Thursday, December 30, 2021

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 old, and the cowboys of the Old West. 

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Metaphysics and Worldbuilding


Previously, I discussed how I plan to write the gap between East and West in my latest series, Saga of the Swordbreaker. One of the topics I touched upon was the difference in metaphysical paradigms between China and the West. Let’s go into greater detail in metaphysics and worldbuilding.

This post isn’t about religion and worldbuilding. A religion is a set of beliefs, behaviors, rituals, morals, worldviews, organizations, sacred texts and places. Metaphysics has a more nebulous meaning. It is composed of the words ‘meta’ and ‘physics’, implying that it is concerned with concepts beyond the realm of ordinary physics—that is, the material, mundane world.

Friday, December 24, 2021

Writing the Gap Between East and West

 Yin Yang, Harmony, Balance, Silhouette, Ying, Religion

Once I encountered a ‘cultivation’ story on Amazon. The title was a single word in romaji, cool-sounding in English but emotionally neutral in Japanese. The blurb was typical of a cultivation novel: MC is the Chosen One who will become the strongest being, like all the other Chosen Ones destined to become the strongest beings in their respective universes. The author was unmistakably American.

With growing trepidation, I cracked the cover open.

Two minutes later, I closed the tab.

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Kit Sun Cheah on The Writers Room!

 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!

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Writing Gongfu and Cultivation

 Silhouette of Man Practicing Kickboxing on the Seashore During Sunset

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?

Thursday, December 16, 2021

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 strength and willpower, of one fighter seeking to dominate the other, ratcheting up the excitement and energy with every blow.

Boxing is the quintessential Western empty hand art. It is the art of punching and moving, distilled to its absolute essentials. The sweet science retains significant cultural impact in the Western world, through movies, games, and combat sports. Many Western fight scenes I’ve seen in my childhood days obey the boxing paradigm, a raw struggle of kinetic power, endurance, and tolerance of punishment.

Friday, December 10, 2021

Pulp legend J. Manfred Weichsel releases Not Far from Eden


Pulp legend J. Manfred Weichsel is excited to announce that his new book Not Far from Eden is live on AmazonApple BooksBarnes & NobleGoogle PlayKoboScribd, and Smashwords.

If you are international, the universal book link will take you to your country's store. 

Not Far from Eden is based on an ancient and long-suppressed story about an order of angels called the Watchers, who rebel against heaven in order to have sex with human women.

If you enjoyed Weichsel's other books, you are going to love this one. Not Far from Eden is a dark fantasy with Weichsel's usual inappropriate humor sprinkled about. Please get it today, read it, write a review, and tell all of your friends about it too! 

Pick up your copy of Not Far from Eden right now! 

Welcome to the Era of the Five States and Ten Corporations


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 of the Five States and Ten Corporations.

It is an era of peace and plenty. A time of progress and prosperity. And it is also the strangest era in the history of Zhongxia.

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

The Sword(breaker) in the Age of the Gun

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 help it.

Wuxia and xianxia fiction are about warriors. Naturally, warriors must have weapons. Characters must have distinct weapons to distinguish them from others. In Saga of the Swordbreaker, the weapon of choice is, quite unsurprisingly, a swordbreaker.

But what is a swordbreaker?

Friday, December 3, 2021

A New Breed of Cultivation Fiction


Cultivation fiction is hugely popular. And why not? The protagonist beats down everyone in his path, inevitably becoming the most powerful being in the story universe. He amasses wealth, fame and fortune without breaking a sweat. All the men want to be him—those who don’t are ankle-biters who can be dispatched as easily as turning a palm. All the women want to be with him—those who don’t are either already taken or are villainesses.

Cultivation fiction today means power fantasy with Eastern aesthetics. It speaks to the desires of every red-blooded Western man, dressed up in an exotic setting. It is post-modern pulp for a post-modern age.

My next series, Saga of the Swordbreaker, is also a cultivation story, with a major twist.

It is not a power fantasy.

It is not a harem story.

It is not about fulfilling worldly desires.

It is not subversion. It is superversion.

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Saga of the Swordbreaker is live on IndieGoGo!


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 to fame and fortune—and, for the elite few, immortality.

But at what price?

The world of the rivers and lakes is a world of peril and intrigue. Secret societies rule the lawless corners of the earth. Bloodthirsty monsters stalk the night. Devil cultivators abuse their gifts to unleash chaos and terror on the world. Fellow warriors of the jianghu battle each other to climb the rankings. And from the shadows come whispers of conspiracy.

Though the land of Xiazhou is divided into five nations, above the governments stand ten megacorporations. All who inhabit the jianghu must serve the Five States and the Ten Corporations, one way or another.

The Ten Corporations richly reward those who do their bidding. Wealth, power, status, even immortality.

But what will they demand?

Li Ming is going to find out. And what he learns will shake him to the depths of his soul.

The first half of the series is currently being funded on IndieGoGo. The second half will be funded later in 2022. To check out the campaign, click here!

Want a sample before you make your decision? Sign up for my newsletter here to receive the free prequel short story!