Most excellent review of The Ascendant Stars in the Guardian’s SF roundup column from Eric Brown, and a great review for Dave Wingrove’s 2nd volume of the new Chung Kuo sequence, Daylight on Iron Mountain. Yay, go team!
Leave a comment
Well, yes, a jollyl jaunt it was too. Friday morn, hied myself up to Glasgow to catch an intercity train to the Smoke, arrived Euston just after 3pm and was whisked, whisked I say!, by cab to the offices of my publisher and from there to a hostelry for a drink and a gab. Staying over at a friend’s gaff in the north of the city, I rose on Saturday and headed into town for a stock signing at Forbidden Planet, in which I signed a heap of The Ascendant Stars only slightly smaller than Ben Nevis. After that, it was along the road to Caffe Milan to meet up with Phil Palmer, fellow Orbit author – we nattered, signed bookplates, and just generally set the world to rights.
After that, I met up with Chung Kuo writer/man of letters, Dave Wingrove, and we went for a scout around Chinatown and that bit of the west end, before subwaying back to base.
I got back into Glasgow by 5pm on the Sunday, and was back in Irvine by about 6.45, feeling undeniably cream crackered. It was a good break, a neat trip, although it would be have been rather more pleasant if I had not still been in the grip of an irritating cough. C’est la vie.
Leave a comment
Hot news from Corvus, soon-to-be publisher of the new, improved and expanded Chung Kuo epic from David Wingrove. Their new catalogue devotes a 2-page spread to the Chung Kuo books, including a blurbtastic summary and this terrific cover for book one:
How utterly splendid is that? For more information, including that summary and the full list of the sequence’s titles, go to (see below) -
Many thanks to Adam Whitehead at the Wertzone.
Just spoken to Mr Wingrove and sadly it seems that the Corvus information is now obsolete: due to various hinderings and hamperings, book 1, Son of Heaven, is now scheduled for a Spring 2011 release. On the upside, the original text of SOH has itself undergone revisions and improvements resulting in its being turned into 2 volumes, Son Of Heaven and Daylight On Iron Mountain. Corvus had planned to show the Chung Kuo sequence in all its glory at the London Book Fair but the Volcanic-Ash-From-Hell prevented many book buyers from attending; the figure I`ve heard is something like 80% absences. However, the next big world book event is the ABA, the American Book Association jamboree at Bookexpo America in New York in May; after that, its the Frankfurt Book Fair in October (I think). More info when available.
Here is the text of the press release from Corvus, imprint of Atlantic-Grove Publishers, under which the newly-revised Chung Kuo saga is to be reprinted.
Corvus has bought world rights in Chung Kuo, David Wingrove’s terrifyingly plausible future history, from Diana Tyler at MBA Literary Agents.
Nicolas Cheetham, Publishing Director of Corvus, said, ‘This is a major publishing event. Over twenty years in the making, the Chung Kuo series is a 2.5 million word, 19-book epic that brilliantly fuses Shogun and Blade Runner to rival the scope of Frank Herbert’s Dune or Isaac Asimov’s Foundation. In a genre of big ideas and even bigger books, this is one of the biggest and most ambitious of them all – we’re all going to need bigger bookshelves.’
Set 200 years in the future, the Chung Kuo sequence introduces a world dominated by China. History has been rewritten, the West’s great four-century-long experiment of Enlightenment erased and utterly forgotten. There is no official record of Shakespeare or Mozart, DaVinci or Einstein, any reminders of the past having been quite literally buried beneath the Han’s mile-high, continent-spanning cities. Within those cities, an ornate, hierarchical society of 34 billion souls is maintained only by unremitting repression. Revolution seems inevitable but in such an overpopulated world any change could spell the end of humanity.
Chung Kuo has been in development for over two decades. Eight books were published between 1988 and 1998, and the series was hailed as ‘one of the masterpieces of the decade’ [Washington Post]. The series is now being recast in nineteen volumes, including a new prequel and an entirely different ending, with over 500,000 additional words of new story. David Wingrove said ‘This is no Director’s Cut, but a total revision, giving the last few volumes the power and breadth of vision they were always meant to have. In the prequel I depict a world in the throes of violent change, a world in which all that is now familiar is about to pass. As the two great empires of our age clash there can only be one winner, that victory effectively ending the centuries-long rule of the West.’
Corvus will publish the new series prequel, Son of Heaven, in September 2010 and embark on an ambitious, multi-format (including special collector’s editions and e-books) publishing programme that will see all nineteen volumes available by 2014.
*** *** ***
And as I mentioned before, I`ve seen an advance rough of the cover illustration for Son of Heaven, and man, it is shiny! Hopefully, we`ll be seing it soon.
Just a shortish update/recommendation for you on the epic future history of The Whole Damn World known as Chung Kuo, written by David Wingrove. The original 8-book saga was published in the UK by New English Library between 1989 and 1997 (and was also issued by another 18 publishers throughout the world). I knew David from letters and exchanges that took place during my frantic/manic Shark Tactics days, and was lucky enough to be in on the ground floor when his 1st Chung Kuo volume, The Middle Kingdom, came out. I was immensely impressed by David’s grasp of character, his meticulous and consistent world-building, and his ability to present a huge story across many storylines, all set against an epic backdrop.
I stayed with the Chung Kuo series to its star-spanning end; it was and remains practically a masterclass demonstration of the orchestration of characters and events, of human drama, flaws and nobility.
And it pleases me enormously to know that the epic of Chung Kuo, now revised and expanded, is due to be republished by Quercus Books. The saga will consist of 19 books, the first of which will be a new prequel to the entire story, showing how our world turned into the world of the 7 Tangs. The first volume is due out in May 2009 (just 2 months after your humble author’s newie, Seeds Of Earth) and will continue every few months until the final volume appears at the end of 2012. I would unreservedly recommend David’s work (including his partnership with Brian Aldiss in the Trillion Year Spree), so keep yer eyes peeled for it!
Since a lot of people seem to be reading this page first, I thought I`d provide a link to a later posting on Chung Kuo, which is