Moments ago, a box containing the first eight books of the Chung Kuo re-re-launch arrived at my doorstep, courtesy of Fragile Media’s Susan Oudot, each containing a kind inscription from the man himself. The books are beautiful — far nicer in person than in any picture. My wife, who is away at a work conference for the week, will likely be none too pleased to return and find that I’ve relocated a picture of the two of us to make room on the Chung Kuo bookshelf in our small library. Yes, the guy who runs the fan blog has a Chung Kuo bookshelf.
Seeing the books in print again, now with a renewed confidence that this time we’ll be able to see things to their proper conclusion under the wing of Fragile Books, is a wonderful feeling.
I just returned late last night from a terrific three-week trek through Asia and I’m exhausted. But, it liooks like a lot happened in my absence, so let’s get through some big updates.
As I believe everyone knows, on June 22, the first eight books of Chung Kuo re-launched under David Wingrove and Susan Oudot’s Fragile Books banner. Susan was kind enough to send along a quick rundown of the launch event that took place that night at Waterstones in Islington along with some photos.
On a sweltering summer’s evening the great and the good gathered at Waterstones bookshop in Islington, north London for the re-launch of CHUNG KUO. David’s new publishing company, Fragile Books, had the prosecco flowing and appropriately-themed Chinese nibbles on offer (along with the obligatory fortune cookies, of course). Among the guests were fantasy author, Michael Cobley, several writers on the world’s longest-running soap opera, Coronation Street, and tv and film star, Rupert Graves (Sherlock, amongst other things). As David’s wife Susan Oudot – Publishing Director of the new venture – said in her speech “It’s a good feeling to know that finally we have control.” Onward and upward.
Next, David Wingrove’s long awaited official page has finally launched (davidwingrove.com) and is definitely worth checking out. There’s info there about Chung Kuo, Roads to Moscow, and Myst, as well as a new blog. I do want to note that there being an official site doesn’t change the fan-based mission of this site. As always, if there’s anything anyone would like to contribute here, please drop me a line. One of these days I’ll get some forums back up and running.
Also worth noting is that Mr. Wingrove is now active on three social media channels: Facebook, Twitter, and now, even Instagram.
Lastly, while the first eight books of the Chung Kuo re-release are available through the usual channels like Amazon UK, the books are also available at a discount directly from Fragile Books, including to US-based readers.
Susan sends along this note:
Fragile Books are selling directly to fans in the US. If you’re interested in ordering any of the first eight titles, or the complete set at a reduced price, contact David via his Facebook page: David Wingrove. Or write to the publisher at firstname.lastname@example.org Payment is via Paypal.
A Facebook post also indicates that signed copies are available, too (thanks to Goonda for pointing this out during my absence).
Exciting times, indeed. I believe that’s it for now. More news to be posted as it comes in. Many thanks to David and Susan for everything they’ve done for fan outreach, through this site and their own channels.
Greetings from the past! I’ve jumped in from June 10 via Four-Oh. Tonight, Mrs. Ofgiftsandstones and I are traveling to Asia: Bangkok, Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Tokyo for a much needed holiday. I won’t have easy access to a computer, so I’m pre-scheduling this post to remind all loyal Chung Kuo fans that the re-re-issue is out today! Take a look at Amazon UK!
As of June 10, it looks like the first 8 books have a release date of June 22, so hopefully all those editions are up for grabs today.
Leave any thoughts in the comments below (although I’ll be a little slow to respond for a week or two).
I’ve received word that there will be an official Chung Kuo re-launch party in London on the evening of June 22, the publication day of Son of Heaven. Ironically enough, I’ll be traveling to Shanghai that day, so I won’t be able to attend. Otherwise, I would probably try to make the transatlantic trip.
There are a limited number of spaces for this event, so, if you think you might be able to attend, send a note along to Wingrove’s Fragile Media partner, Susan Oudot, at susanoudot [at] btinternet.com to RSVP, and she’ll send along the time and place if there’s still space.
If someone can go and provide a report for this site, that would be terrific!
Also noteworthy is a new reflection by Susan Oudot on BookBruch, featuring a short publication history of Chung Kuo. Not too much new there for Chung Kuo diehards, but an excellent read nonetheless.
And, of course, it’s nice to see another confirmation of this:
Fragile Books will reissue volume 1 of the Chung Kuo series, Son of Heaven, on 22 June; volumes 2-7 will be reissued over the summer. The new novel in the series, Monsters of the Deep, will be published in September.
Mr. Wingrove just posted on his Facebook page some photos of him showing off the beautiful proofs of the re-re-release of the first eight Chung Kuo books, featuring the Jim Burns-designed dragon ouroboros. See photos below.
Dare I say that they look even better in these photos then they as the raw images? Looking forward to having these on the bookshelf. That is, if Mrs. Giftsandstones will let me make room on the bookshelf next to the all the other Chung Kuo/Myst/Roads to Moscow books.
Also… the staff here at Of Gifts and Stones also unanimously support the return of Mr. Wingrove’s beard. This is certainly a good omen for the future of the series release, since it was absent for the Corvus release (and look what happened there).
Back to finishing Master of Time. More news as it comes.
I finally received my copy of Master of Time today. It’s a little beat up from the transatlantic journey, but it’s here. Reading the first few pages, I’m realizing that I remember basically nothing from the first two books. Either I read the first two books way too quickly, or I’m starting to get old, or my brain is turning to mush from being in a PhD program. I suspect it’s probably a function of all three.
Anyhow, I expect it will come back to me as I make some progress. I may check in periodically with some reflections.
If anybody would like to leave any spoiler-free thoughts about the last book in the Roads to Moscow trilogy in the comments below, please do!
I just got my email confirmation (as have several of you who noted in the comments) that Master of Time, the conclusion to Wingrove’s Roads to Moscow trilogy, has shipped. Unfortunately, since I live in the USA, Amazon UK is sending it via carrier pigeon or tugboat or something, so it’ll be a while before I get my hands on it. The American release date is in July, it seems, although the Kindle version is available in the states tomorrow. I might have to do that. Happy reading, to those of you who get it soon!
Hey Chung Kuo fans… is anybody really good at WordPress and PHP? It looks like this site has been the target of some malicious activity. There are a bunch of new files in my WordPress directories with jibberish code, and some of the existing files were overwritten with some craziness. See screenshot for example. I’ve been able to bring it back online but there are still a few things that are off.
If you think you might be able to help, shoot me a message at ofgiftsandstones [at] gmail [dot] com.
Update: After a manual restore of all the core WP files, it’s looks like I’m back up and running with no issues. What a pain, though. Ugh!
Here you go: the first Chung Kuo covers from the forthcoming re-re-release. Click on each image for the full size version. I think they look better together than they do individually and will stand beautifully on the bookshelf (or e-reader).