Not that I like to step on other peoples' nodes, but Chung Kuo (an outdated spelling of a Chinese term meaning "Middle Kingdom") is actually an endless series series of Science Fiction novels by David Wingrove. Although it definitely falls prey to Wharfinger's Law of Diminishing SF Sequels1, and plot lacunae tell us a bit about Mr. Wingrove, it is nonetheless enthralling, and I would give the series an overall rating of * * * .

The novels 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 (I have not read this one.)

Although it is essentially a single narrative, the first few novels stand on their own. You need to have read the first three to understand the last ones.
1but nowhere nearly as badly as, say, The Wheel of Time.

The Chung Kuo series wins the prize from me for most poisonously sexist book series. It's not the constant rape and atrocity scenes, it's that all the women exist for only 3 reasons:

They don't have any other personality. Either they are beautiful, sexy, young and innocent; beautiful, sexy, young and prostitutes/sex slaves; or beautiful, sexy, nearing menopause, and somewhat ridiculously sexually desperate.

Whichever variety of "woman" they are, their ultimate fate is to be raped and murdered in some atrocious way.

Even the female characters in Shogun, or The Fountainhead, had more personality than this.

If you read this series and liked it, I ask you to go back and think about the patterns in the characters, plot, and gender stereotypes. This sort of thing is in many books, but Chung Kuo has been the worst example I've ever seen!

If you want a future history where the world is dominated by China, try China Mountain Zhang by Maureen F. McHugh. And if you want actual trashy Chinese literature, try reading Golden Lotus, or Chin P'ing Mei. If you just want porn, why not go straight to the source and read some Marquis De Sade.

Wade-Giles (i. e., old-style) romanization of the Mandarin phrase, "Zhongguo," which is usually translated as "Middle Kingdom." It is the most common contemporary Chinese name for China.

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