Another Opinion – A Chinese Webnovelist at SPCNET

Hey guys, a while ago, I shared some funny opinions from some internet readers that were rather unflattering, which some of you took a bit hard (hence my quick follow-up explanatory post). I thought I’d share something else, this one from a Chinese webnovelist, who posted in Chinese at SPCNET in Chinese. Thought I’d share it with you as another opinion, and from a Chinese webnovelist at that!  But remember, of course, this is just another opinion amongst many 🙂

Translated by RWX, originally posted at SPCNET forums.

I am a Chinese webnovelist, and accidentally saw that on this website, there were actually so many Chinese webnovels. I felt that this was incredible; in my heart, I wildly screamed, “Good heavens! This is impossible! Foreigners actually are reading Chinese webnovels.”

This made me feel that the world is one place. Just like how science has no borders, novels also have no borders.

Right. Novels have no borders, and I, too, also like to read foreign novels. Amongst them, I rather like <A Song of Ice and Fire>, and it is fairly popular in China.

The reason I’m making this post is because not long ago, on Reddit, I saw an essay, made from someone who also came from China. From the discussion, I learned that they came from Dragonspace.

Dragonspace is a very large novel evaluation forum in China, and it has some evaluations regarding Chinese webnovels as well as book recommendations. I don’t have any prejudice against this forum, but some of the people in it make me feel very disgusted.

In our Chinese webnovel world, there are a total of five publicly acknowledged Five Supreme Authors, also known as “China’s Platinum Five”. They are abbreviated as being ‘Chen Ji Tang Hong Dou’, which stand for the names of the authors, Chen Dong (‘Covering the Sky’), Meng Ru Shen Ji (‘Eternal Life’), Tang Jia San Shao (‘Douluo Dalu’), Wo Chi Xi Hong Shi (‘Coiling Dragon’), and Tian Can Tu Dou (‘Battle Through the Heavens’).

However, their novels are evaluated by Dragonspace as being ‘poisonous weeds’, as being ‘trash novels’. Thus, understand that the evaluations in Dragonspace are incorrect. They represent less than 1% of China’s readership. When evaluating, these critics are always so lofty and up high; they always say this book is trash or that book is trash, their mouths filled with venom. They love to demean popular books, so as to show how different and special they are.

The reason I’m posting this is because I want to tell all of you who also love Chinese webnovels that if there are people who come from Dragonspace who say that Coiling Dragon is trash, that Douluo Dalu is trash, don’t mind them, just ignore them. They are less than 1% of China’s readership.

One more thing. The question of translation. Generally speaking, authors don’t care about copyright issues, because we aren’t even able to resolve the problems in our own country with respect to counterfeits. What’s more, for authors like I Eat Tomatoes, ebook fees to them are already no longer very important. What they care more about is popularity, which is to say, that their readers become more and more numerous. For Tang Jia San Shao, he has already wanted to test making his novels available for free, which is to say not charge any fees for those who read. He wants to allow everyone to read freely.

137 thoughts on “Another Opinion – A Chinese Webnovelist at SPCNET” - NO SPOILERS

          1. The three dimensions we call 【 space 】. While space has substance, no fixed point has been found. The ages from since past we call 【 time 】. Although time passes, when it began isn’t known. already love it xd… ohh man I haven’t read it yet, but already love it…. SOMEONE TRANSLATE ALL OF IT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!;-; ASAP!!!!!!!!!!!

          2. Thanks ren (: Glad to be here, or rather glad to finally register after leeching for so long!

  1. Thanks for sharing this Ren! When I first read that post where some people were saying things like “treating grass like treasure”, I honestly didn’t take offense. The same thing happens in America. Even if a movie or an anime is wildly popular, people will criticize it harshly and regard it as trash just because they want to appear like they’re above the common people.

    In my opinion, if someone can’t enjoy things that are simply enjoyable, then that person is probably just being arrogant and is catering to his or her own biased ego.

      1. Dude, i though the same about calling him to Wuxiaworld, but making him release once a day, well, that’s not so simple, right?
        He’s got his stuff,after all(dont misunderstand, i would love if he did)

  2. Wow. I’m rather excited seeing this comment. I really do enjoy these stories and to see a Chinese Webnovelist even say that they are excellent brightens my day.

  3. Hey, new here.
    o/
    First ,thanks for Aaaaaall the work to translate so far. I am sorry for being a lazy bum that did not even create an account to thank you guys before.
    Next, about this post, well. This guy earned my respect. Not everyone thinks like that, it’s rather cool that he say’s that. And, about the China 5…well, Tang Jia San Shao (‘Douluo Dalu’), damn, he’s good. Not only Doulou Dalu, there is Shen Yin Wang Zuo, which is just as good(maybe better, at least to the point i read both).
    Also,Wo Chi Xi Hong Shi (‘Coiling Dragon’), well, Linley is one of my heroes. The guy is awesome. I’m sad it is ending already.
    And Tian Can Tu Dou (‘Battle Through the Heavens’). This is my number 1, my favorite Xianxia. I like it more than even Coilling Dragon. Hope you start by heavens inspiration to translate it after coilling dragon(*slap my own face* Sorry, my desires leak too much )
    TT.TT
    Chen Dong (‘Covering the Sky’), and Meng Ru Shen Ji (‘Eternal Life’), i never read before, so probaly is not translated, but to be on the same level as the other three, must be quite good.
    Well, sorry for being so talktive. Thank you very much for introducing me to Wuxia and Xianxia throught Coilling Dragon, I love you guys, one day will find a good job and start donating(im still on highschool, so i still can’t).Haha’

  4. I think that people are entitled to their opinions. Perhaps, these groups of individuals just want attention and so they put down popular titles with reasons that maybe.. appeal to some people. Its ok, my opinion on Coiling Dragon will never change. Maybe with time I might come to like another webnovel but I thoroughly enjoyed Coiling Dragon, this is for sure!

    Someone should translate Eternal Life and Covering the Sky! Aside from this, I’d like to point out that some other webnovels are pretty good. Way of Choices, Desolate Era, Shen Yin Wang Zuo, Swallowed Star.. it would be nice if you are able to host the translations for these webnovels as well, seeing as this is the most popular hub where people gather to read, it’d allow them to check out similar webnovels. ST, ATG, ISSTH are spectacular .. especially MGA, and I’d like to thank you for hosting these ones and allowing me to become aware of them, haha

  5. i can totally understand what he means. there are many ‘connoisseurs’ here who bash any anime/manga/novel that is mainstream, just because us ‘plebeians’ like it. i guess dragonspace is a group of ‘connoisseurs’ in china.

    on another note, who is translating ‘covering the sky’ and ‘eternal life’? if theyre considered on equal standing with coiling dragon, douluo dalu and battle through the heavens, they must be awesome too.

  6. Hi folks, the chinese novelist dropped by and read and replied to some comments. Gave me a chance to try my hand at translation. Raws are at the original SPCNET link…

    ========================

    Hey all. I’m a lurker over at Ren’s WXW and thought I’d pop by and try out some translating. First time. Be gentle. =p
    ============

    Fellow scholar?!!! Your chinese is very good! When I read your greeting, I even thought I was in China! Gave me a strange sense of familiarity and intimacy.

    Thank you for the link. I’ve carefully read through your various comments, though I had to do so with google translate as my English is really quite bad.
    Makes me want to cry! English is really too difficult! I always fail English in school.

    Now, I would like to give a response to some of the questions posed by my friends… No! I mean, questions posed by my fellow scholars!
    Hahaha! That really makes me happy!

    However, I will have to give my replies here in this forum as I spent half a day trying to register at wuxiaworld without much success.
    I’m afraid I’ll have to trouble you, my dear fellow scholar, to translate my replies, and move them over. Thanks!

    ====================
    First Questions from bludflag:
    How many people in China read novels? How many of them read web novels? How many of them have read the specified novels? Granted, for the last one the answer is most, but still the preceding questions shot out a lot of people. Hell, most of the people in my class hate reading books.

    ====================
    My Response:
    Many. Many Chinese Nationals read web novels. Just going to give you some stats from the web:
    In 2010, out of all Chinese Nationals aged 18-70,
    23% of them read on their phones. That’s 8.1% higher than in 2009.
    3.9% read on e-book readers. A 2.6% increase from 2009.
    18.1% have read on the web. A 1.4% increase from the figures in 2009.

    Chinese Nationals who read web novels cover a very wide age range, from 70+ year old elderly folks, all the way down to 12 year old students.

    The educational levels of those who read web novels also tend to be rather high. Some more stats below:
    Undergrads and College Graduates now make up the core group of web novel readers in China.
    Respectively, they make up 45.7% and 30.0% of readers.
    Those with Masters and above make up 6.8%, while those from high school and below make up 17.5%.

    “How many of them have read the specified novels?”
    I could not quite make out what this sentence is asking as I am unable to tell what google translate is saying. Sorry.

    Hate reading? That’s unimaginable! Shouldn’t reading be a joy?
    The Chinese government has been emphasising the importance of reading to the whole nation! Just to borrow a quote from the Shanghai World Expo: Reading makes life even more beautiful.

    ====================
    2nd Question: wizardrivebise
    if they really don’t mind sharing their works for free, then : respect. Seriously, respect. Maybe it’s a cultural thing westerners should take from the Orient? I have the impression russian authors (or at least Vasily Mahanenko ) also shares his work for free on his website. It would be great if popular western authors would also wish to contribute to society freely =P.

    ====================
    My Response:
    Yup! We really are okay with you guys translating our work. In fact, it makes us happy!
    Because when you translate, that means that there will be more people who are able to have access to web novels, and this will help web literature flourish!
    The reason why web literature needs the word “web” is precisely because it is as open as the world wide web! It is for everyone to enjoy. Not just for China, but for the whole world!
    To us, what is important is not so much remuneration, but to hear your thoughts! New thoughts!
    Seriously speaking, web novels in China today are facing a sort of bottleneck, a slump. Everything is too routine and stereotyped and very few novels are trying to break into new genres.

    Maybe you, wizardrivebise, or perhaps one of you reading this post; by writing your own web novel, you could be helping web literature to break past this bottleneck, and welcome in a new Golden Age!
    Us Chinese Nationals tend to come from very similar cultural background, so our way of thinking also tends to be rather similar, and new ideas tend to be hard to come by.
    Whereas you, you guys are from a very different cultural background from us. Your way of thinking would naturally also be different, and maybe what might be difficult and alien to us, might end up being very easy and natural for you!

    In fact, a friend of mine, when he heard that foreigners were reading our web novels, his first reaction was surprise, but very quickly, he then said, “I’m really looking forward to the sort of new web novels these foreigners will bring with them.”

    Our first response was never about monetary remuneration, but about our hope and wish for new ideas, novels, genres.
    So, if you really would like to contribute back to the web novel community, then pick up your pen, or tap on your keyboard, and write us a web novel as thanks!

    ====================
    3rd Question: kokuoumunashii
    Chen Dong (‘Covering the Sky’), Meng Ru Shen Ji (‘Eternal Life’), Tang Jia San Shao (‘Douluo Dalu’), Wo Chi Xi Hong Shi (‘Coiling Dragon’), and Tian Can Tu Dou (‘Battle Through the Heavens’).

    so we got 3/5 of the Five Supreme Authors, any plans on adding the other two?

    ====================
    My Response:
    Just to add on to our understanding of China’s Five Whites.
    (trans: I believe there is word play here. One of Ancient China’s most famous poets just happen to be Wu Bai, literally translated as Five White. So I think the Chinese community uses this to refer to their top 5 Web Novelists.)

    Chen Dong (‘Covering the Sky’), Meng Ru Shen Ji (‘Eternal Life’), Tang Jia San Shao (‘Douluo Dalu’), Wo Chi Xi Hong Shi (‘Coiling Dragon’), and Tian Can Tu Dou (‘Battle Through the Heavens’). When we take a single character from each person’s name, we come up with Chen Ji Tang Hong Dou, our publicly acknowledged 5 high gods (of Novelists).

    Why do we call them “gods”? Not just because it sounds cool. In a way, it is a bit of an analogy.
    What is a “god”?

    By our definition, a god is a presence that needs the belief of people. Without belief, our gods die out, and they are brushed off the pantheon of gods.
    So it is for an author. When an outstanding author writes an outstanding novel, and a reader reads this novel, enjoys it, and becomes a fan of the author, we then say that that author has earned the trust or belief of his fans. When the number of his fans grow to a certain stage, the author likewise grows in stature with the number of his fans. With enough “belief”, the author lights the fires of his own divinity, establishes his own godhood, and officially enters the pantheon of gods.

    Our Five highgods (of novelists) are precisely those whom, among the gods (of novelists) are those with the most “belief” (fans). Of course, even among these 5 highgods, there would be differences in standing.
    In first place is Tang Jia San Shao. He is the undisputed King of Web Literature.
    At the other end is Meng Ru Shen Ji taking the bottom spot. His recent works seem to be getting from bad to worse and his fans are increasingly unhappy about it.

    As was mentioned, gods need belief. Without the belief of their fans, they will fall out of the pantheon of gods.
    And if so, then our five highgods will be reduced to only four highgods.

    So finally, back to the question posed by our fellow scholar. Sorry for taking such a roundabout route before getting to this.
    Compiling… compiling… Based on the forum, I see that you guys have gone far beyond my own expectations. I thought it would be really difficult to translate classical eastern fantasy novels, but it seems that you guys did that long ago!

    Yup, Chen Dong’s 《遮天》<> and Meng Ru Shen Ji’s 《永生》<> are indeed the best of the best. Definitely worth translating.

    Let me also recommend a couple of novels closer to western fantasy.
    (I decided not to translate the novel names as I do not know what they are about and it is hard to translate without context.)
    Such as IET’s 《盘龙》<>, 《星辰变》<>
    Tang Jia San Shao’s 《狂神》<> (Mad god), 《善良的死神》<>, 《琴帝》<>, 《神印王座》<>, 《斗罗大陆》<>, 《斗 罗大陆二——绝世唐门》<>

    Gun Kai’s 《巫师世界》<> is a novel that I would like to strongly recommend. The novel talks about a mysterious group of people known as wizards. They are a cold-hearted people who live by the rules of the jungle, where the strong will overcome the weak. However, they are also constantly seeking for truth, for knowledge, to the extent that they would sacrifice everything for them.

    This world of wizards is filled with many fantastical things, and many strange and terrible places. Even as I was reading this novel, I could feel a chill down my spine.

    Also, this book from Ai Qian Shui De Wu Zei, 《奥术神座》<>. It fully embodies the idea that knowledge is power. For those of us who think that magic is separate from science, this book will give you pause for thought.

    These last two books are definitely my personal favourites. Perhaps something rather out of the usual list of suspects.

    ====================

    Phew! Hope that helped! First time translating. Comments and thoughts on how to improve are welcome.

    1. ‘Bai/白’ is a word play here. It may refer to pop, platinum, easy-to-read(both positive and negative connotation). ‘Bai’ is sometimes viewed as dumbing down, I guess that the same thing happens in English world, ‘Popular’ also be controversially dismissed by literary critics.

      ‘The five Whites’ are the top5 senior and best-selling CN Web Novelists. (not include any women novelists because the women’s WN ranking is totally different)
      *Actually is not as popular as MRSJ/梦入神机’s previous novels, so it is not his most famous work.

      Maoni/猫腻 is on the same level of popularity, but has a different linguistic style.
      Some other popular novelists in qidian, chuangshi and zongheng :
      跳舞(Law Of The Devil), 耳根(Xian Ni, ISSTH), 忘语(Mo Tian Ji), 蝴蝶蓝, 血红, 烽火戏诸侯, 无罪, 烟雨江南, 方想, 爱潜水的乌贼 etc.

  7. Sooo i didn’t read the opinion, but i just wanted to say few things since i finally made an account ;d Hopfully the staff will see it…
    A huge thanks to you guys for translating all theese novels, they are my daily ‘things’ i really look forward to 😀 So once again Huge Thanks! 🙂

  8. Chen Dong (‘Covering the Sky’), Meng Ru Shen Ji (‘Eternal Life’)

    Have either of these been translated? If not, maybe someone can suggest them to translators who are looking for projects 😛

    Its good to see that Chinese authors are quite flexible on translations etc. Who knows, maybe after CD is complete … Ren could convince IET to release these as official eBooks with profit sharing? Even just $5 per book would add up, and ofc. those who don’t want it on Kindle / iBooks etc. can always read here for free 😀

    1. Hmm there are more and more ppl who are getting better in Chinese. Chances are in future these books will get translated. Idk but maybe there could be like some kind of recruitment for translating? Actually I don’t mind being a proof reading, not translator though as my Chinese isn’t that good and I’m afraid it would not be up to standard. And I’m willing to do this for free in my free time, I’m pretty sure there would be others who share my sentiments.

  9. Eternal life is being translated by the kind translator(s) over at knoktranslations. FBT and AsherahBlue had translated the first chapter and I was waiting for someone to pick it up so when I found out that someone had, I thought I should share it with my fellow leechers/webnovel lovers.

    I’m so glad that more and more novels are being picked up!

  10. i am really happy to find this site. i found my favorite genre novels in this site:
    1-action.
    2-romance
    3-harem (one male –> many girls)
    4-no seinen stuff (betrayal, rape, angst, tragedy)
    5-no gender bender stuff
    6-fantasy

    My mind is made up. i will read only and only Chinese webnovels. ^_^

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