What is the main difference between WuXia and XianXia novels?
I operate a fiction site (penana.com) where there are also writers of English WuXia. But XianXia is a relatively new term for me. Can someone explain as I heard from some of the above discussion that XianXia can be more popular.
Xia is literally hero. So both wuxia and xianxia are heroic stories, with different elements.
Wu means martial, which implies the stories involve martial arts as we see depicted in the gongfu, or kung fu for Westerners, in movies and dramas.
Xian means divine or immortal. Xianxia stories usually involve beings who, while not immortal or divine, possess abilities far beyond humans. This includes longevity or abilities that border magical or supernatural. In contrast, wuxia stories are more grounded aside from the extraordinary martial arts abilities.