Adam Whitehead over at the Wertzone has just published his review of The Middle Kingdom, giving it 4 1/2 starts. Go check it out! And since I’m assuming most of you have already finished Book 4, what are your own thoughts? I’m particularly interested in the thoughts of anyone who just started the series from Son of Heaven, if any of you are out there. Either way, leave some comments!
David’s rundown of the last two members of China’s real-life version of the Seven.
Full text after the break.
The Final Two (from Seven)
According to the BBC’s sources there are two more candidates for the Standing Committee of the Politburo who are, as like as not, going to form the Seven who’ll be ruling China in the decade to come. One of these – and reported to be about to become Vice Premier – is Liu Yunshan. Only let’s leave him until last. Just why I’ll come to. Continue reading The Final Two (from Seven)
Full text after the break.
Another Two Towards Seven
Next on my list is Wang Qishan, born in Qingdao, in Shandong province, up in the north east of China, facing Korea across the Yellow Sea, though, like Xi Jinping, his family hail from Shanxi. A historian by training, he was Governor of the China Construction Bank from 1994 to 1997, but is best known for being the Mayor of Beijing from 2004 onward. Now, as far as the USA is concerned, Wang Qishan is one of the most important of the Seven, because its Wang Qishan who was appointed as special representative to chair the Economic Track of the US-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue – from the Chinese side, of course. Continue reading Another Two Towards Seven
David continues to introduce us to the real-life Seven. Full text after the break.
Two More Towards Making The Seven
Number two in the Standing Committee, and its youngest member, is Li Keqiang, who was born in Anhui Province, in central China, on 1st July 1955. As chief lieutenant to Premier Wen Jiabao, Li Keqiang has a lot of experience of working at the highest level of government and will be the Vice Premier of the People’s Republic. Continue reading Two More Towards Making The Seven
Another blog post, just sent along by the man himself. Full text after the break.
Introducing… the Seven!
On the fifteenth of October, the politburo of the Communist Party of China decided that the nine-
man “Standing Committee” – in effect, the men who run China – would be cut from nine to seven
for the once-a-decade election of members on the 9th of November.
This, to any reader of Chung Kuo, is all too freakily familiar. The Seven, eh? Wonder where I’ve heard
David sends along this short bit of self-deprecating humor. I’m hoping for a short story one of these days.
I’m not sure if this comes before or after The Mooooooo-dle Kingdom in the sequence, but I’m sure The Dispigsionist faction will give the Cows some trouble on the farm.
Have your own Chung Kao puns? Leave them in the comments.
Chung Cow… Empire of Butter
In an udder reality, the cows have taken over. Worse than that… they’re Chinese Kaos and they think
the grass is greener, here in the West. As their mile-high barns cover the planet, they mean to milk
their enemies dry. Under the great tyrant Dung Chew, they are out to extend their great empire of
butter out into the universe.
“Perhaps the best epic series ever written about cheese!” – The Farmyard Chronicle
“Gets butter and butter… a true udder-puller!” – The Milker Monthly
“As smooth as a pale of milk!” – The Denver Dairyman
“Best in its field!” – Cow, Sheep and Chicken Weekly
The Middle Kingdom (Kindle edition) is currently on sale on both Amazon.com ($9.79, originally $14.57). That’s about 30% off, so get it while the gettin’s good. No discount on Amazon.co.uk, from what I’m seeing. Apple’s iBooks store is currently listing it at $13.99 in the U.S., if you’re anti-Kindle.
Thanks to Gary for the tip. More as it comes in.
Clarification: For you ink-and-paper types, The Middle Kingdom will be released on October 18th, currently at $19.26/£10.49.
…it should be obvious that this is a complex and lengthy scenario where the reader is expected to be in for the long game and therefore and not everything is resolved here in The Middle Kingdom. What keeps the reader’s interest is the juxtaposition between all these disparate and often conflicting elements […] In the hands of a lesser writer, the different perspectives… would degenerate into stereotypes […] I’m pleased to type that it is as good as I remembered it […] somebody, somewhere will label it as ‘SF’s equivalent of A Game of Thrones’, though Chung Kuo was first published seven years before […] supremely effective. It’s engaging, it’s exciting and it’s great to be back in the Chung Kuo world. I envy anyone yet to read this for the first time.
Agreed, sffworld.com. Agreed.
In other news, David reports that he has just finished a draft of The Finding, which ended up larger than expected and will be a novella rather than the planned short story. Next up for David will be Filial Piety and The Dragon in the Earth, the latter of which is planned to be a 70,000 short novel. You can read these over in the Expanded Universe article. Lastly, David has signed all of the special editions of Ice and Fire, and the trade paperback of the same books looks great. He’s also planning on sending over a blog post on the nine new Politburo members, which hopefully we’ll see soon.
That’s all for now.
The Piper at the Gates of Fantasy has just posted a review of The Middle Kingdom, glowingly positive, as would be expected:
…moves along at an exhilarating pace […] scale continues to range from the tremendous and remote to the intimate and deeply personal […] set to be a roller-coaster ride that it will be impossible to leave until the author is done with it
Yep, sounds about right. More reviews as they come in.