Out with the old and in with the new

Out with the old: A while back, I wrote about Kowloon Walled City, an area of Hong Kong, now demolished, that was seemingly a hotbed for lawlessness, chaos, and corruption. It turns out, this site’s forum was turning into its own kind of Kowloon Walled City, filled with spambots trying to take over, with 20,000+ spam posts in some areas. They’re smarter than captchas and other anti-spam measures, and when this site’s host, GoDaddy, issued a warning that they would take punitive measures since the forum database had reached 4 gigs of data (an insane number for a text-based forum), it became apparent that, just like Kowloon Walled City, the authorities (me) would have to bulldoze it. You’ll see the forum link is no longer there, and I sincerely apologize that the records of some interesting and thought-provoking conversations are now lost to the ether. I will be investigating a more sustainable forum solution, as I don’t want that part of our community to disappear forever – suggestions are welcome from those with experience in the area.

In with the new: Some exciting news on the Roads to Moscow front. Here’s the final cover for Book 1: The Empire of Time, complete with tagline: “In a war across millennia, history will be rewritten…”

Click the image for full-size.

The image should be live on the Amazon.co.uk listing within the week, where, by the way you can pre-order the book (in Kindle or paperback versions), which will be released on April 3, 2014.

12 thoughts on “Out with the old and in with the new”

  1. Has all the forum data been permanently deleted?

    It was a phpBB based forum, correct? I’ve managed a few phpBB forums in the past, and spam is always a problem. A regularly changed Q&A CAPTCHA should be effective for the vast majority of cases, but it really all comes down to moderation. If you’d like a hand with this, I might be of some use.

    1. Yes, the forum data is gone, unfortunately. It was phpBB based, but I’m hoping for another solution that isn’t as vulnerable. I’m even thinking maybe a Chung Kuo subreddit, so that administrative headaches can be taken off my plate. Thoughts?

      1. I mostly have experience with phpBB, so if you are looking to move beyond that then I don’t know how much help I could be (other than offering to help moderate). Some other ones I have limited experience with include IP.board, vBulletin, and Simple Machines Forum. But if I was building a site, I’d go straight to phpBB without a second thought.

        As for spam vulnerabilities, I think you’ll be hard pressed to find anything significantly better than phpBB. There are some settings and a whole host of plug-ins available that add additional levels of user/post verification. These ought to be able to catch 95-99% of spam without it ever hitting the board, and diligent moderation taking care of the occasional one that slips through.

  2. Do we know if/when advance copies of The Empire of Time will be sent out? I’m curious when we should start watching for reviews.

  3. Hi Matt,
    Have you had any news about Corus not publishing any further Chung Kuo books? Has David sorted something out? I hope so.
    Looking forward to Roads to Moscow!

  4. Hi Matt, Happy New Year, and wish the same to David for us.
    Awaiting with excitement this new series. Please let us know of any updates regarding Chung Kuo’s status. Needless to say the fans are rather upset about David’s magnum opus being cancelled a second time.

  5. Jesse commented

    (whoops, posted in the wrong update)

    Yeah, those spamorrists were destroying the forum. Looking forward to a new one; forums are the pulsating life’s blood of site popularity and traffic.
    Who knows? Maybe with the new forum we can get visits from the Great One himself 😀

    1. Any word on a US release for this? I guess I’ll have to import the trade version if there’s going to be a long delay like there is with Chung Kuo.

      1. Random House/Del Rey has only picked it up for the UK market as far as I know. You’ll have to do the ol’ amazon.co.uk route.

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