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The Middle Kingdom (Chung Kuo Book 3) [Hardcover]

David Wingrove
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Oct 2012 Chung Kuo (Book 3)
THE MIDDLE KINGDOM. The year is 2196. After more than a century of peace and stability, Chung Kuo - the great Empire of Ice controlled by seven ruling kings, the T'ang - has finally been shaken. Lwo Kang, Minister of the Edict - the legal instrument that prevents change - has been assassinated; blown away while in the imperial solarium. As the T'ang strive to maintain peace through what many see as a stagnating tyranny - their seven great mile-high, continent-spanning cities descend into chaos. As a small group of European elite, calling themselves the Dispersionists, seize the opportunity to effect change, so others emerge, like the politically-motivated Ping Tiao, the Sons of Benjamin Franklin - rich sons of powerful men who wish to re-establish the American Empire - and The Black Hand, brutal killers from amongst the teeming dispossessed. But the assassination was orchestrated by those far closer to the ruling power; far closer to those in 'The Above', sparking a devastating conflict and the world-shattering War of Two Directions.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Corvus (1 Oct 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848877307
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848877306
  • Product Dimensions: 25.4 x 17 x 3.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,403,421 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


"The achievement of a master world-builder." --"Omni"

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
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it 4 Oct 2012
It's as good as the original, which I read circa 2002. There are some striking scenes that I can still remember from all those years ago, but a lot of this new version feels new. Still, it remains a very good read.

Unlike the other reviewer, my Kindle book was perfect with all chapters present.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Sci-fi Series 5 Dec 2012
If you are new to Chung the these books, you'll love them! Read the prequels too.

If you've read the original series...still buy the new books, you'll love the story all over again and these new versions are even better than the originals.

The story is terrific and very original (and not a little frightening due how prophetic the premise seems to be becoming!). They are incredibly ambitious works and are always interesting and exciting. Can't wait for the next one - already have it on pre-order.

If you are a fan of Frank Herbert, James Clavell, Peter F Hamilton, David Feintuch, Orson Scott Card etc (like me) then give these a try. The series is like Dune meets Shogun...

For fans of the original series who are unsure whether to read these new versions, I was in the same boat but decided to try them and am so glad I did. There is plenty of new material in here and the re-writes improve the excellent originals.

Looking forward to the remainder of the series and also hopefully some other new original novels by a great writer in David Wingrove...
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very promising continuation of the series. 28 Oct 2012
2196. For more than a century, the Earth has been under the rule of Chung Kuo, a world-spanning civilisation founded by a Chinese warlord using advanced technology. That warlord was later deposed by the T'ang, seven senior rulers who feared his insanity. The T'ang now rule a strictly hierarchical world at peace, but one where the powers of the privileged few are built on a pyramid of oppression and strictly-enforced order. With thirty-six billion people packed into the vast, continent-spanning cities of 'ice' (a nanotech-based material with super-strong properties), the dangers of chaos are all too apparent.

But there is growing discontent in Chung Kuo. Wealthy industrialists and ambitious scientists want change and growth to prevent stagnation. The enforcers of order will not stand for this. When the Minister of the Edict, whose job it is to prevent any drastic change to the order of things, is assassinated, it becomes clear that a war is coming. The War of Two Directions, which could spell a new dawn for humanity or spell its utter extinction.

The Middle Kingdom is the third novel in David Wingrove's revamped Chung Kuo mega-sequence. Originally published in eight volumes in the 1980s and 1990s, the series was abruptly cancelled and the author forced to write a highly unsatisfying quick ending which satisfied no-one. With new publishers Corvus at the helm, Chung Kuo has been recast in twenty volumes, including an all-new beginning and ending. The first two novels, Son of Heaven and Daylight on Iron Mountain, showed the foundation of Chung Kuo and the destruction of the world before, serving as scene-setting prologues. The Middle Kingdom, picking up a hundred years later, is where the story itself really gets started.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Chung Kuo for ever? 5 Sep 2013
By Mark1ez
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Tsao Ch'un is long dead, the seven T'ang rule the world and change is forbidden!

I like like the way the story develops and new characters come to fore.

A good read, look forward to the next book
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5.0 out of 5 stars Yet again... 20 Jan 2013
By Jonah
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
What a great writer for an awesome time period.
I love the humanity a well as the science parts, most of which seem very likely.
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