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Son of Heaven (Chung Kuo) [Hardcover]

David Wingrove
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
RRP: 18.99
Price: 17.72 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

1 Mar 2011 Chung Kuo (Book 1)
The year is 2085, two decades after the great economic collapse that destroyed Western civilization. With its power broken and its cities ruined, life in the West continues in scattered communities. In rural Dorset Jake Reed lives with his 14-year-old son and memories of the great collapse. Back in '43, Jake was a rich, young futures broker, immersed in the datascape of the world's financial markets. He saw what was coming - and who was behind it. Forewarned, he was one of the few to escape the fall. For 22 years he has lived in fear of the future, and finally it is coming - quite literally - across the plain towards him. Chinese airships are in the skies and a strange, glacial structure has begun to dominate the horizon. Jake finds himself forcibly incorporated into the ever-expanding 'World of Levels' a global city of some 34 billion souls, where social status is reflected by how far above the ground you live. Here, under the rule of the mighty Tsao Ch'un, a resurgent China is seeking to abolish the past and bring about world peace through rigidly enforced order. But a civil war looms, and Jake will find himself at the heart of the struggle for the future.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Corvus (1 Mar 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 184887524X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848875241
  • Product Dimensions: 3.8 x 16 x 23 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 461,475 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

'Imagine a collaboration between James Clavell and Frank Herbert and the result might be something very much like Chung Kuo... smart, involving, entertaining' San Francisco Chronicle

About the Author

David Wingrove is the Hugo-Award winning co-author (with Brian Aldiss) of The Trillion Year Spree: The History of Science Fiction. He is also the co-author of the first three MYST books - novelizations of one of the world's bestselling computer games. He lives in north London with his wife and four daughters.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
44 of 49 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A solid re-opening for this classic series 3 Feb 2011
By A. Whitehead TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover
London, 2043. Jake Reed is a young futures broker, trading stock on the datascape, the high-tech virtual stock market, one of the best in his field. When the datascape comes under attack from hackers, Reed is called in to investigate who could be responsible. However, the virtual attack is but the opening move in a struggle years in the planning. Cities burn, riots erupt and armies are neutralised as the long-feared collapse of modern civilisation begins.

Twenty-two years later, Reed lives in a rural community in Dorset. Millions have died in the post-Collapse years and the UK is now a patchwork of farming communities. Supplies of advanced medicines and high technology are running low, with no infrastructure available to replace them. But strange things are happening. Waves of refugees are appearing out of the east, strange craft with dragons painted on the wings have been seen in the sky and, on the horizon, a vast structure has appeared and is getting closer. The age of Western dominance has ended and the future belongs to the East.

Son of Heaven is the first novel in the new version of David Wingrove's Chung Kuo series, a science fiction epic spanning 200 years of future history. In Wingrove's series, the entire world has come to be dominated by China, which has constructed vast, continent-spanning cities packed with billions of people and begun to expand into space. Wingrove previously attempted to tell this story in the late 1980s and through the 1990s in eight large volumes, but the series was not completed properly. Now Corvus are republishing the saga in twenty volumes, with a new beginning and ending and a thorough revising of the previously-published material.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Initially intriguing 29 July 2011
By Lou
Format:Kindle Edition
Never having heard of David Wingrove or this series, I found it 'by accident' when trying to find something new to read. The reviews and synopsis made me want to read more but being cautious I downloaded the sample first. I was really gripped by this and downloaded the book very shortly after.

I was totally caught up in section one, setting the scene for 'present day'. I found the writing style very easy to read and was able to visualise from the text, particularly knowing Dorset. However, section two was much harder going as the concept is much more difficut to grasp but still intriguing. Section 3 - returning to present day, I somehow found less gripping but stuck with it to the end, although I confess to 'skimming' some bits. I cannot explain my perception of a different 'feel' to the two present day sections and sadly am not convinced that I want to read any further books in the series. Those who know this series of old, suggest that it gets better but I need persuading.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
Excellent opening to a series that was already a classic in its genre and, judging by this installment, will be improved upon.
I found it very difficult to put down in the sense of a 'real page-turner' - I always wanted to find out what happened next.
I would have liked more detail around what has happened in the rest of the world following the Crash, but I can understand that this has been written from (primarily) a single viewpoint who is unlikely to know.
Eagerly anticipating the next one.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
It's been a long time coming but the first book in the new Chung Kuo sequence is well worth the wait. I read it in one (long) sitting and am about to start over again. What more can I say? For people who've never read David Wingrove, you're in for a real treat, and for those who have, Son of Heaven will remind you what an excellent and ambitious series Chung Kuo is. And there's going to be twenty volumes! Great stuff!
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A grim introduction to a possible future 1 Mar 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Unlike others, I have had no exposure to the Chung Kuo series of books previously. I was looking for a SciFi read and stumbled across this, so I think my view will differ from those who have had that previous exposure to Wingrove's epic work. I had read that it was up there with Asimov's Foundation series and Herbert's Dune series - and that was good enough for me.

We are introduced to Jake Reed as a survivor in rural Dorset, living within a community that gets by through farming and trading. Those of you familiar with Terry Nation's Survivors may recognise the battle to make ends meet in an environment devoid of technology. This setting is some 20 years after the world's technology ceased to be, and the community have got pretty used to getting by. The first third of the book is all about that community and how it works.

The next third goes back in time to when Jake was a trader in a virtual mareketplace called the Datascape. It is an AI world where stocks are represented by buildings, colours and smells that assualt the senses. It details his life, and how the world, both real and virtual, works - the haves and the have-nots. It is a world where social wellbeing seems to be broken, where the rich live in protected enclaves and the poor have to survive on their own as second class citizens. The Chinese then destroy this system in a matter of days. We learn about the shock it is to the establishment when it happens, and that there is an intelligence out there far greater than their own (think of the Mule in Asimov's Foundation series for a comparable example, perhaps).
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Really liked this story. Can't wait for the follow ups
Published 29 days ago by Wayne
3.0 out of 5 stars Clever
Well I enjoyed bits of it but overall felt the order of the story was wrong. I would have preferred to read about the doomsday before getting into the survival journey.
Published 5 months ago by Huge
4.0 out of 5 stars 70% in and I will buy the next installment
What I've read to date is panning out as a scary alternate future.It could happen if you take into consideration what is happening today. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Captain Rum
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved it!
I really enjoyed this book. The characters caught my attention early on, I liked the mix of flashbacks and 'current events' and the writing is superb. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Galros
5.0 out of 5 stars Scarily coming true in parts already
Good social and political vision if the very near future.
Don't want to give anything away but it's another post collapse book but extremely well written and plays on many of... Read more
Published 9 months ago by P. Bramhall
5.0 out of 5 stars a dystopian Dorset
Excellent read based in London and a possible future Dorset. Not exactly Trollope, but a forward view to another feudal time.
Well worth the time!
Published 9 months ago by Robert J. Brown
4.0 out of 5 stars A vision of the near future
Quite a scary read - as we seem only a few steps away from it now.

London is a series of gated enclaves for the elite with the starving masses left outside. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Bexster
5.0 out of 5 stars Oh Yes! Time To Re-Write History
Ah, the irony.

David Wingrove's alternate history SF gets it's very own alternate version. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Peri Urban
4.0 out of 5 stars Good start
Just started part two of this series - so a long way to go! This book set the scene for what's to come and a potentially intriguing story.
Published 18 months ago by Paul T
4.0 out of 5 stars Son of heaven
Brilliant really enjoyed the book ......is this the future? I am currently starting to read the other books in the trilogy.
Published 19 months ago by Stephen Frey
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