Wildest Fantasy

Is this the end of Chinese fantasy fiction or a reluctant new beginning?

In the wake of Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy and the Harry Potter series, China saw the ascension of new deities: the “Seven Gods.” These gods—lacking in most divine aspects—were bespectacled young men in their 20s who created the bedrock for an entire genre of Chinese literature.

The idea first took root in 2002, when a user with the I.D. “Dajiao” suggested incorporating “Eastern” features in a Western-style fantasy realm. The result was Novoland, or “Jiuzhou” (九州, nine regions): a unique, crowdsourced universe that would provide a generation of writers with a shared setting for fantastic tales that would shape Chinese fantasy into a full-blow literary genre. It would later be revealed that the man behind that “Dajiao” web handle was none other than Pan Haitian—today one of China’s most beloved fantasy and sci-fi authors.

The seven main writers and active forum members became the “Seven Gods” forming a committee to oversee the creation of this new world. “There are countless heroes, dynasties, and millions of stories. It needed to be a product of cooperation,” Pan tells TWOC.

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Wildest Fantasy is a story from our issue, “Wildest Fantasy.” To read the entire issue, become a subscriber and receive the full magazine. Alternatively, you can purchase the digital version from the App Store.


author Liu Jue

Liu Jue is the co-managing editor of The World of Chinese Magazine. She has a Master of Arts in Communication from Middle Tennessee State University, and a Bachelor of Arts from Minzu University. She has been working for TWOC since 2012. She is interested in covering history, traditional culture, and Chinese language.

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