Rainbow Bridge



Yes, it's true, Dian Buckley is really Jo Wiley. In a completely fictional way, she's a Jo Wiley figure, with elements of Jamie Theakston (this was 1999 remember), such as being very tall, and sort of an eager personality.

Other Dian Buckley features:Bold As Love: that fatal tv interview

"Hell Hath No Fury Like A Sandwich"Band Of Gypsys Ch 5 The Way It Is




Annping Chin, Four Sisters of Hofei; London, Bloomsbury, 2003
A Modern China that never happened, 1911-1939. My source for Wang Xili's mindset

Aiping Mu, Vermilion Gate; London, Abacus, 2002
China's Baby Boomers travelled a rocky road, goes especially for the red princesses.. An important Elder sister source.

Betty Bao Lord, Spring Moon; London, Gollancz, 1981
Twentieth Century China in turmoil, as high-production values family epic


Wolfram Eberhard, A Dictionary of Chinese Symbols; London, Routledge, 1986
An essential handbook

Adeline Yen Mah, A Thousand Pieces of Gold: London, Harper Collins, 2003
Growing up through China's proverbs. Invaluable, a treasury. Also see A Chinese Cinderella, Falling Leaves, The Secret Dragon Society etc


John Gittings, Real China; London, Simon& Schuster, 1996. And other titles; John Gittings, veteran China watcher & long time Guardian newspaper's China specialist, runs a blog: here.

Valerie Hansen, The Open Empire: A History of China to 1600; W. W. Norton & Company, 2000
An academic, an approach like Kruger with added rigour. Here I learned that Yang Kwei Fei, the "Black Cicada" who inspired the Song Of Everlasting Sorrow, esteemed in Japanese Heian novels, did terrible things to China's ideal of the feminine.

John King Fairbanks (post.) & Merle Goldman, China, A New History; Cambridge MA, Harvard University Press, 1998
Solid, and v. interesting. Fairbanks tends to use the history of China as a vehicle for commentary on the failings of the USA. A perfectly legitimate reason to write history, and a very Chinese thing to do. NB, the castrated historian Sima Qian, a model for Toby.

Jonathan D. Spence, Treason By The Book; London, Penguin, 2002
Close focus on what the Emperor did for a living, in the glory days of c.18 (same glory days the world over, isn't that interesting) Jonathan Spence is married to AnnPing Chin, a formidable China-lore duo.

[However, if you want to get obssessive...]

PS. I started to wonder, after a while, what the hell is it, why is everyone obsessed with spoil heaps of squashed terracotta? Finally it dawned on me, Shi Huangdi's tomb-armies were discovered, rising like Troy or the site of Camelot from myth and denial, just when the People's Republic was opening to reform, and the idea of China was reborn.


(Weak Become Heroes)

Gaia image by inkwitch.


In my opinion Gaia is best worshiped by us sinners by good works; at a respectful distance, without ritual, and without imposing possibly absurd structures like personification.

But different strokes, as the cousins say.

Gaia elsewhere in BOLD AS LOVE:
The Grey Lady at the Flood Countries Conference, CASTLES MADE OF SAND Ch 7;see also the story"Big Cat" in the collection of the same name. But in that one she's in disguise



(Weak Become Heroes)

I wanted to use the Chinese name Huafeng, (Hua1; Feng1), which I tentatively translated as Windflower (hence the wood anemone motif); or else Phoenix Flower? The Phoenix, sacred bird, seemed originally to have been seen as wind-made-visible. Li Li's response (my native speaker consultant) deserves quoting,
for me it was mind-opening:

'As "Huafeng" is just Chinese pheonix, a Chinese reader will pick up the meaning of the name according to his/her own interpretation. For me, it gives a picturesque scene of pieces of flowers flying in the air. It can imply a sense of romance, madness or sadness according to the context. I am not sure whether using "Phoenix Flower" or "Wind Flower" is a good idea. They seem to lock my imagination. I would translate it into English something like "wind of flowers"'

Chinese characters from China Online

The Shield Ring

"They need, these blossoms of the spring,
an all-encompassing sleeve to close off the skies

Dear reader, you probably find this fantasy about re-igniting a defunct nuclear power station with weird technology, and building tactical nuclear weapons for use against an invincible enemy already in our midst, utterly absurd. I could not agree more. Shame our rulers don't see it. We don't need to replace fossil fuel with plutonium, we need to CONSUME LESS ENERGY. That's the magical answer.