Of Games and Thrones and Things

This blog post was kindly sent over by the man himself, as the official website is undergoing some reconstruction for the next 6-8 weeks. Thanks David!

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Of Games and Thrones and Things

Okay. I ought to be mad or jealous to the point of being vengeful, or something equally apt, but try as I will, I can’t help thinking that George R R Martin’s A GAME OF THRONES is A-1 bloody superb, even if it has knocked me off the number one spot in Amazon’s SF kindle bestseller ratings. I mean, how could I not love such a dark and yet magnificent portrait of a world, not to speak of all its different shades of characters, from Ned, Lord of Winterfell, through Jon Snow and Dany and the Imp, Tyrion Lannister, my favourite.

What a masterful work this is, both on the page and on the small screen. I’ve been enjoying noting the differences between the two versions. Oh, and it’s so nice to have something adult on our screens. Something that – like CHUNG KUO I hope – shows human life in all its breadth and complexity.

King Tolkien is dead! Hail to King Martin!

And before you ask, I’ve set aside Robert Jordan for a time – 438 pages into book six, LORD OF CHAOS. I’ll finish it, I promise – I’m still very fond of the characters and the scenario, even if the pace has slowed to a crawl. Yes and I’ll continue to give a commentary on it as I do, but it’s going to have to share my attentions henceforth with the Song of Ice and Fire.

And while we’re at it, has anyone noticed that spooky similarity? The fact that one of my books is called (and was always called, even back in 1989, when it first appeared – at least, for the German, Japanese and Polish versions), ICE AND FIRE – a good seven years before George RR Martin used it. I think Martin’s use of it is more telling than mine – with Winter coming, a la Helliconia, to his seven kingdoms.

Anyway, I shall be tuning in again this coming Monday evening, for episode four. As one epic writer to another, let me say, Well done, George R R. May you reap the just rewards of your labours.

David Wingrove – 7 May 2011

The Chung Kuo Wiki

When forum contributor Apikoros18 suggested something that I had just recently thought of — creating a Chung Kuo wiki site — I figured it wouldn’t be such a bad idea.

In case you aren’t aware, a wiki is a collaborative content system that typically allows anyone to edit any page. Wikipedia is the most common example, and hopefully you have used or seen Wikipedia (unless you live under a rock. A rock in space. A rock in space twenty years ago).

The idea behind The Chung Kuo Wiki is that it’ll be a compendium of Chung Kuo knowledge: details about all the books and characters. A not-too-shabby model would be Memory Alpha, a wiki site for all things Star Trek. You like Star Trek, right?

As of this writing, there are only two pages that I put up, mainly just to make sure it worked. It’s almost empty. It’s up to you (and me, and him, and her) to get it up to where it needs to be.

So without further ado, head on over to The Chung Kuo Wiki and let’s get some content up!

Check out The Forums!

The Forums have just been updated to aesthetically match this main page (and to remove the old default styles). There’s some great discussion and speculation starting to build there, so if you’re an old school Chung Kuo veteran, or a brand new fan who just picked up Son of Heaven, head on over there and give us your two cents.

Some current topics include tips for those interest in playing wei chi, old sequence vs. new sequence differences, and everyone’s favorite series character. Spoilers abound in those latter two links so beware!

Science Fiction: Tradition and Revolution

Today’s entry into The Vault is a talk given by David Wingrove at the Cheltenham Literary Festival concerning the various currents throughout the history of the science fiction genre, and where Chung Kuo fits in that scheme.

To my knowledge, this hasn’t been published elsewhere. It’s lengthy but well worth a read. Full text after the break…

Continue reading Science Fiction: Tradition and Revolution

A View From The Cusp

I’ve got a real treat to post today. What follows is a review of Son of Heaven by Brian Griffin, a close friend of David Wingrove’s and a Chung Kuo insider from its inception (no Family Guy jokes please…). This piece goes into much more depth than most Son of Heaven reviews abound, touching on its place in the grander scheme of sci-fi and its inplications toward the rest of the series. It’s a fine read. Although not written by Wingrove, it’s a treat to have this in The Vault.

Full text after the break…

Continue reading A View From The Cusp

The Year So Far…

Here’s a biggie, folks. The Year So Far… is some of Mr. Wingrove’s journal entries from 1993. Evidently scanned and OCR’d from handwritten notes, it’s been a long process to edit this beast (and some of it in the last half was completely indecipherable), but it’s been worth it for the most personal of DW’s writings here in The Vault. Particularly interesting, about halfway down, is his mention of a camping trip to Dorset, not far from Corfe Castle (ring a bell to anyone…?).

The real treat,  however, is the last third or so of the text, containing the amazing details of Mr. Wingrove’s first trip to China.

Enjoy the full text after the break…

Continue reading The Year So Far…

Daylight on Iron Mountain news!

The Corvus website has now listed listed entries for Daylight on Iron Mountain, Book 2 in the Chung Kuo series.

The Special Edition publication date is listed as October 1, 2011; the hardcover and ebook versions on November 1; and the paperback on June 1, 2012. Looks like it’s going to weigh in at 416 pages, short of SoH‘s 480.

Here’s the marketing text/synopsis:

CHANGE IS ON THE AIR: The generals of the Middle Kingdom await the decision of the emperor.The campaign to secure the border from China to Iraq has reached a strange impasse. Two blood enemies, Arabs and Jews, have united against their common cause. But with the lives of thousands at his whim, the exalted Tsao Ch’un, the Son of Heaven, cannot decide. Destroy the Middle East in one blinding flash? Or take another path?

BUT THE WAY IS UNCLEAR: In the court of Tsao Ch’un, men of power have become smiling lackeys, whose graces conceal their fear, or their ambition. A man that can be trusted absolutely is a rare thing. And so, with his family held hostage by the empire, General Jiang Lei finds himself appointed to a special task: the orchestration of the last great war against the West. The total dominion of America.

WAR APPROACHES: But life in the world of levels continues. No hint of war, or want, or discontent can infiltrate the oppressive, ordered society that replaces the world Jake Reed once knew. Since the first airships rolled over the horizon, nothing has been the same. His new life means new thinking, new customs, a new way of behaving, and with his every move scrutinized, Jake can only serve the bureaucracy of new China. But he is not the only citizen who feels discontent with the anodyne new order.

And here’s the teeny tiny thumbnail of the cover.