Martial fiction/fantasy books - your views

Discussion on the three big Chinese internals, Yiquan, Bajiquan, Piguazhang and other similar styles.

Martial fiction/fantasy books - your views

Postby lineofintent on Thu Jan 09, 2020 1:48 pm

hi everyone

I would like to ask about member's reading habits, and books you enjoyed over the years, in the genre of martial fiction or fantasy.

As a publisher and writer i am particularly curious if you read more, less or exclusively on Ebook format such as Kindle, or only real books.

I am thinking of entering the kindle market with some fiction books, but have always been reluctant before due to security issues and not wanting to use Amazon. However, certain things have changed and it looks like we may well be on Amazon very soon.

There is not a huge amount of martial related fiction around - when i was young i enjoyed Lustbader's The Ninja (and sequels) and Beneath an Opal Moon, the traslations of Musashi's life story, Journey to the West (highly abridged I think), Chronicles of Dao, and more recently there have been a few Wuxia novels.

What have you enjoyed in this genre?

Kindle or others are good to read on or not?

Do you pay as much for ebooks as real books?

Thanks in advance for any feedback )

Alex
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Re: Martial fiction/fantasy books - your views

Postby Bao on Thu Jan 09, 2020 2:39 pm

There was a great homepage a few years ago, wuxiapedia, where people translated a whole lot of Wuxia novels. I think it should be about the same as this one: https://wuxiasociety.com/translations/ but I haven’t looked into everything here. Actually I prefer reading wuxia compared to fantasy. I like western fantasy but I seldom find something worth reading.

If I download, I prefer to download common or not very important books. But price is not really an issue, I just don’t want to waste money if it’s unnecessary. So I would need to read some excerpt first if I use Kindle.

There are good Facebook groups for writers you could use to ask questions as Fiction Writing and Writers helping writers. There’s also a very interesting one called 20booksto50k. This group really knows everything about selling, what to sell and how, what sells and why.

(Maybe you intended to write this in off-topic?)
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Re: Martial fiction/fantasy books - your views

Postby lineofintent on Thu Jan 09, 2020 3:10 pm

Thanks for your comments Bao. I do belong to other groups for writers, but wanted the RSf member's views.

I was hoping to keep it in the main forum as a lot of people do not comment on off-topic threads.
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Re: Martial fiction/fantasy books - your views

Postby Bao on Thu Jan 09, 2020 3:42 pm

lineofintent wrote:
I was hoping to keep it in the main forum as a lot of people do not comment on off-topic threads.


I can understand your point but still many here are not interested in discussing anything else than about Chinese Martial Arts. Anyway, hope you can get what you search for,
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Re: Martial fiction/fantasy books - your views

Postby Bhassler on Thu Jan 09, 2020 3:54 pm

I'm a big fan of Kindle books, because they're easily transportable in volume (I read a lot), and I like the reading experience. Price is a big factor, too, as authors can sell books at a significantly lower price point while still making a larger profit.

Self-publishing is a dual-edged sword for the consumer. On the good side, there are books available that otherwise wouldn't be published due to the large overhead of physical publishing and risk aversion by the publishing companies. On the bad side, there are books available that wouldn't otherwise be published...
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Re: Martial fiction/fantasy books - your views

Postby Greg J on Thu Jan 09, 2020 8:56 pm

I stick to printed books, but may at some point invest in a kindle or e-book reader. I just haven't felt the need. Also, I like the feel of a "real" book, both in my hands and on the eyes.

As for books themselves, I really enjoyed "Sudden Dawn" and "Chojun" by Goran Powell. Sudden Dawn stands up to repeated reads, perhaps because it contains lots of nuggets of Buddhist wisdom. "Iron and Silk" and "The Laughing Sutra" by Mark Salzman were fun reads as well (granted the former was a memoir, and not martial fiction). Of course "Musashi" by Yoshikawa is a classic. "The Kundalini Equation" by Steven Barnes was also fun to read. Finally, "Devil's Peak" by Deon Meyer is not really martial arts fiction, but features a vigilante anti-hero whose main weapon for meting out justice is an African sword called an assegai. It's a fantastic read.

Hope this helps!

Take care,
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Re: Martial fiction/fantasy books - your views

Postby posidon on Fri Jan 10, 2020 6:51 am

Hi Alex,

I’m a big fan of printed literature-I love collecting books. I have a collection of almost all your printed books as you know!

Due to mainly economic reasons I lately lean towards kindle. I found some very expensive printed books in a very good price in kindle format (especially books on Chinese medicine). So, kindle for me has the advantages of minimizing storage area at home (you just need memory on pc, laptop or mobile phone and not bookshelves) and of the low pricing.

Lately due to the Line of Intent releases, have also found interest in audio books.

However, if I find a printed book on good sale, I will choose to buy it, rather than search for kindle of audio version of it.

Now, regarding the martial related fiction, I agree that the number of books published is limited; especially compared to the technical, educational or personal-narrated martial arts books.

I was also a fan of Lustbader’s Nicholas Linnear novels (the whole series) and the Zero book.

I have also enjoyed the Otori Series by Lian Hearn (5 books series). My favorite wuxia novel is The Book and the Sword by Jin Yong (Louis Cha).

Best
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Re: Martial fiction/fantasy books - your views

Postby greytowhite on Fri Jan 10, 2020 2:14 pm

I highly recommend Fonda Lee's Jade City and subsequent novels for well done fights.

Normally, if there's something I really want to read I'll go to the library first. I have a Kindle Unlimited account and regularly read stuff on there. If I really enjoy it then I buy a hard copy once I can afford it.
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Re: Martial fiction/fantasy books - your views

Postby Trick on Sun Jan 12, 2020 7:19 am

As an Stone Age guy I like books in print. I like crime and mystery novels, Richard Montanari and Brad Meltzer are two of my current favorites....As mentioned by others, Lustbader’s ‘Ninja’ was a hit for me in the late 80’s, and there was the two part ‘Shike’ by Robert Shea that I liked.......The last book I read with some martial arts in was ‘Lovers Revealed’. I picked it up in a small bookstore in Dalian because it had the cool sounding -‘a black dagger brotherhood novel’ written on the cover, turned out to be an women’s somewhat erotic vampire novel.....but it worked ok for me anyway 8-) ....except for that the author writes Ji instead of Gi for an Karate/Judo/JiuJitsu/JuJutsu/JuJiutsu(or however that is spelled)Uniform 8-)
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Re: Martial fiction/fantasy books - your views

Postby Greg J on Sun Jan 12, 2020 6:35 pm

Trick wrote:
The last book I read with some martial arts in was ‘Lovers Revealed’. I picked it up in a small bookstore in Dalian because it had the cool sounding -‘a black dagger brotherhood novel’ written on the cover, turned out to be an women’s somewhat erotic vampire novel.....but it worked ok for me anyway 8-)



Oh man, that is too funny!
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Re: Martial fiction/fantasy books - your views

Postby Kass on Mon Jan 13, 2020 12:06 am

Hi everyone,
one book I did not see mentioned is the 2 part novel of Sean Russel,The Initiate Brother and its sequel Gatherer of Clouds. The setting is a mythical/mystical blend of China and Japan with the main character being a monk (a lot like a shaolin). It's very well-written with a poetic atmosphere that permeates the whole book.
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Re: Martial fiction/fantasy books - your views

Postby lineofintent on Wed Jan 15, 2020 3:12 pm

Thanks everyone , very useful to know.

And there was Bridge of Birds, by Barry Hughart, not martial exactly but so much fun.
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Re: Martial fiction/fantasy books - your views

Postby Finny on Fri Jan 24, 2020 9:45 pm

As a teen I liked Lian Hearn's 'Across the Nightingale Floor' series. Also 'Cloud of Sparrows' and 'Autumn Bridge' by Takashi Matsuoka. Eiji Yoshikawa's Musashi I also enjoyed.
Recently our very own Ellis Amdur's 'The Girl with the Face of the Moon' was great - I passed it on to my partner who also loved it, and she doesn't get down on fiction much at all. Not exactly MA fiction, but a great read that featured some MA elements.
I enjoyed Lustbader and a couple of others whose names I can't really remember for a cheap read - John Donohue I think was one, Loren Christensen or something like that, Barry Eisler etc. all feature some MA. Not sure how much that helps, but it's basically the extent of my MA fiction reading.
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Re: Martial fiction/fantasy books - your views

Postby vadaga on Thu Jan 30, 2020 1:40 pm

Jin Yong is pretty good although very wordy.
Supposedly 绝代双骄 by Gu Long is also good
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Re: Martial fiction/fantasy books - your views

Postby fuga on Fri Jan 31, 2020 7:54 am

Amazon is easy for self publishing to produce both print and digital books. I've used the software Vellum to output in the formats necessary for each. You have readers in both kindle and print so you want to be where both are, and you should also be considering audio as well.
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