Official site down, chapter numbering confusion, raining frogs, other news

Some weirdness on the Chung Kuo front to report just one day after the official release of the e-book.

First, it looks like the official site is down. Not sure how long it’s been down — I, like probably most folks, don’t check it too often since there hasn’t been any new material there since around the time Daylight was published — but it’s been long enough for Google to have removed it from their search results. A ping to the site revealed a SERVFAIL error, indicating that the domain exists but the nameservers aren’t returning valid web servers. A whois lookup shows that the domain was updated on September 24th; perhaps the domain was renewed but somebody forgot to renew a hosting plan. In any event, I would chalk this up to purely technical issues and not take this as an indication of hard times with the series.

Next, although the title of the Kindle book was fixed to be”Chung Kuo” instead of “Chung Kao,” it looks like the e-book itself still reflects this error in the header. Oops!

Kao Chen is my favorite character, but this seems a little much...

On top of that, the very first review for The Middle Kingdom on Amazon gave the book one measly star, complaining that he was missing  the first twenty-five chapters of the book, failing to realize that the chapters and parts are numbered sequentially, beginning with Son of Heaven and continuing through Daylight on Iron Mountain and The Middle Kingdom. Did he not notice that Daylight started with Part 4/Chapter 12?

I can totally understand being thrown off at first by opening to Chapter 26 — I even had a momentary “huh?” moment, but you’d think Mr. COUNTERTERRORISM Inc. (whose other review is for a bunny fun tunnel… maybe a counterterrorist bunny fun tunnel?) would’ve done his due diligence by checking to see if Daylight ended with Chapter 25 before single-handedly sinking the average review of this book. And if Mr. COUNTERTERRORISM Inc. happens to be a reader of this site, well, I’m sorry to put you on blast like this, but you’re ruining it for everyone. Let me explain.

Have you tried looking up your ass?

Folks, it comes down to this. Chung Kuo is a masterpiece that didn’t get a fair shake the first time around. We’re all extraordinarily lucky that this epic has been given a new lease at life, but fans have to realize that Atlantic/Corvus is a smaller, independent publisher, not a megacorporation media conglomerate like Random House or Penguin, not to mention that an epic science fiction future history series is already starting off with a niche audience. This series is going live or die based on coverage in industry press, word of mouth, and — you guessed it — reader reviews on sites like Amazon. I can’t help but wonder how many people skipped buying the e-book on Day 1 because of this guy’s misinformation. So please, from a diehard fan who wants to see this through The Marriage of the Living Dark and beyond, I ask you to enjoy and finish The Middle Kingdom and write an honest review on Amazon and other applicable sites. No one’s demanding that you love it or forcing you to give it five stars, but at least contribute your honest thoughts and try to drown out this and any other misinformation that may come up.

In other, slightly happier news, I’ve updated the New to Chung Kuo? and About sections of this site, since they really hadn’t been updated since Son of Heaven and there were a few things to add and/or clarify. Also, work continues on the wiki, where a list of the planned “Expanded Universe” stories has been added to the main page, with David’s synopses soon to follow on those articles. As always, everyone is welcome to contribute to the wiki, whether its creating all-new articles or just fixing typos. Every little bit helps.

And lastly, why the hell are you reading this?? Go read The Middle Kingdom!

11 thoughts on “Official site down, chapter numbering confusion, raining frogs, other news”

  1. I’m kind of busy nowadays, Matt, but currently more than halfway through my kindle copy of The Middle Kingdom. I’ll gladly post another positive review the moment i finish reading this. My review of Son of Heaven got the most responses which i’m very happy about but not as many responded to my review of Daylight, although i did get the most responses for that one, too. Oh, and i wanted to thank you for offsetting mr. ignoramus’ bad review with a positive one of your own right away. I’ll gladly post my own as soon as i can.

  2. I saw that ridiculous review on Amazon as well. Sorry to descend into acrimony, but how stupid can people be? I mean really, the person had no clue.

    I’m swamped at work training new staff and doing o.t., but I’m going to try to hop onto both Amazon and help in the wiki next week.

    1. To all who responded to my posting on The reason ther are only two posts is that I normally do not publicly comment on the qualify of my purchases. In this case, I thought that the error in misrepresented title which lead me to believe the work contained the orginal story with additional material was sufficent cause me to comment.

      To the author and those who posted their responses to my review, read their comments in light of the term “ignorant.”

      For the record, I hold a four accademic degrees and advanced specialized training in my profession. I am far from “ignorant” by having refrained from personal attacks as well as by virtue of my academic credentials and professioanl expeerience. I am an SME in counter-terrorism which used to be referred to as National Security before the tragic events of 9/11. I continue to work as a consutltant.

      Perhaps the phase “don’t judge a book by it’s cover also applies to the persons who wrote so personal an attack in response to my review to include the author’s remark. Had the author invested his time in ensuring the “proofs” were correct there would be no need fo me to comment negatively in the first place as I would have not sought the orginal material in this publication.

      Ranting does not do credit to the author not to the bloggers.

      1. The reason so many of us are upset is because your unwarranted negative review is harming the prospects of getting this series some badly needed marketing. Any errors made were on the part of the Amazon guys who couldn’t even get the title “Chung Kuo” right. THEY are the ones who called it Chung “Kao.” Can you, sir, punish the author for this in good conscience? It is not your fault that you were unaware of the prequel volumes, so I do not blame you for that. What I DO take you to task for is punishing the author with a bad review simply because of your own confusion regarding the chapter numbers. I, and many others implore you to pull your bad review from amazon considering the fact that this very dispute was based on a misunderstanding on your part. Thank you.

      2. Mr. Ctipresent, I’m glad that you’ve posted here so that we’re able to discuss this directly. I’m pleased that you have advanced specialized training and four academic degrees — that’s one more than I have! I also might argue that counter-terrorism and national security are not, as you’ve implied, synonymous, but for relevance’s sake, I’ll skip it.

        None of any of that has anything to do with the fact that you left a review on Amazon based purely on misinformation and your own confusion. Plainly, you left a one-star review on Amazon claiming that 24 chapters were missing. No part of the book — no chapters, no sections, no sentences, no words — were ever missing from the Kindle eBook that you downloaded. You were wrong about that. And if we look at the definition of your word ignorant — a word that I never used — “Lacking knowledge, information, or awareness about something in particular,” well, sir, I think this qualifies.

        My comment about your other review for your bunny tunnel was purely in jest and meant to add flavor to the post, and it was never meant as a personal attack. I don’t know you and I’ve never met you, so I’d have no ammunition for a personal attack. All I wanted to do was point out that you left a public review that was clearly based on your own misunderstanding and to describe some of the potential fallout from that review.

        If this post bothers you, I’ll make you a deal. Revise your review on Amazon to reflect your genuine opinion about the book’s content, and I’ll delete this entire blog post. Even if you hate the book and keep the one star rating, as long as you substantiate it with details other than your own confusion-based misinformation, I’ll make a retraction.

        Administrator of Of Gifts and Stones, the Chung Kuo Fansite
        (not officially affiliated with the books’ author or publisher)

  3. I need to post my reviews of the earlier books. Definitely need to add a few more good reviews to offset that retarded one.

    That Chung Kao thing is seriously lazy. It’s the name of the series, surely the US publisher can get that right! They need to change it quick, looks tacky.

  4. I’ve posted my reviews of Iron Mountain on both .com and .ca, and then gave a not helpfull rating for that one star reviewer, as well as posted a comment that he should edit his review.
    I noticed another person posting a bad review because it was not compatible with his kindle. Don’t these people realize that having tantrums about their tech not working/not being supported has nothing to do with the quality of the author’s work, and that by making a poor review due to their tech issue, they’re actually affecting the reputation of the author? Both those reviews were poorly considered, almost malicious in nature. Not appreciated, I hope they reconsider and edit their reviews.

    1. You’re right. It’s the equivalent of buying a vacuum cleaner on Amazon, and then leaving a negative review of the product when FedEx delivers it late. Inane.

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