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I know all’s been quiet on the Chung Kuo front for a while, with several folks asking if there’s been any update regarding the release of the remaining books in the sequence or about who’s holding the rights to the books.

And all is still quiet. As of now, there’s no news to share. But…

Yesterday, Mr. Wingrove personally reached out to me and promised a big update to come in the coming weeks, hopefully by the first week of November. Although I don’t have specifics to share, I get the sense that this is going to be very good, very interesting news.

Keep your eyes peeled and watch this space.

9 Comments, Written on October 12th, 2016 , News

Big thanks to Kaneda for pointing out the The Master of Time, the third and final book in David Wingrove’s Roads to Moscow trilogy, is now available for pre-order with a release date of April 6, 2017. So far only the Kindle edition is appearing on US Amazon, but the Kindle and paperback versions are on Amazon UK. Here’s the cover and description:


As the German and Russian forces seek to destroy a third, seemingly-unstoppable faction, Otto Behr reluctantly finds himself at the centre of all timelines, his very existence the catalyst by which reality itself will be reset or destroyed.

But for Otto, the battle to become the Master of Time has become a fight for family, love and reality itself…

I know there’s been concern about if and when we’d see this book, so this is good news for all of us, despite the fact that we still have a bit to wait.

Pre-order on or on

4 Comments, Written on August 16th, 2016 , News, Roads to Moscow

Hello all! Fear not: despite some extended breaks, I’m still in the game of reporting anything I hear regarding Chung Kuo, Roads to Moscow, or anything else from the pen of Mr. David Wingrove. A couple of days ago, when I saw in the news that a computer had finally beaten a human champion at Go (otherwise known to us Chung Kuo fans as wei chi), I made a mental note to post about here. And then, out of nowhere, a post appears from David in my inbox.

Without any further ado, here are some reflections from Mr. Wingrove about the significance of the event and its repercussions on AI in general. Full text after the break. And hopefully more news soon!



Anyone who has read CHUNG KUO over the years will understand the significance within the work of the Chinese game of Wei Chi (known in Japan and more commonly in the West as Go), the most ancient and probably the world’s most complex and difficult game.

As Major DeVore says in Chapter Twenty Eight of The Middle Kingdom, “A Game Of Static Patterns”

“He glanced at the machine again. It was a complex game, and he prided himself on a certain mastery of it. Strange, though, how much it spoke of the difference between East and West. At least, of the old West, hidden beneath the levels of the Han city, the layers of Han culture and Han history. The games of the West had been played on similar boards to those of the East, only the West played between the lines, not on the intersecting points. And the games of the West had been flexible, each individual piece given breath, allowed to move, as though each had an independent life.  That was not so in Wei Chi. In Wei Chi once a piece was placed it remained, unless it was surrounded and its ‘breath’ taken from it. It was a game of static patterns; patterns built patiently over hours or days – sometimes even months. A game where the point was not to eliminate but to enclose.

East and West – they were the inverse of each other. Forever alien.”

The quality – or suzhi – of certain characters in the books is often measured by their mastery of (or failure to master) the 19 by 19-space Wei Chi board. And for good reason. Since we have entered the age of computers – that is, effectively since the 1950s onward – no one had managed to come up with a programme which came even close to defeating the greatest Masters of the game. Indeed, it was believed that it would be a long time yet – estimates were given of ten to thirty years – before we finally broke through that barrier.

Only… yesterday, Nature magazine published an article called “Mastering the game of Go with deep neural networks and tree search”, claiming to have done just that. Just as Gary Kasparov lost to DeepBlue in 1997, so, it seems, Fan Hui – European Wei Chi Master – was beaten in five straight games by the latest challenger to the ‘Go’ crown, DeepMind, using a new software called AlphaGo. Read the rest of this entry »

11 Comments, Written on January 29th, 2016 , Goodies, News

It’s been a long time coming, and I’m glad it’s finally here: Earthlight, a brand new, unreleased, Chung Kuo novella available for free digital download, exclusively from Of Gifts and Stones. Earthlight takes place in the year 2105 and adds to the story of the Osu, one of my favorite aspects of the Chung Kuo universe.

I’m told this is the first of many new wonderful things to come.

Thanks, as always, to Mr. Wingrove for continuing to provide the fan community with new content and for allowing me the honor of hosting it.

Download Earthlight now in PDF format.

12 Comments, Written on August 24th, 2015 , News, The Vault

New blog entry from David about the recent turbulence in the Chinese stock market. Full text after the break.


Crash Landing in China

Or, China, Burning.

For a long time now there’s been concern over whether China’s long-sustained economic growth could continue, and many China experts have been asking openly whether, if things did go wrong, it would be a soft landing or a crash landing, and, if the latter, then how it would affect the rest of the global economy.

Well, now we –partially – know. China’s growth can’t be sustained, and we don’t need China experts to tell us that. It’s finally happened, in Hong Kong’s Hang Seng, as well as in other stock markets throughout the world. Read the rest of this entry »

2 Comments, Written on July 21st, 2015 , Goodies

Mr. Wingrove checks in. And yes, a plan is in the works to roll out something exciting. More to come.

Full text after the break.



Sue’s up in Manchester, at a short term conference for Coronation Street, leaving me down here in London, furiously self-motivating myself to get Book Three of the time travel trilogy – THE MASTER OF TIME – written. And?

Well, it isn’t easy. I think I have the rough shape of the ending, but I have a problem. ROADS TO MOSCOW isn’t an easy book to end. Read the rest of this entry »

6 Comments, Written on May 14th, 2015 , Goodies, News, Roads to Moscow

I’m writing this from the site of the eMerge Americas conference, sunny rainy Miami Beach, right before the second day of the conference proper begins. In a session yesterday, a speaker mentioned a company I had never heard of before: Synthetic Genomics. This company claims to have produced the first synthetic cell, and also works on “humanized organs” and “digitizing life.” As crazy as this sounds, this isn’t some goof company or hoax — they have financial backing from BP and a few different venture capital firms.

Sound familiar? In case you need a refresher, Genetic Synthetics, or GenSyn, is a mega-corporation in the Chung Kuo universe that creates artificial life forms and other constructed genetic products. Once again, life imitates art.

For what it’s worth, I think GenSyn rolls off the tongue far better that SynGen.

For a short story that illuminates some of the life of a GynSyn creation, check out One Moment of Bright Intensity, which takes place during the events of The Middle Kingdom.

Leave thoughts in comments!

Leave A Comment, Written on May 5th, 2015 , Reflections

I’ve been doing some soul searching lately. This site has been around since February 2011, when the re-release of Chung Kuo was announced. A lot has changed since then. The re-release has been cut off at the hip, but Roads to Moscow is now a thing (a thing you all should be reading if you’re not already). I originally created this site to archive of the old essays that were floating around the internet for a fear that those sites would disappear and we (the relatively small and disconnected Chung Kuo fanbase) would lose that content forever. It grew into something I never would have expected… a community. A small one, yes, but there are regular readers and commenters (that’s you!) who also care about these works and want to see them continue and grow and succeed. And on top of that, David Wingrove, himself, became an integral part of the site, regularly supplying the community with updates and special content. Hell, the man dedicated one of his novels to me. This site has been

I first read Chung Kuo as a freshman in high school. Here I am now, 30 years old, starting a doctoral program this year, and I can’t help but look back and reflect on the effect Chung Kuo has had on my life. Small influences, but influences nonetheless. I took Mandarin in college. I visited China. I feel like the lessons in Chung Kuo about hierarchy, control, culture, and diplomacy have enabled me to approach the real works with a more critical, nuanced eye.

Having reflected on these things recently, I’ve decided to dedicate more effort into this site and this community.

Starting with… Twitter. I’ll be semi-live-tweeting as I read from @giftsandstones, starting with The Ocean of Time, which I’ve just started now that I’ve finished a re-read of The Empire of Time. Expect the first of these tonight or soon. I’ll be including the chapter number in parenthesis and a hashtag for whichever book I’m on.

I have other goals in mind for the site – some big, some small. A redesign is in order, perhaps. For sure, I want to get off horrible GoDaddy and migrate to a better web host. That might include some downtime, but hopefully not much.

I’ll leave you with two questions. First, has Chung Kuo, Myst, Roads to Moscow, The Trillion Year Spree, or any other Wingrove work left an impression on you to the degree that it has me? Second, what would you like to see out of this site? Return of the forums? A Kickstarter to re-re-publish the books? Let me know, and we’ll make it happen,  hopefully together.

Zaijian for now…



34 Comments, Written on April 29th, 2015 , News, Reflections

This arrived today, from all the way across the Atlantic. I’m actually planning on re-reading Empire of Time first – I read it in such a hurry that it’s a bit of a blur.

Looking forward to your thoughts about the new book!

The Ocean of Time by David Wingrove

1 Comment, Written on April 5th, 2015 , Reflections, Roads to Moscow

David resurfaces! Full text after the break.


Of What Is Past or Passing or To Come


A few minutes before I fell off the tracking board, I dialled my brother to find out how he was and what he’d been up to. Ian’s seven years younger than me, and as a child I looked after him while my mum and nan went to work, to keep the proverbial wolf from the door. Recently he married a lovely young woman named Claire, almost twenty years younger than him, and they’ve settled and had two children, George and Rosa.

So there I am, on the phone, asking my brother, “How are you? How’s things?” And he answers, “I was great up ‘til five minutes back. I’ve just heard. Claire and the kids have been involved in a car crash.”

While Ian works in London, Claire and he are based in Norwich, where – even as all this was happening – they were supposed to be moving to, having sold their flat in London to buy a much bigger house near Norwich.

Over the next few hours further news came in. Things could not have been much worse. We learned that a big estate car had crossed the road and hit Claire’s car head on, trapping her in the car, from which the fire brigade had had to cut her out. The kids – just picked up from nursery, ten minutes earlier, sustained far smaller injuries, but they were shook up and frightened. They were taken off to hospital even as the fire brigade did their best. Claire’s mum, who lived five minutes’ walk away from where the accident took place, got a phone call and ran all the way to the site, where she was told it was eighty per cent likely Claire wouldn’t survive. Read the rest of this entry »

9 Comments, Written on March 18th, 2015 , News

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