(Hot off the wires, some timeous information from DW hisself…)
Mike – I’m off to Nantes for a convention, Utopiales, on Thursday, back Sunday. Ian McDonald and Steve Baxter are also guests – as is Norman Spinrad. What you can let people know is that the recasting of MARRIAGE OF THE LIVING DARK is progressing wonderfully. The final four books (each of about 125000 to 150,000 words) will be as follows –
Book 15 – THE FATHER OF LIES
Book 16 – BLOOD AND IRON
Book 17 – THE KING OF INFINITE SPACE
Book 18 – THE MARRIAGE OF THE LIVING DARK.
Book 15 will include about 50% new material. the three existing chapters of INSIDE THE GATES OF EDEN (Part 26) will now be enfolded into this new text, while the new material will focus on Kim and Ben and what they’re up to.
Book 16 will be pretty much 100% existing material – the bulk of which will be THE SIX SECRET TEACHINGS (Part 27) from the existing MARRIAGE OF THE LIVING DARK. I will however be amending, adding and polishing.
Book 17 will be 75% new material, with the three old chapters recast quite radically. This, I feel, is where most long-term Chung Kuo fans will be hopefully blown away. The nine chapters of new material contain a radical rewriting of the Chung Kuo history (Part 28 – OBSCURE ALTERNATIVES). All to a very real purpose. Just imagine…
Book 18 will be roughly 40% new material (a large section – Part 30 – ELSEWHERE), but with a careful rewrite of AND THREE DARK FLAMES (Part 31). Also the finale, LAST QUARTERS will be heavily extended. And I mean heavily.
I’m extremely excited at having the opportunity to totally revamp this and am close to starting on Book 16 which, I’m absolutely sure, will delight Chung Kuo fans. I’m hoping to have it done by next Spring. I’ll be working closely with my editor, Nic Cheetham, and the cover artist (once he’s agreed to work on a project of this magnitude) who is, I assure you, THE BEST.
And yes, there will be slip-cased special editions, mass market editions, hardcovers, ebooks, the lot. And we’re hoping to design it so that this time round it has a real cohesion in terms of how it looks. We’ll be working hard on getting the look of it right and on emphasising that it’s a single novel, presented in 19 parts. We’re also going to get a web-site up and running for the Spring. What we aim to do is make it ‘universal’, that is available to fans all around the world, in various languages. Oh, and I’ll be running a blog for the first time, ‘live’ from the garden office Sue and I had built last summer. Chung Kuo headquarters, you might call it.
But more in a week or so, when I’m back from Nantes – Dave
(Holy moly….this could be….the Big One….)