Chung Kuo launch updates

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 info@fragilemedialtd.com  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.

Chung Kuo: The Return (again)

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).

 

Big news: Fragile Books to present Chung Kuo re-launch event

Big news today.

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.

The event will also mark the launch of Fragile Books, David Wingrove’s new publishing company that will be releasing the Chung Kuo series. He’s talked a bit about the new company before.

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.

Photos of first eight Chung Kuo proofs

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.

 

 

Master of Time has shipped!

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!

Chung Kuo’s New Look

The new cover designs for the first eight books Chung Kuo books have been completed. The cover for Daylight on Iron Mountain was released on David Wingrove’s Facebook page earlier today, and a new cover will be released daily through Saturday. Each cover features the ouroboros created by Jim Burns and will feature a different color. The Daylight cover is below, and when all eight our out, I’ll post all eight. Mr. Wingrove did let me know that he’d like everybody’s feedback, writing, “I think they’re stunning, and classy and immensely collectable, but let’s hear from you guys. Is the New Look one you like? Let me know. ”

The first eight books will be released in trade paperback and e-book this spring, and Book 9, Monsters of the Deep, will be released shortly thereafter. That’ll be the first Chung Kuo release in three years!

More news at it comes!

Daylight on Iron Mountain final cover

Welcome Otto

David’s reveal of the Son of Heaven cover was today’s big news, but I think this is even bigger. Goonda, an Of Gifts and Stones regular, sends this along:

Otto Meleyco Shaffer, born Dec 15, 2016 at 5:11 pm Pacific time. His first name was inspired by Otto Behr, from Roads to Moscow, and his middle name is a Russian family name from his maternal grandmother’s side of the the family.

goonda

Many congratulations to Goonda and family! This certainly beats my Chung Kuo-themed eBay username…

New cover for Son of Heaven

David Wingrove has just released on his Facebook page the first of the new covers for the Chung Kuo series, now under his control and to published by his own imprint, Fragile Books. The next several covers should be released soon and will follow a similar motif, including the Jim Burns-created ouroboros, but will vary in main color.

David also tells me that his official website will be launching very soon, once the first series of covers has been finalized.

What do you think of the new cover art? Leave your thoughts in the comments. More news as it comes.

son-of-heaven-1206-gold

On Catching Breath

David chimes in with some more updates and clarifications. Big thanks to him, as always, for keeping us in the loop!

-m

__________

Hi one and all,

I thought I should clarify on certain points. So let me add to what I said a few days back –

1. It’s important to emphasise that getting control back over Chung Kuo means the whole of Chung Kuo, not just English language editions, but throughout the world. First time around, back in the late eighties, early nineties, this involved Chung Kuo having fifteen overseas editions (apart from British and Commonwealth, USA, and Canadian rights. With Corvus, the only deals they got were for Turkey and Indonesia. Added to that I personally obtained a French edition through L’Atalante (which covers the opening 8 volumes). Oh, and I’ve never seen a copy of either the new Turkish or Indonesian editions. What having control means in this instance is being able to take the new format versions to the London Book Fair next year and stir up interest. We may even get a stall, to promote Chung Kuo. This ought – we hope – to get the series out there – in the clear view of foreign publishers.

  1. Reversion – Okay, but why not a new publisher? Hodder, perhaps, or Head of Zeus, both of whose Senior Editors were once great champions of Chung Kuo? My answer – because once more we would be losing the most important element in a project this large – control. Even with the best of intentions and the very best of editors, Chung Kuo has stumbled and fallen twice. That’s not going to happen again. This time we do it and we do it right. And backing me up in this endeavour will be my wife, Susan and my daughter Amy, who, incidentally, writes a mean fantasy novel, as you’ll discover in the next year or two. Oh, and please note that Fragile Books is owned and run jointly by Sue and I. Also that – for starters – we’ll be issuing new e-book versions, and, not too much later, print on demand versions. But eventually the aim is to get the physical books into the bookshops – something Corvus failed to do.
  1. Re-launch. Crucially important as once more it means ‘control’. It also means that I can keep that promise I made back in 2011 that the sequence would be completed with a brand new four volume finale that addresses all of those matters my critics – back in 1997 – raised. And there’s a big bonus for those of you who’ve been patient – some complete non-Chung Kuo never-before-published science fiction novels – THE BEAST WITH TWO BACKS – about two psychopathic and telepathic twins, IMAGINE A MAN – about memory and love, and THE WOUNDED, a 60,000 word space opera. They’re good books, all of them, and if they go well, I might even release – for the real die-hards – A PERFECT ART and SPRING DAY AT THE EDGE OF THE WORLD – two early versions of CHUNG KUO, when it was still a single novel project. Before I wrote the 750,000 word version which was subsequently carved up into CHUNG KUO.
  1. Not included in Matt’s summary – and sitting alongside his newly re-vamped site – there’s the new website, which will relate not merely to the Chung Kuo series but to ROADS TO MOSCOW and MYST. There will also be a regular update, with extensive blogs and reviews of other sf novelists. In which vein I ought to mention that I’ve signed on to write an introduction to a new special boxed set edition of CHILDREN OF DUNE which will be out at the end of next year.
  1. The possible TV deal. This includes a possible franchise and all manner of spin-offs – audio books, computer games, comic books, graphic novels and possible stand-alone movies of SON OF HEAVEN and DAYLIGHT ON IRON MOUNTAIN, neither of which (as it’s currently planned) will be included in the TV version. But it’s crucial to state that even if Chung Kuo doesn’t come off as a TV series, it WILL get published through to the final volume, the final sentence. You see, control is the key to all of this. We have the resources to do this, all that’s needed is the sheer will to see it through to the end. Oh, and I ought also to mention that one of those four ‘finale’ books is already written. It just needs a good polish.

That’s it for now, guys. More in a week or so, when we’re back from Lanzarotte.

David Wingrove   29th October 2016

PS – Jim Burns is an old friend of mine from way back (the seventies) and he did the American versions first time round. He’s agreed to help us get this rolling, but I emphasise, Jim isn’t doing big illustrated covers like last time, He’s providing us with a central logo for the new launch. Oh, and just to clarify, I consider Jim the finest science fiction artist in the world and am honoured to be working with him, in whatever capacity.