The Epic Quest through Otherland
I am always searching for new metaversal fiction. I don't think I will ever stop searching for new and different media that lets me see talented creators paint worlds of technology and simulation (well, until the reality catches up with the fiction.) This search has lead me down many paths to date, but none quite as long as Tad Williams' Otherland series.
Coming in at 4 books and a total of over 3000 pages, Otherland is quite a commitment (and that's without the novella and short story in the same universe.) I'll start by saying that I enjoyed these books. These stories contain everything you need for entertaining fiction: love, conflict, combat, and haptic feedback. The common-place technology that Williams creates to flesh out his world is very believable, which is what drew me in to the first book the most. I love seeing the technological projection through the eyes of an author. As the series progresses things get a little more sophisticated, but that's some of the fun.
Though Otherland is undeniably metaversal fiction, I'm not positive it is exclusively sci fi. I think that the story feels like it could comfortably be told with magic taking the place of the tech and succeed equally effectively (in most every component.) As someone who grew up reading as much TOR fantasy as I did sci fi: this isn't meant to be a complaint. I'm only commenting because with such a large commitment being necessary, if you're looking for more Gibson-esque grit you might look elsewhere (I just read The Peripheral. It was awesome. More to come on that later.)
The story has a traditional epic feel to it, much akin to Tolkien's quests (an obvious influence.) The way Tad builds his team of protagonists is cinematic in it's approach, and I was pleasantly surprised how the pacing worked to make the high number of elements manageable. Any faster and it would have felt confusing, and slower would have dragged. Despite it's length it certainly moves along.
If you have some time, and feel like buckling up for an epic with metaverse running throughout: check out Otherland. If you're looking for cyberpunk or hard sci fi, consider looking elsewhere. If you do select Otherland, however, I doubt you'll regret it. It was an enjoyable journey through many different worlds with some wonderful surprises.