The Three-Body Problem

eBook, 445 pages

English language

Published Sept. 12, 2014 by Doherty Associates, LLC, Tom.

ISBN:
9781466853447
Goodreads:
20944690

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4 stars (40 reviews)

The Three-Body Problem (Chinese: 三体; lit. 'Three-Body'; pinyin: sān tǐ) is a science fiction novel by the Chinese writer Liu Cixin. The title refers to the three-body problem in orbital mechanics. It is the first novel of the Remembrance of Earth's Past (Chinese: 地球往事) trilogy, but Chinese readers generally call the whole series The Three-Body Problem. The trilogy's second and third novels are The Dark Forest and Death's End. The Three-Body Problem was serialized in Science Fiction World in 2006 and published as a book in 2008. It became one of the most popular science fiction novels in China. It received the Chinese Science Fiction Yinhe ("Galaxy") Award in 2006. A Chinese film adaptation of the same name was in production by 2015, but halted soon after. The English translation by Ken Liu was published by Tor Books in 2014. Thereafter, it became the first Asian novel ever to win …

30 editions

Good, but watch out - sets up trilogy

5 stars

The first few chapters had me darting to and from Wikipedia to help add some context to a story that is deeply set in the Chinese Cultural Revolution. It',s a triviality to call the story complex, a mystery than unfolds through the book. Be warned this is the first in a trilogy and a very much sets itself up this way, which was a little frustrating in the last few chapters.

Very interesting premise, but payoff was lackluster

3 stars

I wanted to enjoy this book, and as other reviews stated it did start very strong with an engaging mystery hook; however, the reveal of the mystery was simultaneously disappointing and depressing.

Additionally, I often found that character dialogue seemed stilted and technical concepts were over-explained; however, this might be an artifact of the language difference in translation.

Perhaps due to this issue, I felt that characters interacted with each other in a surreal and unbelievable manner, without much compassion or empathy, and this was compounded by the overwhelming cartoonish menace of the main antagonist.

These factors contributed to an overall feeling of gloom and hopelessness in the story; while I understand this is a cornerstone of the cosmic horror genre, I personally have no interest in continuing the series.

Review of 'The Three-Body Problem' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

The sentiment on the internet has always been that this is one of the best science fiction books to read, with its fresh take on what can often times be a stale genre. The perspective is unique and has moments of revelation that feel surprisingly different from the traditional "investigation of self" that I typically get from science fiction, identifying moments of hope despite the fractures in civilization. Despite the intense shift towards the end, it leaves a lot to feel good about which I don't commonly leave hard sci-fi with.

Review of 'The Three-Body Problem' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

I'm not thoroughly familiar with science fiction as a genre, but I'd imagine this is pretty quintessential hard science fiction. That means that quite a lot of text throughout the novel is devoted to explaining the scientific realities behind the events of the narrative. For example, entire chapters are devoted more or less to detailing the physical minutiae of how messages might be transmitted between Earth and alien civilizations.

In the case of this novel, hard science fiction also means substantially less attention is given to the development of characters and the drama between them. Indeed, I found the book somewhat reminiscent of my experience with Isaac Asimov, where all the important characters are STEM academics and the only interesting thing they could imagine talking about is science in one form or another. So don't expect a very compelling drama from this novel or particularly deep or complex characters. With …

Sci-Fi from a different persepective

4 stars

I was surprised to read a Chinese sci-fi novel, but it's an interesting perspective on it. At first I thought this is going to be all about China, being for or against the CCP regime and a bit of sci-fi sprinkled on it, but it was the opposite!

The parts that were leaning on it being in China were great, it's a different view on how to write sci-fi, which is usually VERY centered on the US. I hope for more non-US authors in the sci-fi world, there's a lot to explore here.

The ending surprised me, because I read through it much faster than I thought. This should be a good thing, but I only noticed how far in I was, because I couldn't believe that this is how it's gonna end. It was a bit disappointing, but it's a trilogy, so and it felt very much written in …

Review of 'El problema de los tres cuerpos' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

Empecé con muchas ganas este ganador del Premio Hugo de 2015. Ciencia ficción "hard", de una cultura un tanto exótica para mí como la china, y con aplauso unánime de la crítica, prometía mucho. Y no es que sea una mala lectura ni mucho menos, pero me ha acabado decepcionando bastante.

Se dice que el autor está muy influido por Asimov, Clarke y similares, y la verdad es que sí: la trama contiene muchos elementos que podían haber sido originales en los años 60, pero que desde luego hoy en día no lo son, al menos en Occidente. El personaje principal es bastante plano; los secundarios, que tenían mimbres para ser interesantes, acaban resultando estereotípicos; el hecho de que la novela acabe en un "continuará" (es el primer libro de una trilogía) no ayuda tampoco a la redondez de la trama.

En otros aspectos donde se ven influencias de otros …

Review of 'The Three-Body Problem' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

Cixin Liu is a different voice in sci-fi - for someone brought up on western stories, Liu's story structure and background are odd, which makes it very refreshing to read. I had one minor problem with believability in the book, but otherwise I'm looking forward to reading the English translation of the next two books.

The tale is a sweeping one, filled with good sci-fi ideas and nothing less than the fate of humanity at stake. Like John Wright's Count to the Eschaton series, the fate of humanity rests in the hands of a few who know what's going on. Unlike anything else I've read, this book faces that challenge with the background of the Chinese Cultural Revolution driving the protagonists actions, and - here's where the refreshing part comes in - coloring the thoughts of alien minds as well.

If you've ever read the Night Watch books by Lukyanenko, …

Review of 'The Three-Body Problem' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

I enjoyed this read, from the outlook of Chinese culture to the scope of the story, it is enjoyable. The only portions that were slow and troublesome were at the end when the book focused on the Trisolarans and their activities...what benefit of explaining scientific failures of the 1st and 3rd dimension was there to the story? But the scientists, the game, and Da Shi might be one of my favorite characters I've read this year.

It was well thought out and very much enjoyable. Liu has the rest of the story complete, I hope the new translator did as good of a job as this one. It was very hard to know it was a foreign language book originally.

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Subjects

  • Fiction, science fiction, general