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 […]
Xianxia is a Chinese genre. Cultivation is Western. How do you bridge the gap between East and West?
I’ll be appearing on The Writers Room to discuss cyberpunk and related matters with J. Ishiro Finney! You can watch the interview below or on YouTube. To learn more about my current project, SAGA OF THE SWORDBREAKER, click on the link here!
You can’t have a cultivation story without a cultivation system. Most cultivation fiction use easy systems. Drink a potion, take a pill, practice techniques from a manual, breathe a certain way, then do it enough times and suddenly you become more powerful. But what if your goal isn’t power? The primary purpose of cultivation is […]
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 […]
Chinese history is popularly and conveniently divided into periods defined by the ruling dynasty. In the world of Saga of the Swordbreaker, the land of Xiazhou is a hundred years into the greatest political experiment in the history of the continent. The Summer Revolution has ended the rule of immortal monarchs, bringing forth the era […]
Weapons are the tools of warriors. Much like a carpenter has his hammer, or a plumber has his wrench, the warrior has his weapons. His mission is war. He needs every advantage he can get. Outside of video games, shlocky movies and bad fiction, you never go into battle without a weapon if you can […]
What is the Price of Immortality? Li Ming is a small-town boy with big dreams. Armed with gun, magic, and ancestral swordbreaker, he enters the jianghu as a biaohang, protecting the innocent from beasts and bandits. The most glamorous and dangerous profession in the rivers and lakes, the way of the biaohang is the way […]
Previously, I described my struggles to verify that I own the copyright to Babylon Red. In the face of such Kafkaesque insanity, I reasoned that ordinary logic would be insufficient to penetrate the silicon shell of the KDP Content Review Team. My only recourse was absurdity on a scale to overmatch what I have encountered. […]
Rice Media’s expose on BooksActually reveals a skein of rot running through the SingLit scene. Touted as Singapore’s premier independent bookstore, BooksActually was a cornerstone of Singapore literature. Its co-founder Kenny Leck is accused of harassment and toxic behaviour. While Leck claimed that there are allegations and inferences ‘that remain totally untrue’, he has apologised […]