This is not a dictatorship.

…it is a fan blog, after all. And I know I’m not the only fan (as evidenced by some action on the Forums after only one day of being live). If there is anybody who has reflections, opinions, fair criticisms, breaking news, or any other relevant info about the Chung Kuo series, then I’d love to have some other contributors to this site.

In the interest of full disclosure, I do (and will continue to) receive the revenue from the Google ads at the right in an attempt to recoup the funds that pay for the domain and hosting of this site — so far I’m up to around $1.79 or so after two months, not quite enough to quit my day job yet. Also, as the administrator of the site, I’ll retain editorial control of all the content, which isn’t to say that I won’t agree to the posting of entries that I disagree with (quite the opposite!), but I do want to maintain a certain standard of content, including relevance and quality of writing. Indeed, a thorough command of the English language is an expected pre-requisite.

What I’m thinking is that I’ll post your first entry (under your name or nickname), and for any further content I’ll create a WordPress username and account for you. If anyone’s interested, hit me up at ofgiftsandstones [[at]] and we’ll discuss how we’ll get started!

My Collection

Despite what conclusions you might draw from the picture above, I’m actually not obsessed (that is, going by the clinical definition of the word), but I do find myself compelled to buy any copies of Chung Kuo novels I see when visiting any used bookstores. That’s led to the modest collection you see here. It’s not a creepy stalker fixation — it started with just wanting the ability to lend the book freely to friends and family without worry of getting it back (no one ever returns borrowed books; that’s a universal truth) and it just sort of grew from there. All eight books of the original series are represented here, at least once. There was a time when Marriage of the Living Dark could go used for roughly $150 on the used market, but I couldn’t bring myself to part with it. MotLD runs around $45 or so on AbeBooks these days.

Happily, I now have one more book to add to the collection… the limited edition Son of Heaven, numbered and signed, imported from England, still in shrinkwrap… how it will remain for the foreseeable future.

Anyone else have a Chung Kuo shelf collection?

PS – Yes, those are the Myst books on the left side. Where else would I put those?

Son of Heaven: Out in hardcover now!

On this day, back in 1857, the Second Opium War was started when Britain and France declared war on the Qing Dynasty of China after it refused to open its ports and legalize the opium trade. The aftermath set the stage for the next century and a half of relations between China and the UK, culminating in the return of Hong Kong to Communist China in July 1997.

Coincidentally, Son of Heaven has just arrived in hardcover. Go get it. And if you’re in London, make it a point to head out for the launch party! If you’re in the states, you can import it from Amazon UK here.