sea of Silver Light'', after the latter manages to recover his memories. Subverted, however, because Jongleur knows what Jonas, at that point, does not: [[spoiler:he's talking to a [[BrainUploading brain-uploaded]] [[CloningBlues clone]], not the real Jonas]].

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* JustBetweenYouAndMe: Jongleur and Paul Jonas share a moment of truth in ''Sea of Silver Light'', after the latter manages to recover his memories. Subverted, however, because Jongleur knows what Jonas, at that point, does not: [[spoiler:he's talking to a [[BrainUploading brain-uploaded]] [[CloningBlues clone]], {{clon|ingBlues}}e, not the real Jonas]].Jonas.]]



** Jongleur dies [[spoiler:when the Other blows up his corporate headquarters with him inside it ... after [[MindRape mind raping]] him.]]
** Dread's fate, while not technically death, is most certainly karmic: [[spoiler:trapped in a comatose dreamscape, being endlessly pursued by the ghosts of his victims]].

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** Jongleur dies [[spoiler:when the Other blows up his corporate headquarters with him inside it ... after [[MindRape mind raping]] him.]]
{{mind rap|e}}ing him]].
** Dread's fate, while not technically death, is most certainly karmic: [[spoiler:trapped in a comatose dreamscape, being endlessly pursued by the ghosts of his victims]].victims.]]



* KudzuPlot: So these guys want to become immortal, except this guy just wants to wreak havoc, but they think they have him under control. And ''these'' guys want to destroy it all. And then there's Sellars, who wants who-knows-what, and the main characters, who each have personal reasons for getting involved, except for {{The Mole}}. And then there's something called "Sprootie"...
* LampshadeHanging: Enough that it deserves its own entry on this page. Williams hangs lampshades on everything from the KudzuPlot to the [[LordOfTheRings number of characters in the original group]].

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* KudzuPlot: So these guys want to become immortal, except this guy just wants to wreak havoc, but they think they have him under control. And ''these'' guys want to destroy it all. And then there's Sellars, who wants who-knows-what, and the main characters, who each have personal reasons for getting involved, except for {{The Mole}}.TheMole. And then there's something called "Sprootie"...
* LampshadeHanging: Enough that it deserves its own entry on this page. Williams hangs lampshades on everything from the KudzuPlot to the [[LordOfTheRings [[Literature/TheLordOfTheRings number of characters in the original group]].



* LiteralMetaphor: When told that the Other put children into comas because [[spoiler: he wanted to make friends, the character replied "And he played too rough?" This is when we learn that, no, he wanted to ''make'' friends, the inhabitants of his little fairy tale village, and was studying children to learn how they work.]]

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* LiteralMetaphor: When told that the Other put children into comas because [[spoiler: he wanted to make friends, the character replied "And he played too rough?" This is when we learn that, no, he wanted to ''make'' friends, the inhabitants of his little fairy tale village, and was studying children to learn how they work.]]work]].



** He chose the name "Dread" because it would be a [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast Name To Run Away From Really Fast]].

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** He chose the name "Dread" because it would be a [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast Name To to Run Away From from Really Fast]].



* OmnicidalManiac: Dread, almost literally. He's also a rare case of a {{Psycho For Hire}} who's also a {{Serial Killer}}, taking a particular delight in slaughtering beautiful women in fetishistic ways. It's probably redundant to add that he's in it {{For The Evulz}}.

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* OmnicidalManiac: Dread, almost literally. He's also a rare case of a {{Psycho For Hire}} PsychoForHire who's also a {{Serial Killer}}, SerialKiller, taking a particular delight in slaughtering beautiful women in fetishistic ways. It's probably redundant to add that he's in it {{For The Evulz}}.ForTheEvulz.



* PoweredByAForsakenChild: [[spoiler:Literally. The Other is in fact a psychically gifted boy ([[TorturedMonster Or he used to be]]), deep-frozen in outer space.]]

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* PoweredByAForsakenChild: [[spoiler:Literally. The Other is in fact a psychically gifted boy ([[TorturedMonster Or or he used to be]]), deep-frozen in outer space.]]



* RagtagBunchOfMisfits: [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]].

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* RagtagBunchOfMisfits: [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]].{{Lampshade|Hanging}}d.



* RelationshipResetButton: Paul and Martine, due to Paul's status as [[spoiler:an [[BrainUploading uploaded personality]].]]

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* RelationshipResetButton: Paul and Martine, due to Paul's status as [[spoiler:an [[BrainUploading uploaded personality]].]]personality]]]].



* TheReveal: There are quite a few, but [[spoiler: finding out that the Other is a ''human being'' - namely, Olga's lost son - probably takes the cake.]]

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* TheReveal: There are quite a few, but [[spoiler: finding out that the Other is a ''human being'' - namely, Olga's lost son - probably takes the cake.]]cake]].



* TranslatorMicrobes: [[JustifiedTrope Justified]] in that the 'Net has been programmed to translate languages on the fly and this goes hand in hand with the built-in voice recognition. It doesn't work with all languages, as Renie discovers from !Xabbu's Bushman dialect, and it has some [[TranslateTheLoanwordsToo peculiarities with certain loanwords]].

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* TranslatorMicrobes: [[JustifiedTrope Justified]] {{Justified|Trope}} in that the 'Net has been programmed to translate languages on the fly and this goes hand in hand with the built-in voice recognition. It doesn't work with all languages, as Renie discovers from !Xabbu's Bushman dialect, and it has some [[TranslateTheLoanwordsToo peculiarities with certain loanwords]].



* TurnedAgainstTheirMasters: The Other, of course -- both subtly, by coopting the network resources to create its "playthings"; and overtly, by manipulating the protagonists to free it from its virtual prison.

to:

* TurnedAgainstTheirMasters: The Other, of course -- both subtly, by coopting co-opting the network resources to create its "playthings"; and overtly, by manipulating the protagonists to free it from its virtual prison.



* VillainousCrossdresser: [[spoiler:Dread poses as a female member of the group for a very long time. None of his true personality breaks out.]]
* TheWatson: !Xabbu, whose ignorance of the 'Net provides plenty of opportunity for Renie to [[JustifiedTutorial explain how it works.]] Sam, sometimes. On the villains' side, Yacoubian and Dedoblanco function as this for the Brotherhood.
* WetwareCPU: [[spoiler:The Other]].

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* VillainousCrossdresser: [[spoiler:Dread poses as a female member of the group for a very long time. None of his true personality breaks out.]]
* TheWatson: !Xabbu, whose ignorance of the 'Net provides plenty of opportunity for Renie to [[JustifiedTutorial explain how it works.]] works]]. Sam, sometimes. On the villains' side, Yacoubian and Dedoblanco function as this for the Brotherhood.
* WetwareCPU: [[spoiler:The Other]].Other.]]



* WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds: The Other doesn't care how many people it kills as long as it [[spoiler:ends its own suffering and [[TakingYouWithMe takes Jongleur with it.]]]]

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* WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds: The Other doesn't care how many people it kills as long as it [[spoiler:ends its own suffering and [[TakingYouWithMe takes Jongleur with it.]]]]it]]]].



* YouCannotGraspTheTrueForm: The Other appears this way online; in fact, the simulation devotes a lot of effort to forcing it into a semi-rational appearance to prevent the people who work with it from going crazy. [[GoMadFromTheRevelation It doesn't entirely work]].

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* YouCannotGraspTheTrueForm: The Other appears this way online; in fact, the simulation devotes a lot of effort to forcing it into a semi-rational appearance to prevent the people who work with it from going crazy. [[GoMadFromTheRevelation It doesn't entirely work]].work.]]
6th Nov '16 4:59:47 PM dlchen145
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* HeroicResolve: Orlando lives on this trope. Of course, he's got a [[LittlestCancerPatient terminal disease]], so he can be forgive for long stretches of weakness punctuated by a few moments of sheer {{Bad Ass}}ery.

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* HeroicResolve: Orlando lives on this trope. Of course, he's got a [[LittlestCancerPatient terminal disease]], so he can be forgive for long stretches of weakness punctuated by a few moments of sheer {{Bad Ass}}ery.badassery.
20th Sep '16 8:26:52 AM Morgenthaler
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* ThePunishment: After [[spoiler:his [[OppositeSexClone "daughter"'s]] death in an accident]], Jongleur has Paul Jonas rendered unconscious and placed into his WorldWarI simulation as a nameless soldier in an endless cycle of trench warfare and death. This lasts for ''years''.

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* ThePunishment: After [[spoiler:his [[OppositeSexClone "daughter"'s]] death in an accident]], Jongleur has Paul Jonas rendered unconscious and placed into his WorldWarI UsefulNotes/WorldWarI simulation as a nameless soldier in an endless cycle of trench warfare and death. This lasts for ''years''.
8th Jul '16 1:46:52 AM Morgenthaler
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* TheObiWan: Sellars plays this role to a certain extent, although there are two inversions: first, he's a crippled old man who just happens to be a incredible hacker, and second, [[spoiler:he doesn't ''technically'' die]].
31st Jan '16 6:13:07 PM GrammarNavi
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''Otherland'' is an epic PostCyberpunk novel series written by TadWilliams, comprising four volumes: ''City of Golden Shadow'' (1996), ''River of Blue Fire'' (1998), ''Mountain of Black Glass'' (1999), and ''Sea of Silver Light'' (2001).

to:

''Otherland'' is an epic PostCyberpunk novel series written by TadWilliams, Creator/TadWilliams, comprising four volumes: ''City of Golden Shadow'' (1996), ''River of Blue Fire'' (1998), ''Mountain of Black Glass'' (1999), and ''Sea of Silver Light'' (2001).



If this sounds like a long synopsis, [[{{Doorstopper}} wait until you read the books themselves]]. TadWilliams prides himself on the interweaving of [[TwoLinesNoWaiting multiple plot threads]] and [[LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters enormous casts of characters]], and even more on having the reader actually care about what happens to them. This despite the fairly standard CyberPunk setting and rather more pages than necessary spent on the way to each plot point. It's notable for having a fantastically diverse cast and treating them all with respect. The story could also be read as a FantasticAesop about the dangers of seeking {{Immortality}}.

to:

If this sounds like a long synopsis, [[{{Doorstopper}} wait until you read the books themselves]]. TadWilliams Creator/TadWilliams prides himself on the interweaving of [[TwoLinesNoWaiting multiple plot threads]] and [[LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters enormous casts of characters]], and even more on having the reader actually care about what happens to them. This despite the fairly standard CyberPunk setting and rather more pages than necessary spent on the way to each plot point. It's notable for having a fantastically diverse cast and treating them all with respect. The story could also be read as a FantasticAesop about the dangers of seeking {{Immortality}}.



* {{Doorstopper}}: TadWilliams continues in the tradition started with ''Literature/MemorySorrowAndThorn''.

to:

* {{Doorstopper}}: TadWilliams Creator/TadWilliams continues in the tradition started with ''Literature/MemorySorrowAndThorn''.
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