Wuxia book covers #7

Mighty Dragon Crosses the River (hereafter Mighty Dragon) was published in 1984. It’s a pretty typical novel for Yun Zhongyue, as it is set in the Ming dynasty and features historical figures and/or organizations. Yun Zhongyue is known for his acute attention to historical detail. Thus, his novels are more “realistic” than most. He even pays attention to the travel permits required during the Ming dynasty to move from one place to another. The lack of such a permit often becomes a source of conflit his characters have to overcome. Because Yun Zhongyue’s characters are not supernaturally powerful; they can’t take out swathes of men by themselves. A mass of government troops is still formbidable than evern the strongest single martial arts expert. Continue reading “Wuxia book covers #7”

Wuxia book covers #6

The Bandit was written by Dugu Hong and published by Spring and Autumn Publishing in 1970 in Taiwan. Dugu Hong’s novels are often set in the Qing dynasty, and he also uses a lot of Beijing dialect in his prose. I called the novel The Bandit, but the Chinese characters 響馬 actually mean whistling/screaming horse. It refers to mounted bandits who would shoot whistling arrows to announce their arrival before they robbed you. The protagonist of this novel, Fei Mushu, was one of these mounted bandits. Continue reading “Wuxia book covers #6”

Wuxia book covers #5

I’m not sure when Gan Shijiumei was originally published, but the reprint I have pictured is from 1981. The novel has been adapted into TV dramas, twice: once in 1996 and again in 2015 (under the name Sister Gan Nineteen, a literal translation of the character’s name). The author, Xiao Yi, had two “primes” you could say. He originally rose to fame in 1960 with his first novel, Iron Goose, Frost Feathers, and then in the 1970s he changed his style and became popular all over again. His new style, Gan Shijiumei being the most famous, focused more on romance, making them good candidates for TV serial adaptations. Continue reading “Wuxia book covers #5”

Wuxia book covers #1

Autumn Waters, Goose Feathers 《秋水鴈翎》, by Zhuge Qingyun 諸葛青雲. 1980 reprint from Spring and Autumn Publishing 春秋出版社.

I bought this one for the cover; I don’t know what the story is about. Spring and Autumn Publishing reprints often had nice covers, so I like to collect them. I’m dubious whether or not Zhuge Qingun actually wrote this, given the late date (1980), though admittedly it is a reprint. But many novels have been attributed to him that he didn’t actually write, a common practice at the time to piggyback on the popularity of big name authors. And Zhuge Qingyun was certainly a big-name author, one of the “Three Swordsman” of wuxia literature in the 1960s, along with Wolong Sheng and Sima Ling. The title refers to a saber that goes by that name in the novel. Excerpt is taken from pg.193-195 of volume 1 of 3. Translated by yours truly.

Excerpt:

Hu Yu’s face sank. “Considering you all brazenly occupied Old Bai’s residence and maintain a group of ruthless subordinates, and the fact that your junior brother just now was wearing a human skin mask, it all looks suspicious.”

Xing Bin laughed. “Hu, since that’s how you feel, I doubt you would believe my answer.”

Hu Yu was stonefaced. “Why don’t you give it a shot.”

“As I understand it,” Xing Bin said seriously, “Bureau Chief Bai, along with the Hu family next door, packed up and left half a month ago to get away from an enemy.”

Hu Yu thought about this. “I can believe that.” He continued, fixing his eyes on him, “So then, who are you all? Why do you have a team of unreasonable brutes, and why be so mysterious by wearing a human skin mask?”

Xing Bin smiled evenly. “Don’t you think you’re asking a bit too much?”

Hu Yu said continued coldly, “You already know that since I’m part owner of this place for the time being, I must ask.”

Xing Bin’s face was serious. “Hu, we’re both men of the jianghu. We both know that within the jianghu there are certain taboos…”

“I’m an outsider,” Hu Yu interjected, “I don’t know the customs and taboos of the jianghu.”

Xing Bin pulled a long face. “You know now!”

“Even though I know I still must ask,” Hu Yu said coldly.

Xing Bin smiled. “You think I will answer?”

“You don’t have to answer, but you must leave here immediately!” Hu Yu said.

“On what basis?”

“On the basis that I am Bai Yongchang’s brother-in-law.”

Xing Bin laughed. “You think being someone’s elder brother is pretty honorable, huh?”

Hu Yu’s expression turned and Xing Bin sniggered, “Hu, let me tell you straight up, this is Bai Yongchang’s residence. Aside from him, no one esle has the right to butt in!”

Hu Yu was so angry he was shaking. He shouted, “Junior, you think I can’t take you?”

Xing Bin’s lip curled up in a sneer. “Well, you can try and find out.”

The joints in Hu Yu’s body cracked and the already tall man suddenly seemed several inches taller.

The sight made Xing Bin’s heart tremble and he flashed his long sword.

Just at the critical moment, at daggers drawn, a low voice shouted from the shadows, “Hu, buddy, calm down and listen to me.”


In other news, The Crimson Fan, by lady webnovel author “Can’t Guess the Ending”, is scheduled to release on Wuxiaworld August 15. Finally, Wuxiaworld will have its first wuxia webnovel! It’s about time, right?