That Feeling of Loss

City of Golden Shadow River of Blue Fire Mountain of Black Glass Sea of Silver Light

Am I the only one that has that feeling of loss or loneliness when I finish a good book? (or in this case, four good books?)

I’ve been reading the “Otherland” series, by Tad Williams for about 3 years now (4?), progressively acquiring each of the books in the series, then re-reading the ones before it so that I get the whole story. In doing this, I have obviously “spent a lot of time” with Renie, !Xabbu, Sellars, Sorensen, Ramsey, Orlando, Fredericks and all the other characters in the books. Now that I’ve finished them all – it’s over. I feel like I’ve lost a whole group of friends.

It’s strange how you can develop such an attachment to characters of a book which are completely ficticious. Personally, I think this comes partially from my history on the Internet. I have spent so much time online that the characters in a book are often more realistic, more “detailled” in their background, descriptions and actions than other people who I have spent hours discussing things with, worked on entire projects and laughed over common jokes.

With the detailed writing of professionals like Tad Williams, I often actually know more about the personality, physical appearance and mental processes of the characters in the books that I read, than I do about the people I meet on the ‘net.

The only up-side of finishing the Otherland series is that now I can finally read “Google Hacks”, the book that I wrote a small section of. I’ve had my complimentary copy of the book (from O’Reilly) for a few months now, but haven’t had a chance to read it because I was too busy trapped in Otherland and the Grail Network (read the book if you have no idea what I’m talking about here :).

I will strongly recommend Otherland (yes, all 4,000-ish pages of it) to anyone who likes science fiction, and especially if you can deal with the idea of fully-immersive virtual reality – it really is a treat.