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.

One Moment Of Bright Intensity

David has been (again) incredibly kind by allowing me to post another short story from the Expanded Universe on this site. This story is One Moment Of Bright Intensity, which takes place in the year 2196 at a point in The Middle Kingdom on pages 24-26 (Chapter 26, “Fire And Ice”). This is my favorite story among this, Paperhouse, and Black Stone, White (which are all excellent, of course).

Without further ado, here’s the story. Full text appears after the break. You can also download the PDF to read offline.


One Moment Of Bright Intensity
A Chung Kuo story set in the year 2196

by David Wingrove

She stood there, among the bowing maids, waiting to be assigned. There were a thousand of them gathered there in GenSyn’s Great Hall, maybe more, though she had never thought to make such a calculation; had never considered what existed beyond the backs of those who stood in front of her; maids like herself, each dressed identically.

Life for her was a haze. It always had been, from the moment they had lifted her from the vats, the amniotic fluid dripping from her limbs. A succession of unmarked moments, leading to this place. It was not to be questioned. Why should it be? Hers was a life of functionality. Of directed purpose. There was no room in it for questions; no space allocated in her long working days for any concept of self.

And so she waited, as the men – GenSyn creations all, of a much higher mental level; creatures that could think and reason and remember – went from row to row, handing out their allocated tasks, going about their business as if this were just another day.

Only this day was different. Today they had a guest, come to see around the massive GenSyn plant. Not that she was in any fashion curious. Why should she be? How could the Great Man’s presence here affect her in any way? Not that she even began to wonder who he was and what he was doing there. No. If she had been a statue she would have showed the same disinterest. The same… nullity. After all, she was just a GenSyn maid, created in the vats, the GenSyn logo – a capital G with a smaller S inside – imprinted into the pale flesh of her neck. Continue reading One Moment Of Bright Intensity

Black Stone, White

I’m pleased to present the second exclusive Chung Kuo short story sent by David Wingrove:  Black Stone, White. The special page will stay up for a week, but will always be accessible via the Pages side menu, like Paperhouse.

Thanks very much to David for sending. I get the sense that he’s eager to get this story out and to give fans this treat between books.

Read Black Stone, White now.

Paperhouse, a Chung Kuo story

I’m honored and proud to present Paperhouse, the first short story in the Chung Kuo universe released to the world.  David has been exceedingly generous to present this to us, especially by using a fan website as the outlet. Infinite thanks to him for sharing this.

Set in the year 2067, Paperhouse story takes place just between Son of Heaven and Daylight on Iron Mountain. David also mentioned that “It might also interest readers to note what music I was playing while I was writing this: Tool, Nine Inch Nails, Caravan, Tangerine Dream, Can, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Wishbone Ash. Bombay Bicycle Club, Alan Stivell, The Who. And others.”

Paperhouse will be featured as the featured landing page on this website for a week or two before reverting to the main page, but the story will continue to be available in The Vault section, and the dedicated page will be accessible from the pages menu to the side.

And if you haven’t caught it yet, here’s the story in its entirety, after the break. Happy reading!

Continue reading Paperhouse, a Chung Kuo story

Chung Kuo: The Expanded Universe

Since there’s been a lot of recent interest in the spin-off stories on this site, David has been extraordinarily generous by providing us with this detailed breakdown of all the planned stories in the Chung Kuo universe that aren’t included in the main sequence of novels. This “expanded universe,” as planned, is much bigger than I ever could have anticipated.

There’s a spoiler warning before the breakdown of each story’s plot – if you’re new to the series, I desperately urge you to heed the warning; these plot summaries are related to major plot points in the main sequence. For those who have read the original 8, this set of teasers will be a rare treat and a taste of things to come.

This also gives those of us working on the wiki a lot of articles to add!

Full text appears after the break.

And, as always, a major thank you to David for providing this wealth of supplemental material.




Okay. A lot of you have shown interest in Chung Kuo 2.01, or the spin-off stories. That’s great, and spurs me on to get the things written. But let me specify what I’ve got planned out, because – as it’s a Chung Kuo venture – it’s BIG. Okay. Here’s the details

Oh yeah, and this is the part that’ll make you think I’m totally batty, but…

There were whole parts of CHUNG KUO which, because of the way the story-lines developed, either couldn’t be used, or were things I decided not to pursue. But, going through all of the box files, I realised that what I had was a complete other take on CHUNG KUO – one which cuts right across the grain of the epic version. A future history, in fact, rather like Robert A Heinlein’s. That is, told through a series of stories (short and long), which, in their entirety, will give a whole new perspective on the world of CHUNG KUO.

Continue reading Chung Kuo: The Expanded Universe

An English Boy At The London Book Fair

David just sent along a blog post – a retelling of an… interesting… experience at the London Book Fair. It’s a good read. Thanks David!

Full text continues after the break…


An English Boy at the London Book Fair

A blog – Saturday 21st April 2012

Wednesday (the 18th) was the third and final day of the London Book Fair, held, as usual, at Earls Court. It’s a massive venue and, with all the stands and all the people milling around, does much to convince an author that they’re the smallest and least important cog in this great machine we call publishing.

Now, I’m not a regular attendee of these gatherings. Someone has commented that taking an author to the Book Fair is rather like taking a cow along to view the abattoir, but that aside, I was there this year – paying my £45 fee – because the guest of honour for this year’s Fair was China. Continue reading An English Boy At The London Book Fair

Understanding the Grasshopper

Done reading Daylight on Iron Mountain? Good! Go discuss on the Forums. Looking for something else to read? Well here’s a treat sent along by David, Understanding the Grasshopper: Leitmotifs and the Moral Dilemma in the Novels of Philip K. Dick. Unfortunately, I’m not as familiar enough with Phil Dick’s work work to fully appreciate Wingrove’s treatise, but if you’re a fan of Phillip Dick and David Wingrove, this rather lengthy piece, first published in Foundation in 1982, isn’t to be missed.

Don’t want to read the whole thing online? Download the PDF here.

Full text after the jump.

Continue reading Understanding the Grasshopper

The Day the Future Came

Today, in honor of the 50th post on this website, I’m going to take a break from the barrage of archived blog Goodies to present something remarkable and of great interest to long-time fans of the series. Before there was Son of Heaven, there was The Day the Future Came, the Chung Kuo proto-prequel. This is the first-person story of Jake John Reed and the coming of the Jiang Lei and the Chinese into England. In Mr. Wingrove’s own words:

This was written early in 1992 (yeah, 19 years ago) specifically for a writing workshop, WRITERS BLOC, to which I, Rob Holdstock, Gary Kilworth, Chris Evans, Lisa Tuttle, Dave Garnett and Geoff Ryman attended. I’ll try and dig out comments, but this was a genuine uncorrected first attempt at the subject, and I think it has real archeological value. Not a very good story at all, but interesting for its ideas. I also love seeing just how many wrong choices I make in terms of how to present information. SON OF HEAVEN is so much more elegant, so much better paced and far far more interesting. But here it is. […] The very fact that I didn’t then write a corrected second draft says a lot about my attitude to this material at the time.

Keep in mind that The Day the Future Came is absolutely non-canon, but is certainly an interesting look into the ideas preceding the new Book 1. Here it is, complete and unedited…

Continue reading The Day the Future Came

Travels in the Domain

Another terrific blog-in-exile from Mr. Wingrove was just sent my way. This one deals with his relationship with fellow writer John Middleton Murry, Jr., and how that led to the eventual creation of The Domain, the home of Chung Kuo’s Shepherd family. This one feels particularly personal, and, as always, I’m grateful for the opportunity to host this material. Full text after the break.

PS – Might be some material here to throw fuel on the fire of the Jake Reed – Shepherd connection speculation

Continue reading Travels in the Domain

Why China?

I think the title of this piece itself up quite nicely! This is Mr. Wingrove’s answer to that question, five years into the publication of the original series. I think his points are even more valid now than then.

This is, as of now, the last entry that I have to add to The Vault.  Hopefully, I’ll be able to dig up some more in the future to add to the mix, but for the time being, this is it, folks!

Full text of Why China? after the break…

Continue reading Why China?