Tad Williams' Mirror World

Tad Williams' Mirror World

by Tad Williams, Michelle West, John Helfers, Mark Kreighbaum
     
 

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Tad Williams' popular TechoComics series Mirror World introduced a fictional world so original and yet so compelling, so bizarre and yet so reminiscent of our own reality, that no reader who experienced it was ever quite the same again.

Mirror World is a story of disaster and survival. Just before the millennium (1999), gigantic mirrors appear

Overview

Tad Williams' popular TechoComics series Mirror World introduced a fictional world so original and yet so compelling, so bizarre and yet so reminiscent of our own reality, that no reader who experienced it was ever quite the same again.

Mirror World is a story of disaster and survival. Just before the millennium (1999), gigantic mirrors appear in the world's major cities, bisecting streets, parks, and buildings. They are as beautiful as they are mysterious, until their terrible purpose becomes clear. They are portals, through which predatory insectile aliens swarm, killing or carrying off everything in their path.

Humankind's only chance is to attack the "bugs" at their source—in Mirror World. It is a one-way trip, and one which only flesh can make; everything inorganic—weapons, clothing, even dental fillings—disappear in the crossing. Six volunteers are bioengineered to become human weapons. Some of the biotroops pursue the Bugs through further portals—into the dark heart of the Universe. Others remain on MIrror World, setting up city states such as Shades and Looking Glass, creating a second Earth with new wonders and new evils all its own.

An elite grouping of storytellers—also volunteers, hand-picked by Williams himself—has taken this audacious science fiction universe and filled it with colorful characters, unforgettable adventures, and thought-provoking new themes. The magic of their collective vision has limned a world as strange and wondrous as our own, only more so: a world in which illusion and reality are wedded inextricably.

Uniting the power of modern science fiction and the magic of full-color art, Tad Williams' Mirror World is a unique publishing event: a popular comic book transformed into literature, with its creative energy not only preserved but enhanced. As the story unfolds, a different author escorts the reader through each part of this astonishingly beautiful illustrated tale.

Tad Williams himself selected the writers and approved the artist chosen to make this unique multimedia foray into the shimmering vastness of his Mirror World. You are invited to go with them...if you dare.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In 1999, enormous mirrors appear around the world, creating gates into the mysterious Mirrorworld. At first the mirror-portals are two-way, allowing explorers to return at will, but then the gates within Mirrorworld itself disappear, leaving the explorers trapped. Meanwhile, giant insectoid aliens called "Bugs" begin using the mirrors to invade Earth. Thirty-seven specially bio-enhanced UN soldiers are sent through the portals to find the source of the Bugs and stop the invasion--but Mirrorworld turns out to be a mere stepping stone in an unknowable chain of planets connected by the mysterious mirrors. With no way home, the "biosoldiers" and others must band together for safety, in this setting invented by Tad Williams (Otherworld) and here sharecropped through lengthy stories by, respectively, Kreighbaum (The Eyes of God), West (The Broken Crown) and Helfers. Kreighbaum's "Mirror in Time" is a jumbled tale of a biosoldier whose lack of closure over his mother's death years ago hinders his determination to prevent two fellow soldiers from causing havoc in Mirrorworld. In Helfers's "Serpent in the Garden," a biosoldier must hunt down a fellow trooper whose enhancements have driven him insane. West's "Childhood's End," the most thoughtful piece of this generally weak trio, depicts yet another biosoldier, one whose silence harbors a grim past. These stories provide only a lackluster introduction to Williams's setting, merely hinting at wonders and mostly ignoring the much larger population of mundane folk who struggle to survive in this universe without superhuman reflexes or special training. Full-color border art throughout, plus 50 pages with full-color illustrations. (July)
VOYA - S. Ashley Burns
This collection of three short stories, written by three different authors and illustrated by two different artists, is set in a world designed by the editor for a comic book series. The purpose of this book, in part, was to merge a graphic novel with a book; although it is definitely meant for older readers, there are pictures scattered through the book, and border designs on every page. Mark Kreighbaum's Mirror of Time is the story of a man searching for two enemies who were once friends. He fights hallucination, memory, and a strange, predatory world in order to find the truth. Serpent in the Garden by John Helfers is a classic tale of an experiment gone wrong, and the consequences that result. Childhood's End is a coming-of-age story, with a few twists, written by Michelle West. On the whole, this book was disappointing. Mirror of Time is a bizarre mix of illusions, memories, and time--a combination that can be fascinating if done well, but here it ends up being murky. By the end of the story the characters seem to have figured out what's going on, but the reader is left confused and frustrated. The accompanying illustrations by Ron Mahoney are interesting, but definitely better suited to comic books; they clash with the delicate border designs, and the effect is rather jarring. Serpent in the Garden starts off well, but quickly degenerates into a predictable plot. Childhood's End was the only story that caught and held my interest. The characters were engaging, their emotions real, and the plot was both intriguing and believable. The illustrations by Robin Cline for Serpent in the Garden and Childhood's End are enjoyable, and achieve their purpose of adding to the book without clashing as the other illustrations did. This title is recommended for fans of the original comic books, but not fans of Williams's books. VOYA Codes: 2Q 2P S (Better editing or work by the author might have warranted a 3Q, For the YA with a special interest in the subject, Senior High-defined as grades 10 to 12).

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061055454
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
07/01/1998
Pages:
176

Meet the Author

Tad Williams is the New York Times bestselling author of some fourteen books for adults, which have been translated into twenty-three languages and sell worldwide. Among his bestsellers are The Dragonbone Chair, The Otherland Cycle, and Shadowmarch. Deborah Beale was a longtime editor of books for adults and children in her native London before she began her career as a writer. This is the first book Tad and Deborah have written together. They live with their children in the San Francisco Bay Area in California, with far more cats, dogs, reptiles, pet ants, and banana slugs than they can count.

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