Xiong Yaohua (1937 – September 21, 1985), who wrote under the pen name Gu Long was a Taiwanese writer of wuxia novels. He was born in Hong Kong and moved to Taiwan in 1950. Several of his novels were adapted to film or television, most notably The Eleventh Son which was adapted several times, including a 1978 film adaptation as the Shaw Brothers' Swordsman and Enchantress. He began his own movie studio, Bao Sian, to further the adaptation of his novels.
It is not known when and where Xiong Yaohua was exactly born. Some say he was born in 1936 in Hong Kong, while other claimed that he was born in 1937 in Jiangxi, China. In 1952, he moved to Taiwan with his parents who later divorced in 1956. After that, his life lost stability. With much help from his friends and also money earned from part-time work, he graduated from the Foreign Language Department of Tamkang University (淡江大学) in Taiwan. He later found a job in the United States Army Advisory in Taipei.
It was a well-known fact that he was an alcoholic. In the early days of his career, he would buy several bottles of good alcohol and a big stack of new books whenever he received payment for a manuscript.
In 1960, he published his first wuxia novel, The Vault of Heaven and the Sword of Divinity (苍穹神剑) under the pen-name of Gu Long. From 1960 to 1961, he published a flurry of eight novels, but it did not achieve the result that he desired. He then retreated in solitude to the town of Ruifang (瑞芳镇) for three years, after which he changed his perspective in writing and that gained him prominence and reputation. Between 1967 and the end of the 1970s, his novels finally secured him a place in the annals of modern wuxia fiction. As the sole representative of excellence in the genre from Taiwan for an entire decade, he was named along with Jinyong and Liang Yusheng as the three legs of the tripod of wuxia.
During his university days, he lived together with a dance hostess named Zheng Lili (郑莉莉), and they even had a son, Zheng Xiaolong (郑小龙). Then, Gu Long had another relationship with a second dance hostess, Ye Xue (叶雪), who also bore him a son. Shortly after that, he met an elegant and simple senior middle-school (equivalent to high school in most of the western world) graduate named Mei Baozhu (梅宝珠), whom he married as his first legal wife. Together, they had Gu Long's third son, Xiong Zhengda. Later, his extramarital affairs involving Jhao Zihcing and Jhang Siaolan caused him to break up with his second wife, Mei Baozhu.
Towards the end of his life, he suffered depression and felt dejected. His quality of works also declined rapidly. On 21 September, 1985, Gu Long died of illness wrought by alcoholism, namely cirrhosis and esophageal hemorrhage at around 6 PM . During the funeral, his friends brought him 48 bottles of his beloved XO (a superior type of brandy), one for each year of his life. After his death, fellow author Ni Kuang was moved to remarked, "There is no Gu Long in the human world, but Gu Long lives on in our hearts!"
Style of writing
It was said that Gu Long was not only influenced by Chinese wuxia fiction, but also by Western works such as those by Ernest Hemmingway, Jack London and John Steinbeck, as well as philosophers like Friedrich Nietzsche.
Well known modern wuxia writers like Jinyong and Liang Yusheng took the "orthodox route" to writing wuxia fiction, using history, culture and philosophy to create winning works. Initially, Gu Long wanted to go down the same path, but his directions changed after being exposed to Western works like the James Bond series and The Godfather novels. The influence of these works, which relied on the idiosyncrasies of human life, razor-sharp wit, poetic philosophies, mysterious plots and spine-tingling thrills to achieve success, enabled Gu Long to come up with a unique way of writing.
List of works
Gu Long wrote a total of sixty-nine novels. Many of the later ones were co-written with others.
- 大人物 Da Ren Wu (The Prominent Figure) - 32 chapters
- 碧血洗银枪 Bi Xue Xi Yin Qiang (Silver Spear Cleansed in Blood) - 1977; 39 chapters
- 白玉老虎 Bai Yu Lao Hu (The White Jade Tiger) - 9 chapters
- 苍穹神剑 Cang Qiong Shen Jian - 10 chapters
- 彩环曲 Cai Huan Qu - 12 chapters
- 游侠录 You Xia Lu (Wandering Hero) - 8 chapters
- 楚留香系列 Chu Liu Xiang Xi Lie (The Chu Liu Xiang Series) - written between 1968 and 1979
- 蝙蝠传奇 Bian Fu Chuan Ji (Legend of the Bat) - 23 chapters
- 大沙漠 Da Sha Mo (Vast Desert) - 36 chapters
- 血海飘香 Xie Hai Piao Xiang (Fragrance in the Sea of Blood) - 27 chapters
- 鬼恋传奇 Gui Lian Chuan Ji (The Legend of the Ghost Lover) - 1970; 12 chapters
- 午夜兰花 Wu Ye Lan Hua (Midnight-Blooming Orchid) - 14 chapters
- 新月传奇 Xin Yue Chuan Ji (Legend of the New Moon) - 12 chapters
- 桃花传奇 Tao Hua Chuan Ji (Legend of the Peach Blossom) - 15 chapters
- 画眉鸟 Hua Mei Niao (The Thrush) - 36 chapters
- 歡樂英雄 Huan Le Ying Xiong - 1971
- 大旗英雄传 Da Qi Ying Xiong Chuan (The Legend of the Hero's Banner) - 44 chapters
- 多情剑客无情剑 Duo Qing Jian Ke Wu Qing Jian (Sentimental Swordsman, Ruthless Sword) - 1970; 89 chapters
- 赌局系列 Du Ju Xi Lie (Gambling House Series) - 34 chapters
- 流星.蝴蝶.剑 Liu Xing. Hu Die. Jian (Meteor. Butterfly. Sword) - 29 chapters
- 名剑风流 Ming Jian Feng Liu (The Sword and the Exquisiteness) - 40 chapters
- 飞刀，又见飞刀 Fei Dao, You Jian Fei Dao (Flying Dagger, Flying Dagger appears again) - 12 chapters
- 那一剑的风情 Na Yi Jian De Feng Qing (Swordplay) - 31 chapters
- 风铃中的刀声 Feng Ling Zhong De Dao Sheng (The Sound of Saber in Wind Chimes) - 25 chapters
- 大地飞鹰 Da Di Fei Ying (The Flying Eagle of the Land)
- 孤星传 Gu Xing Chuan (Lone Star Chronicles)
- 英雄无泪 Ying Xiong Wu Lei (The Hero With No Tears)
- 浣花洗剑录 Huan Hua Xi Jian Lu (Sword Bathed in Flowers/Spirit of the Sword)
- 护花铃 Hu Hua Ling (The bell of Maiden Guarding)
- 绝代双娇 Jue Dai Shuang Jiao (The Legendary Twins)
- 剑客行 Jian Ke Hang (Swordsman's Journey)
- 剑玄录 Jian Xuan Lu (The Mysterious Legend of the Sword)
- 绝不低头 Jue Bu Di Tou (The Proud)
- 陆小凤系列 Lu Xiao Feng Xi Lie (The Lu Xiao Feng Series) - written between 1976 to 1981
- 陆小凤传奇 Lu Xiao Feng Chuan Ji (The Legend of Lu Xiao Feng) - 1976
- 绣花大盗 Xiu Hua Da Dao (Embroidery Bandit) - 1976
- 决战前后 Jue Zhan Qian Hou (Before and After the Duel) - 1976
- 银钩赌坊 Yin Gou Du Fang (The Silver Hook Gambling House) - 1977
- 幽灵山庄 You Ling Shan Zhuang (Ghostly Mountain Cottage) - 1977
- 凤舞九天 Feng Wu Jiu Tian (The Phoenix Dances in Nine Heavens) - 1978
- 剑神一笑 Jian Shen Yi Xiao (Laughter of the Sword God) - 1981
- 飘香剑雨 Piao Xiang Jian Yu (Fragrant Sword Rain)
- 飘香剑雨续 Piao Xiang Jian Yu Xu (Fragrant Sword Rain Continued)
- 情人箭 Qing Ren Jian (Lover's Arrow)
- 九月鹰飞 Jiu Yue Ying Fei (Flying Eagle in September)
- 七种武器之 Qi Zhong Wu Qi Zhi (The Seven Weapons Series)
- 长生剑 Chang Sheng Jian (Immortal Sword)
- 孔雀翎 Kong Que Ling (Peacock Tail Feathers)
- 碧玉刀 Bi Yu Dao (Jasper Saber)
- 多情环 Duo Qing Huan (Passionate Ring)
- 离别钩 Li Bie Gou (Hook of Departure)
- 霸王枪 Ba Wang Qiang (The Overlord's Spear)
- 拳头 Quan Tou (Fist) Note: Gu Long has never written a seventh story for his Seven Weapons Series, therefore Fist is often incorrectly labeled as so.
- 七杀手 Qi Sha Shou (Seven Assassins)
- 七星龙王 Qi Xing Long Wang (Seven Star Dragon King)
- 失魂引 Shi Hun Yin (Guide to Lost Souls)
- 边城浪子 Bian Cheng Lang Zi (Bordertown Wanderer)
- 三少爷的剑 San Shao Ye De Jian (Third Young Master's Sword)
- 天涯明月刀 Tian Ya Ming Yue Dao (Midnight, Bright Moon, Saber)
- 武林外史 Wu Lin Wai Shi (Wulin's Side Story) - 44 chapters
- 湘妃剑 Xiang Fei Jian Concubine Xiang's Sword
- 萧十一郎 Xiao Shi Yi Lang (The Eleventh Son)
- 血鹦鹉 Xie Ying Wu (Blood Parrot)
- 月异星邪 Yue Yi Xing Xie (Strange Moon, Evil Star)
Translations of Works
Translations of his work have been published in languages such as French
- The Eleventh Son, English translation of Xiao Shiyi Lang, ISBN 1-931907-16-1.
- Les quatre brigands du Huabei, French translation of Huanle Yingxiong, ISBN 2-87730-371-3
- WuxiaWorld - Fansite of Gu Long's translations, discussion and analysis of his work.
- Gu Long Reading Room - A webpage of fan translations.
- Wuxia Translations Forum - Wuxia translations forum by fans.
- Wuxiapedia - English translations of Gu Long novels, collection of excerpts, and information about his life.
- WuxiaSociety - The only English wuxia portal with focus on discussion forum, dedicated to Gu Long, society of wuxia fans around the world, formerly known as wuxiamania forum
- Qiqi.com - Gu Long's works in Chinese