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Synonyms: Cnovels
See also: wuxia, xianxia, web fiction
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C-novels are Chinese web novels. They came to English-language fandoms in the early 2000's via fan translations. Competition over which translator or translation group is the "official" unofficial fan translation can get quite heated.


Cnovel authors are subject to Chinese government censorship, and have been affected by tightening regulations about what they are and are not allowed to portray. Both queer content and pornography have been frowned upon in China since the Communist Party took power, but recent laws have increased pressure on authors. For example, in 2020 the Cyberspace Administration of China undertook a 'clear and bright' action intended to enforce a healthy internet space in China. While Chinese webnovel writers typically continue to write what they want regardless of the law, doing so can put them at risk of having their work deleted, being fined, or even being arrested. In 2014, an author with the penname "big grey wolf" was arrested and given a three-year jail sentence; another author was imprisoned for ten years in 2018 over his depiction of explicit male-male sexual acts. Dramas based on danmei (male/male or slash novels) such as Guardian and The Untamed had their main pairings turned into platonic relationships.[1] The web drama Addicted, also based on a danmei novel, was pulled from the internet after 15 episodes, and its leads were forbidden from being photographed together.[2] Awareness of the censorship in China has led international fans to be more forgiving when elements such as explicit scenes are omitted from adaptations of Cnovels. Additionally, it has led to (sometimes groundless) concern among fandom when a certain author is not heard from for any period of time.[3]

C-novels With Prominent International Fandoms

Notable C-novel Translation Groups

External Links


  1. ^ [https://ijmcl.aydin.edu.tr/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/ijmcl_v06i2003.pdf "Censorship and Circumvention in China: How Danmei Writers ‘Drive a Car’ on Jinjiang"]
  2. ^ The Promise: Eight Years and Beyond
  3. ^ Is MXTX in Prison? A Fact Check