The Three-Body Problem by Liu Cixin


A science fiction book from China is a rare thing and this is the first of a trilogy. It’s hardcore SF with much discussion of scientific stuff that when way over my head, but it didn’t spoil the story for me.

Its starts of in the confused days of the cultural revolution with red guard factions fighting each other over ideological issues. Then goes forward in time when a message sent out into space looking for life receives a reply. There is someone out there! But what are there intentions on contacting the earth?

Much more plot detail will spoil the story, which I thoroughly enjoyed despite some of the tricky sciency stuff. Its the first of a trilogy already released in China and the other two titles should be with us this year and next.

It won the 2015 Hugo Award for Best Novel and was nominated for the 2014 Nebula Award for Best Novel.

From the translators website

“It is wonderful to read this state-of-the-art example of Chinese science fiction, which sweeps with an immense narrative energy from the historical trauma of the Cultural Revolution to the cosmic trauma of alien contact. Ken Liu’s excellent translation combines fluid clarity with a continuous view into Chinese worldviews, adding to the fun and making this the best kind of science fiction, familiar but strange all at the same time. I hope we’ll get to read more by Liu Cixin, and for now applaud this great entry.”
– Kim Stanley Robinson

“Vivid, imaginative and rooted in cutting edge science, THE THREE BODY PROBLEM ponders several Big Questions of our time. Liu Cixin stands at the top tier of speculative fiction authors in any language. Ken Liu’s smooth translation makes this a must-read for any who truly wish to explore bold, new perspectives.”
– David Brin


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