Cover image for Mountain of black glass
Mountain of black glass
Williams, Tad.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York, NY : DAW Books, [1999]

Physical Description:
xxvii, 689 pages ; 24 cm.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR UG 7.3 48.0 54869.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library X Adult Fiction Popular Materials-Science Fiction/Fantasy
Central Library X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks
Anna M. Reinstein Library X Adult Fiction Science Fiction/Fantasy

On Order



She brought that message to Paul Jonas in a dream. He knew her so well--her oddly beautiful winged form, her sad eyes--but although the woman who described herself as a "shattered mirror" was achingly familiar, Paul's memories of who she was and what she meant to him had been stolen...Yet her cryptic messages to him were his only hope to survive the incredibly complex virtual reality network known as Otherland."All of you have been called. You will find that which you seek as the sun sets on Priam's Walls."Orlando Gartner had learned this from the mysterious sleeping woman. But what did it mean? And how could a terminally ill teenage boy, defending his life in a simulated Egypt where gods and mythical creatures were waging bloody war, possible answer this summons?"The Grail Brotherhood has built the most powerful, sophisticated simulation network imaginable. At the same time, they have manipulated and injured the minds of thousands of children."This proclamation from the mysterious Mr. Sellars confirmed what Renie Suluweyo had feared to be true when she first broke into Otherland network in a desperate search for the cause of her brother Stephen's deathlike coma.Now Renie, the Bushman !Xabbu, and their companions find themselves navigating a treacherous and ever-changing course--from a strangely unfinished land, to a seemingly endless labyrinthine House--pursuing a sociopathic killer who has abducted one of their group. To Renie's despair she is no closer to uncovering the secrets that could save Stephen's life, and now it appears that something may be wrong with the Otherland network itself.As Paul Jonas, Orlando, Renie, and the rest gather at Priam's Walls, in the heart of Troy, they know that their quest is running perilously short of time. For the Grail Brotherhood has finally set the date for the Ceremony when they will make their bid for immortality, and thereby seal the fate of the Earth's children forever.But before Renie and her allies can hope to stop the Brotherhood, they must first solve the mysteries of Otherland itself, and confront its darkest secret--an entity known only as the Other...

Author Notes

Tad Williams Tad Williams grew up in Palo Alto, California. He didn't go off to college after high school, he was more interested in living on his own and supporting himself. Williams therefore began a long string of collectively bad part time jobs. He stacked tiles, made tacos, sold shoes, peddled insurance, collected loans not all at the same time and worked at other things in his free moments, such as writing, as well as, several years in a rock band, hosting a radio talk show, making commercial and uncommercial art, acting, and others

DAW was the first to publish Williams, accepting "Tailchaser's Song," which became an big success. It never occurred to Williams that his books wold not sell and indeed they have not stopped selling since the beginning.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

The third volume of the massive Otherland saga focuses (insofar as a book this size can be said to focus at all) on the young, ailing Orlando Gardiner and the World War I soldier Paul Jonas. Jonas has another encounter with the winged woman named Vaala, in which she summons him to seek the legendary mountain of black glass, which is said to reach to the stars and hold all the answers he seeks. At the same time Gardiner, enmeshed in the virtual Egypt of Felix Jongleur, wealthy leader of the Grail Brotherhood that created the colossal virtual simulation known as Otherland, is summoned to adopt the persona of a warrior in the Trojan War. He will find his answers "before Priam's Walls," or so he is told. In addition to these two personal quests, readers will learn a good deal more about the Circle, the Brotherhood's opponents, and their increasingly deadly duel in the real world, as well as encounter many of the surviving characters they have come to know from the previous volumes. 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, and with a fourth volume in the works, one hopes that the mysteries will be resolved and that a number of the characters one has come to either love or loathe will receive their just deserts. --Roland Green

Publisher's Weekly Review

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. Paul Jonas, a mysterious man with no clear memory of his past, is trapped and hunted inside the Grail Project, an artificial intelligence network run by the ultra-wealthy Grail Brotherhood. This third installment of the Otherland series (City of Golden Shadow; River of Blue Fire) reveals that the Project has been designed to provide cyber-immortality to its rich owners: it does this, at least in part, by stealing essential elements from children's psyches and leaving them comatose. Renie Sulaweyo has lost a sibling to the Grail Brotherhood's machinations. While Renie's body is watched over in the real world, her consciousness has been transferred inside the network, where she works with a motley band of reluctant adventurers trying to save the children and themselves. Stalking them is the brilliant psychopath Johnny Dark, who knows secrets about the Project and has his own evil mental twist that can hurt it. While Williams has a rather conventional take on power and prejudice in his "real" world, he lets rip inside the network, working with environments that include Homer's Odyssey, an ancient Egypt where the gods are somewhat less than omnipotent and a gigantic House in which Linen Closet Sisters are kidnapped by boys from Cutlery. As his "real" characters encounter computer-generated simulacrums who express compassion and have their own dreams and desires, the line between reality and fantasy blurs. Though the sheer weight of the series is daunting, Williams fills his pages with the sort of stories and characters that readers of epic fantasy are sure to love. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Trapped in the exotic virtual simulation known as Otherland, Paul Jonas, Orlando Gardner, and Renie Sulaweyo continue their separate explorations into the heart of the reality that surrounds them. As they confront puzzles and obstacles in re-creations of ancient Egypt and Homeric Greece, they come closer to the black glass mountain that may offer them the key to the mysterious Grail Brotherhood that controls the passages to and from Otherland. Synopses of the previous volumes (City of Golden Shadow; River of Blue Fire) of Williams's ambitious epic provide enough information for newcomers to the series, but the entire story is best read in sequence. Filled with complex plot threads, a wide variety of virtual and "real" characters and vivid descriptions of numerous worlds, this series belongs in most sf collections. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Forewordp. 1
1 Exiles In Oream
1 A Circle of Strangersp. 23
2 An Old-Fashioned Soundp. 43
3 House of the Beastp. 57
4 A Problem With Geographyp. 71
5 Tourist in Madrikhorp. 89
6 A Rock and a Hard Placep. 109
7 The Battle for Heavenp. 127
8 Housep. 147
2 Angels And Orphans
9 Eyes of Stonep. 175
10 God's Only Friendsp. 195
11 Quarantinep. 213
12 The Terrible Songp. 231
13 Tending the Herdp. 251
14 Bandit Countryp. 265
15 Waiting for Exodusp. 283
3 Broken Glass
16 Friday Night at the End of the Worldp. 309
17 Our Lady and Friendsp. 331
18 Dreams in a Dead Landp. 349
19 A Life Between Heartbeatsp. 365
20 Elephant's Housep. 385
21 The Spire Forestp. 401
22 An Unexpected Bathp. 421
23 Buried in the Skyp. 437
24 Serious Gamesp. 461
25 A Job with Unusual Benefitsp. 477
26 Dawn at the Gatesp. 491
4 Sunset On The Walls
27 On the Road Homep. 509
28 A Coin for Persephonep. 527
29 Some Roadside Attractionsp. 547
30 Heaven's Playthingp. 571
31 The Hall Wherein They Restp. 593
32 Trojan Horsep. 609
33 A Piece of the Mirrorp. 631
34 To Eternityp. 655
35 The White Oceanp. 679
Afterwordp. 687

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