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.
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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.