Chung Kuo. For three thousand years, as the Great Wheel turned and a dozen mighty dynasties rose and fell, this was the name the Han- the Chinese- gave their land: Chung Kuo, the "Middle Kingdom".

Now, at the turn of the twenty-second century, it has come to mean much more. For more than a hundred years the Empire of the Han has encompassed all of the world, the Earth's bloated population of 36 billion contained in its vast, hive-like cities. War, famine and political instability are things of the past. The Council of Seven- Han lords, each more powerful than the greatest of the ancient Emperors- rule Chung Kuo with an absolute authority, their boast that they have ended Change and stopped the Great Wheel turning.

Yet at the moment of its supreme strength and confidence, Chung Kuo is suddenly vulnerable. A new generation of powerful young merchants begin to challenge the authority of the Seven, demanding Change. But Change means war and a return to the savageries of the past.

The Middle Kingdom is the first volume in an epic future history, breathtaking in its scope. Criss-crossed by human patterns of love and betrayal, heroism and treachery, intrigue and excitement, it is one of the most outstanding achievements of recent times.

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