Gu Long

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Xiong Yaohua
Born(1938-06-07)7 June 1938
Hong Kong
Died21 September 1985(1985-09-21) (aged 47)
Taipei, Taiwan
Pen nameGu Long
Nationality Republic of China
Alma materTamkang University
Notable worksChu Liuxiang, Xiaoli Feidao, Juedai Shuangjiao, Liuxing Hudie Jian
Gu Long
Traditional Chinese古龍
Simplified Chinese古龙
Xiong Yaohua
Traditional Chinese熊耀華
Simplified Chinese熊耀华

Xiong Yaohua (7 June 1938 – 21 September 1985), better known by his pen name Gu Long, was a Taiwanese, Hong Kong-born novelist, screenwriter, film producer and director. A graduate of Cheng Kung Senior High School and Tamkang University, Xiong is best known for writing wuxia novels and serials, which include Juedai Shuangjiao, Xiaoli Feidao Series, Chu Liuxiang Series, Lu Xiaofeng Series and The Eleventh Son. Some of these works have been adapted into films and television series for numerous times. In the 1980s, he started his own film studio, Bao Sian (寶龍) ,[1] to produce film adaptations of his works.


Xiong was born on 7 June 1938 in Hong Kong[2] but his registered identity stated that he was born in 1941.[citation needed] His ancestral home was in Nanchang, Jiangxi Province, China, and he lived in Hankou in his childhood. He moved to Taipei, Taiwan in 1952 with his parents, who divorced in 1956. With help from his friends and using the money he earned from part-time work to fund his education, Xiong graduated from the Foreign Language Department of Tamkang University.


Xiong worked at the United States Army Advisory in Taipei.

In 1960, Xiong published his first wuxia novel, Cangqiong Shenjian (蒼穹神劍), under the pen name "Gu Long". From 1960 to 1961, Xiong published eight novels but did not achieve the results he desired. He moved to Ruifang District (in New Taipei City) and lived there for three years, after which he changed his perspective and adopted a new writing style. Between 1967 and the late 1970s, he rose to prominence in the genre of modern wuxia fiction for his works. As the sole representative of excellence in the wuxia genre from Taiwan for an entire decade, Xiong was named along with Jin Yong and Liang Yusheng as the "Three Legs of the Tripod of Wuxia".

Personal life[edit]

While Xiong was still in university, Xiong lived with a dance hostess, Zheng Yuexia (鄭月霞), and had a son, Zheng Xiaolong (鄭小龍), with her. However, he started a relationship later with another dance hostess, Ye Xue (葉雪), who also bore him a son, Ye Yikuan (葉怡寬). Shortly after that, he met a senior middle school graduate, Mei Baozhu (梅寶珠), who became his first legal spouse and bore him his third son, Xiong Zhengda (熊正達). His extramarital affairs caused him to break up with Mei eventually.

In the later part of his life, Xiong suffered from depression and the quality of his works declined rapidly. He had to employ ghostwriters to co-write many of his later works because of his ailing health.[citation needed]

On 21 September 1985, Xiong died at the age of 48. Xiong's death was caused by illness wrought by alcoholism – namely cirrhosis and esophageal hemorrhage.[1] His friends brought him 48 bottles of XO Cognac at his funeral.

Writing style[edit]

Xiong was said to be influenced not only by wuxia fiction, but also by the works of Ernest Hemingway, Jack London, John Steinbeck and Friedrich Nietzsche. His novels are usually made up of short sentences and paragraphs, and mostly dialogues between characters – like a play script.

In contrast with Xiong, other writers such as Jin Yong and Liang Yusheng took an alternative route in writing wuxia fiction by incorporating Chinese history, culture and philosophical ideas in their works. Xiong initially intended to follow them but changed his decision after exposure to works such as 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 Xiong to come up with a unique way of writing.

List of works[edit]

Some of these works were co-written with other writers.