If there was ever a book in need of a Character Sheet, it would be Otherland. As this page is a work in progress, assistance is appreciated.Spoiler alert! Major plot points spoilers ahead — read at your own risk!
Ex-military test pilot and participant in a secret government project to outfit subjects for near-light speed interstellar travel, which was later turned into a Super Soldier project and destroyed by a Psycho Prototype.
Mysterious Informant: His recruitment scheme for his "volunteers" is designed to preserve his anonymity as much as possible; justified given the people he's working against. He's the thread that ends up connecting all the other protagonists, many of whom don't even know it.
The Obi-Wan: Getting cut off from Sellars' guidance is an important plot point for the Otherland party at the end of the first novel, forcing them to decipher its mysteries on their own. Sellars goes on to subvert part of the trope later, since although his physical body dies, he survives thanks to Brain Uploading.
Trickster Mentor: A mild example, he tantalizes hundreds, if not thousands, of people with hints and riddles and clues to lead them to the Otherland, and only a small fraction make it, with people dying in the process. This is justified in that he's an imprisoned cripple capable of accessing the outside world only after he turned his body into a living antenna and he's fighting an organization that owns, at a guess, roughly two-thirds of everything. Everyone he tried to talk to legitimately was quietly murdered.
What the Hell, Hero?: His recruitment of the six-year old Christabel to aid his schemes gets this reaction from her parents.
Irene "Renie" Sulaweyo
The primary viewpoint character. A college professor of network programming at Durban University in South Africa, Renie enters Otherland to search for her younger brother, Stephen, whom she believes to be trapped there. Her force of will drives the party to continue even when all hope appears lost.
Gender Bender: Given her temperament, Martine chooses for Renie to take on the character of a male hero when the group enters the Trojan war. If she were a woman, she'd have considerably less mobility. Renie finds the sensation of having a penis very disturbing.
The Hero: It is her quest to rescue Stephen that focuses the motivations of the Otherland group and drives them to make most of their progress.
Hot-Blooded: It makes her life considerably more difficult.
A blind French researcher who lives in an underground facility. She is recruited by Renie to aid in the search for Otherland and becomes trapped along with the rest of the party. Frequently the viewpoint character when focus shifts from Renie.
Apocalyptic Log: Her viewpoint segments are all narrated retrospectively in the form of her subvocalized journals, which she later recovers from Otherland with Sellars' help.
Xtreme Kool Letterz: His nickname is a street name for a variant of "charge", a common street drug that he used to deal in.
An American man who, in his waning years, started an online relationship with a girl whom he later discovered to be underage. He enters Otherland out of guilt when she enters a coma, feeling responsible for her.
The Atoner: For his perceived sin of associating with an underage girl.
Pimped-Out Dress: His sim in Otherland is described as somehow resembling a goth clown.
The Mole: The "real" Quan Li is killed in the beginning of the journey and her sim is used by Dulcinea Anwin and Dread.
A teenage boy who suffers from progeria, a rapid aging disease, and spends most of his time online as a result. He enters Otherland in the search for Sellars' "golden city", unaware of the risks involved. He is frequently accompanied by an AI companion named Beezle that acts as an Exposition Fairy.
Badass: Seriously. He is the sword-wielding, acrobatic Thargor. He just happens to be stuck in the body of a dying 14 year old boy. How badass is he? At the climax, the Other, an Eldritch Abomination, Sealed Evil in a Can, brings him Back from the Dead so that he can fight the closest thing to an embodiment of evil this universe has.
The Big Guy: In his gameplaying sim of brawny barbarian Thargor.
The Chick: Despite her efforts to avoid being treated this way, she fulfills the role rather well, with a few notable exceptions.
G.I.R.L.: Inverted. Her online persona is male, to avoid being picked on, and she "forgets" to tell Orlando when they become friends. He is quite shocked when he finds out. But, considering he didn't tell her about his illness...
The Lancer: She tries this in the Trojan War simulation when Orlando is too ill to fight. It doesn't go very well when she runs into Hector; ironically echoing the actual Achilles/Patroclus story.
A grandmotherly lady who works as an actor for Uncle Jingle's Jungle, a popular online kids' program. Her mysterious headaches lead her on a path of discovery that takes her all the way to J Corp's headquarters.
Cool Old Lady: She successfully infiltrates a highly fortified building and manages to do what she came for, all while keeping her cool even when the plan seems to go sour.
A kindergarden-age girl who lives on the same military base as Mr. Sellars, and whom he recruits to help him escape. Her parents end up finding out about the relationship and, coming to the logical (but incorrect) conclusion, force Sellars to take them into his confidence.
Irony: Christabel's father is the man charged with ensuring Sellars remains imprisoned, incommunicado with the rest of the world. Naturally, it's his daughter Sellars recruits to aid him, which ultimately results in his defection to Sellars' side.
Carlos "Cho-Cho" Izabal
A street urchin who accidentally stumbles across Christabel's secret meetings with Sellars and joins his party under duress.
Slap-Slap-Kiss: Well, clearly not the "kiss" part, but his relationship with Christabel fits the trope remarkably well in other ways.
The head of the Brotherhood, and the oldest living man on Earth, even more so than most people realize. He lives inside a custom-built life support tank atop J Corp's tower, but spends his time as a fearsome online executive. Goes by "Osiris" in Otherland.
Bad Boss: He tortures two of his employees into gibbering insanity in front of the Brotherhood.
Aka Johnny Dark, aka John "More Dread", aka Dread. A sociopathic killer hired by Jongleur for his unique psychic power. His ambition goes beyond even what his boss is capable of predicting, resulting in near-total disaster. In Jongleur's Egypt simulation, he goes by "Anubis".
Even Evil Has Standards: After he goes on his orgy of destruction in Otherland, he regrets taking such sadistic pleasure in demolishing Toy Land, since he despises pedophiles and worries that he might be crossing that particular line.
Hoist by His Own Petard: He keeps recordings of all the women he has killed on his system. In his final moments, just when he needs all his attention to escape the Other, Dulcinea floods him with those images. Dread is put into a cataconic state from sensory overload, and proceeds to dream about those women now hunting him. Forever.
Meaningful Name: "Dread", but it's a double pun. "More Dread" = Mordred, which ties in with Jongleur's "Grail" project via the legend of King Arthur, and is Dread's way of poking fun at his boss. Further, "Wulgaru" is a shortened name of a monster found in Australian aboriginal mythology, and was given to him by his mother to reflect her desire to turn him into a monster.
American corporate executive and Yacoubian's companion outside the Brotherhood. He's second in command to Jongleur thanks to supplying of the majority of the technology behind Otherland. Creator of the Nemesis program. Goes by "Ptah" in Otherland.
Dirty Coward: He willingly sells out the Brotherhood to Dread after the latter's takeover.
The Starscream: With Yacoubian, he plots against Jongleur to usurp leadership of the Brotherhood.
American four-star general who provides military resources "under the table" to the Brotherhood. He acts as a foil to Jongleur and is a constant irritant because of his bickering. Goes by "Horus" in Otherland.
Chinese industrialist and major financial backer of the Brotherhood.
Enigmatic Minion: He plays a deeper game with Jongleur than Wells and Yacoubian, taking advantage of Jongleur's apparent weakness to negotiate for a privileged position in the Brotherhood. It doesn't do him any good, though, as he dies shortly after Dread takes over the system.
Finney and Mudd
Jongleur's chief minions; they supervised the Avialle project but messed it up so badly that he had them imprisoned in Otherland.
A wealthy entomologist who supports the Brotherhood but is not a part of their inner circle; he runs a simulation in Otherland where researchers can pay to study insects in a very up-close and personal way. He ends up playing a minor supporting role to the protagonists and is one of the few Grail-related characters to survive to the end.
Neutral No Longer: Kunohara remains resolutely neutral in the conflict between the heroes and the Brotherhood, reasoning that he sees no value in helping them considering how easily it could jeopardize his position. At least until Dread takes over, when the escalating confrontation forces his hand.
A multireligious group whose goal is to stop The Grail Brotherhood from interfering with God's will.
We ARE Struggling Together: Many of the Circle wouldn't tolerate each other for more than a second if it weren't for their higher cause.
Bonnie Mae Simpkins
American Baptist who befriends Orlando and Sam.
Apron Matron: She incessantly "mothers" everyone she meets, even the adults.
Indian mystic who acts as a temporary mentor to Paul Jonas.
The Fundamentalist: He's a true believer in one of the most extreme Hindu sects and barely tolerates the rest of the Circle.
Mysterious and dangerous sentient operating system of Otherland.
Amnesiac resident of Otherland, who discovers his connection to the plot through his gradually recovered memories. He was hired by Jongleur as a tutor to Avialle but fell in love with her and tried to "rescue" her, resulting indirectly in her accidental death. Jongleur imprisoned him in Otherland as punishment.
There are two Avialles. One is Jongleur's "daughter", designed to be a part of one of his immortality schemes (before the Other started to show promise), but tragically killed due to the bungling of his assistants. The other is the avatars of Avialle created by the Other and captured within the system, living out a shadow life but all strangely attracted to Paul Jonas, whom the real Avialle fell in love with.
Hot for Teacher: Actually invoked by Jongleur as part of his scheme to replicate his own upbringing.
Orlando's AI companion, originally a kids' toy but upgraded many times until it's almost as sentient as a real person. It ends up locating Catur Ramsey and acting as a vital surrogate Mission Control when Sellars goes incommunicado.
Exposition Fairy: In-story, Beezle's voice in Orlando's ear reminds him of many things he'd rather avoid or forget.
Sidekick: To Jonas, through a great many virtual worlds.
A "gypsy" adventurer that the protagonists encounter throughout Otherland; he seems to be a devil-may-care opportunist strolling at will through the network thanks to an access device he stole from Yacoubian.
Cloning Blues: He's an "imperfect" virtual copy of Jongleur, but doesn't realize it.
Cunning Rogue: He's drawn from Jongleur's fantasies as a child that he was really a care-free gypsy adventurer.
The Mole: It's eventually revealed that Kunohara manipulated him into spying on the protagonists.
An advanced AI search program deployed into Otherland by David Wells to search for Paul Jonas; it works at the code level rather than the surface level of the simulation, but in the course of its travels becomes something much more than was originally intended.