Chung Kuo

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Chung Kuo is a series of eight or more novels by [ext] David Wingrove.

Two hundred years in the future, China rules the world. The first book starts by invoking the rotted axe handle fable. Several characters play the game over boards and against computers. It is used in many places as a metaphor for developments in the novels.

Wingrove wrote in a note that Wei Qi "is not merely the world's oldest game but its most elegant" (paraphrased). He drew inspiration from The Game of Wei Qi by the Italian Count Pecorini and Tan Shu, 1929, republished 1991.

The books in the series are:

  • The Middle Kingdom
  • The Broken Wheel
  • The White Mountain
  • The Stone Within
  • Beneath the Tree of Heaven
  • White Moon, Red Dragon
  • Days of Bitter Strength
  • Marriage of the Living Dark

Hiker: I can only recommend the first three or four novels. Over the next few novels, the series gets tiresome. Towards the end, the series gets downright ridiculous, almost insultingly bad. Unfortunately, this series is based on a fun idea but it is executed in an excruciatingly tiresome manner.

Bildstein: What is the series about?

Hiker: The series is about political upheaval in a future in which the Chinese rule the world. The series opens with the 6 Tangs ruling over continent-wide cities. There is racial conflict between the Han and the non-Han, there are class struggles, etc.The main villian (though it seems everyone is sort of bad in these books) is an obsessive go-player who likens his political and revolutionary struggles to the game constantly. The first 3 books are enjoyable ... beyond that, tread with caution.Oh, as a disclaimer, there is gratuitous sex and violence in these novels.

Chung Kuo last edited by on October 28, 2005 - 21:50
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