Martial arts

The Way of Wuxia

The romance of the jianghu crosses borders and cultures. It is freedom from cultural strictures, skill with martial arts, an iron code of honor. In China, its greatest appeal comes from its sharp contrast with Confucian norms, with its emphasis on rigid social hierarchies and complex etiquettes. The West sees parallels with the knights-errant of […]

Writing A Different Approach to Martial Arts

Most English-speaking readers would be familiar with Western portrayals of martial arts. In movies, television, games and prose, fight scenes are the cornerstone of Western fiction. One commonality I’ve noticed in most Western fight scenes I’ve seen is that they are portrayed as exchanges of force. Every fight scene is presented as a contest of […]

The Untapped Potential of Cultivation Fiction

Wuxia. Xianxia. Cultivation fiction. Some of the hottest indie fiction genres in the market today, inspired by Chinese folklore, web novels, movies and television. Strip away the Eastern-esque aesthetics, and what you get is the quintessential power fantasy. Take a protagonist. He is a commoner, a hero chosen by destiny, or someone cursed with the […]

Hellish Quart Early Access Review

“It is easy to kill someone with a slash of the sword. It is hard to be impossible for others to cut down.” Yagyu Munenori Hollywood, games and fiction gets fencing wrong. Protracted clash of blades. Wild telegraphed flailing and awkward cuts. Casually absorbing lethal attacks, or powering through guard positions. Ridiculous speeds. Most of […]

The Martial Arts of Singularity Sunrise

How do you fight a full-body cyborg with unbreakable bones, Olympian muscles, superhuman reflexes, and the stamina of an Energizer battery? Pop culture grappled with this question in games, movies, books, manga and more, with varying degrees of realism. At one end of the scale, we have the patently ridiculous, with superpowered cybernetic demi-gods using […]

Bayani Part 9

They smelled the burning before they saw the smoke. In the ash was the sweet scent of cooked meat, and a blacker undertone of charred flesh. “No,” Bayani whispered. “No.” Alejandro gripped his shoulder. “Steady, boy.” “Maestro, we must…” He swallowed. “We must find out what happened.” Alejandro nodded, the ghost of a smile playing […]

Bayani Part 8

The Maestro led the way, and Bayani followed. The conquistadores, mounted on their horses, tried to keep up. But the jungle was a poor environment for horses, and the Hesperians had to lead their mounts through the trees on foot. Alejandro retraced his footsteps, stopping occasionally to look for sign. Bayani was nervous; as night […]

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