Hong Kong novelist and screenwriter Ni Kuang, who wrote some 300 screenplays including The One-Armed Swordsman and The 36th Chamber of Shaolin, died July 3. He was 87. "Hailed as a giant in the Chinese literary world, Ni rose to fame with the New Adventures of Wisely series, which was first published in Chinese daily Ming Pao in 1963. He specialized in martial arts, wuxia and science fiction," Deadline reported.
Ni wrote about 140 Wisely novels, featuring "a man who encounters strange creatures and aliens on futuristic adventures around the world. The stories have been adapted into movies, TV series, radio dramas and comics," Deadline noted. He won the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Hong Kong Film Awards in 2012 and the Jubilee Honor Award from the Hong Kong Screenwriters' Guild in 2018.
Born in Shanghai in 1935, Ni smuggled himself into Hong Kong in 1957 and never returned to the mainland. Beginning in 1965, he branched out into screenwriting, often working for the Shaw Brothers. His credits include The One-Armed Swordsman; Infra-Man; The 36th Chamber Of Shaolin; Enter the Fat Dragon and hundreds of others. He is also associated with Bruce Lee films The Big Boss and Fist of Fury.
"While Ni's own novels, from series such as the Dark Heroine Muk Lan-fa and Wisely, were also adapted for the big screen, fans of his books focused mostly on the author's impact on younger generations of Chinese-language science fiction writers," the South China Morning Post wrote.
The Hong Kong government's newly established Culture, Sports and Tourism Bureau published a statement in which it "expressed sorrow over the passing of renowned author Ni Kuang, and extended deepest condolences to his family.... The novels by Ni Kuang have been popular among readers in Hong Kong, and have been adapted into television and cinematic productions numerous times. Even though he has passed away, he will be fondly remembered by those who enjoyed his works."