Xiang Kairan (1889-1957)

Marvellous Gallants of the Rivers and Lakes (1923) focused on Xiang’s lifelong obsession with ‘rarity’ in fiction, which here manifested itself as a concentration on the pseudoscience of martial-arts super-powers. Ridiculed by leftist authors such as Lu Xun for its quixotic and regressive reliance on magical solutions, it nevertheless became immensely popular. Its 65th chapter formed the basis for The Burning of the Red Lotus Temple (1928) a watershed work in the history of martial arts film, in which magical forces were represented with early special effects, spawning seventeen sequels.”

Over at the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, I write up the influential author Xiang Kairan, a.k.a. Pingjiang Buxiaosheng.

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