Cultivation novels

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Spectrum
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Cultivation novels

Post by Spectrum »

Hi folks,

I've recently been getting into reading Cultivation novels. I guess they're sorta Chi based Chinese fantasy?

Legends of Condor Heroes is a classic and I linked a great translation. I watched one of the tv series a couple of years ago and it's been fun to finally read it.

The Nine Heavens and Ten Earths is cyberpunk cultivation? It's been a difficult read in some ways. It just has a lot of basic things that are left unexplained, even into the end of the third novel. On the other hand, great world building.
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Ken
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Re: Cultivation novels

Post by Ken »

Cultivation? Lots of farming in them?
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Arkrite
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Re: Cultivation novels

Post by Arkrite »

Ha, not exactly, though I think there is a few isekai novels that do just that. Fantasy other dimension farming.

Cultivation novels are like Spectrum mentioned, chi based martial arts fantasy generally set in ancient China. The thing they're cultivating is their chi and their bodies, generally resulting in superhuman powers, abilities, and crazy long life spans.
Generally lots of fighting, meditating on "cultivating" their chi, dealing with sects and cults who provide the potential for great learning... but never seen to provide any assistance whatsoever in any of the books I've read, baring maybe one.

I've found it a little hit and miss and somewhat hard to get into at times because the mindset is different than I'm used to, and honestly even the ones I like tend to have names I have a very hard time differentiating between.

Street Cultivation by Sarah Lin was probably the easiest one for me to get into because it's a cyberpunk style setting, with names and situations I was more used to. The problem being that it's a three novel series and the third novel feels like it ends just as the story is getting started. I enjoyed it, but it felt like there was supposed to be a lot more.

A Thousand Li: the First Step by Tao Wong is pretty good, though this is specifically the one I had trouble keeping character names straight in. Doesn't seem to fall victim to the sky rocketing power syndrome that a lot of these novels have. Or maybe it's just better in comparison to that.
Sidenote: Tao Wong is a weird author. Some of this stuff is very good, like the System Apocalypse which seems to be fairly well written, and then you have Adventures on Brad, or Hidden Wishes which feel like somebody who's never written anything before. And all seem to be coming out concurrently. Confusing.

Dragon Heart series by Kirill Klevanski is probably more standard for these, though this one is written by a Russian dude so mileage may vary. I've enjoyed the series, but it's a very slow start, and by book 11-12 has started to spend too much time navel gazing.
Remarkably funny because the main character is always becoming remarkably more powerful only to wind up in a new area where he's only slightly better than average and having to work his way back up again.
Spectrum
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Re: Cultivation novels

Post by Spectrum »

Thanks Arkite, I'll take a look at those next!

I started on Legends of Ogre Gate last night. I'm not sure how much further I'm going to get into it. There have been several extended gorn-tastic description so far that go on way too long with way too much detail. We'll see.
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Ares
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Re: Cultivation novels

Post by Ares »

I'm a big fan of the wuxia genre, though more in film and comic form than novel form, though I do need to check those out. The only thing I have along these lines is the translation of Journey to the West, but it's not really a wuxia story in the same way these novels are.

My exposure to the Condor Hero trilogy has largely been the Legend of Condor Hero anime (which was based on the Return of Condor Hero novel) and the Heaven Sword/Dragon Sabre manhua translated by Comics One. I've been trying to find a good live action adaptation of Heaven Sword/Dragon Sabre with English translation, as it's so far my favorite overall martial arts series. Zhang Wuji is my favorite martial arts character of all time, in terms of both his personality (a kind scholar and overall nice guy) and in terms of the martial arts he uses (internal/defensive martial arts primarily about healing, controlling your opponents energy, etc.).

Beyond that, I was a big reader of the Jademan comics in the 80s and 90s (specifically Force of Buddha's Palm and Oriental Heroes) as well as other Comics One books like Weapons of the Gods, which actually got adapted to a tabletop RPG.

I'm very interested in seeing other entries here, as these are the kinds of novels I really need to get into.
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FuzzyBoots
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Re: Cultivation novels

Post by FuzzyBoots »

I've never really gotten into the Cultivation novels, but I am fond of the works of its geeky cousin, LitRPG, where the concept is basically an RPG mechanics world where people are aware of their stats and can make intelligent decisions on how to level up.
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