It Was An Epidemic

Most of us are familiar with the Battle of Red Cliff in the Three Kingdoms. However, the popular version of that battle, written by Luo Guan Zhong, is mostly fictional.

In Luo’s story, Cao Cao was said to have chained his boats together to prevent them for rocking, causing motion sickness in his troops. In fact, Cao’s soldiers were not sick from sailing but from an epidemic.

Cao Cao decided to abort the invasion of Dongwu and withdraw. He had been advised to abandon the boats – which was a brilliant idea even before epidemics were known to be caused by human-human transmission. Not wanting Zhou Yu to pick up his boats for free, Cao Cao set fire to them himself before withdrawing to Jingzhou overland.

In most movies and operas, Cao Cao is portrayed as a ruthless tyrant. The real Cao Cao is a bit more complex than that. At least he cared enough for his soldiers not to fight during an epidemic; even if it meant sacrificing 1000 boats.

The Three Kingdoms I’ve presented in my books is based on the popular (fictional) version. I’ll soon start work on a couple of new titles based on selected episodes presented from a historical perspective. In other words, Three Kingdoms minus the fake news. For centuries, the fictional version has been more popular. Let’s see if my style of presenting the truth can give engaging fiction a run for its money when I present it in English.

Dewdrop Books – Fiction and non-fiction with a focus on the colourful and exotic Asian realm. Check out our titles.


I knew that the name 钟添飞 sounded familiar. When I heard this song, I suddenly remembered that he’s xinyao singer 钟添飞. I first heard this song when I was a student at NUS. Hearing it again brought back so many memories. 钟添飞 is better known as Jeffrey Chung now and he currently runs a modelling agency.

沉默 is a very simple love song. It’s the sort of uncomplicated struggle we went through when boys and girls of that era were so shy. Below are some recordings of 钟添飞’s appearance on Channel 8’s 缤纷八三 in 1986. 34 years ago, OMG! How many of you remember that show?

The xinyao era has been a most unforgettable part of Singapore’s history. Back then, the young people had artistic, meaningful dreams and ideals, not ambitions to own business empires. I too have been inspired to write, reviving my childhood dream if becoming a writer.

This video below has alternating old and new photos. Jeffrey’s transformation, like many of us from that era, has been great. The message is clear. Don’t miss out on chasing your dreams when you’re young. You’re only young once.

Looking back, I wish I had recorded an album when I was that age.

Dewdrop Books – Fiction and non-fiction with a focus on the colourful and exotic Asian realm. Check out our titles.