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The Three-Body Problem Paperback – January 12, 2016
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Mass Market Paperback
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"Wildly imaginative, really interesting." ―President Barack Obama on the Three-Body Problem trilogy
“A breakthrough book . . . a unique blend of scientific and philosophical speculation, politics and history, conspiracy theory and cosmology.” ―George R. R. Martin, on The Three Body Problem
“Extraordinary.” ―The New Yorker, on The Three Body Problem
“Remarkable, revelatory and not to be missed.” ―Kirkus Reviews, starred review, on The Three Body Problem
"A must-read in any language.” ―Booklist, on The Three Body Problem
"A meditation on technology, progress, morality, extinction, and knowledge that doubles as a cosmos-in-the-balance thriller.... a testament to just how far [Liu's] own towering imagination has taken him: Far beyond the borders of his country, and forever into the canon of science fiction. - NPR, on Death's End
"The best kind of science fiction, familiar but strange all at the same time." -- Kim Stanley Robinson, on The Three Body Problem
About the Author
CIXIN LIU is the most prolific and popular science fiction writer in the People's Republic of China. Liu is avwinner of the Hugo Award, an eight-time winner of the Galaxy Award (the Chinese Hugo), and a winner of the Chinese Nebula Award.
KEN LIU (translator) is a writer, lawyer, and computer programmer. His short story "The Paper Menagerie" was the first work of fiction ever to sweep the Nebula, Hugo, and World Fantasy Awards. He has written two novels (The Grace of Kings and The Wall of Storms) and edited and translated the Chinese science fiction anthology Invisible Planets.
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This series well and truly "blew my mind away". This isn't a page0-turning space opera adventure kind of story. The story is interesting and good, and there is most definitely some drama and entertainment - and the writing is excellent (translation to English is superb). But the main thing for me about this series is that it educated me about physics and really made me look at EVERYTHING through a new lens. The ideas in this book I had never encountered before - and I am a voracious reader. I found this series to be totally original and mind-blowing. There were time where I simply needed to put it down after reading only a short time, in order to simply ponder the ideas presented. I've never had quite an experience like this with a book.
Highly recommend this series. And, make sure you read all three, because each one is better than the last. The last book of the series was my favorite and just absolutely melted my brain. I mean, to the degree where I am questioning my own reality. Yes, it is that good. Really, a mind and perception altering experience.
It turns out the book they think unworthy is incredible. And ironically their ideological pogrom fits perfectly within the book!
You want big ideas? It's there and there again.
You want something different? I've never read anything like it before. This is so not a colonial dudes-rule-everything universe.
You want to learn something? You will. Not only about science and human nature, but of an era probably only someone from China can communicate fully. It's fascinating.
You want big scary aliens? You got 'em.
You want high table stakes? How about the future of humanity?
You want that unsettled feeling you get when you both deeply disagree and agree with an idea? Oh yes, that little knife twist is there.
You want great writing? I'd say the writing is good, with many moments of greatness. In particular the beginning prose really pops. Then the writing moves the story along nicely with brief forrays back into lusciousness.
A worthy winner in my estimation. It's a great story well told. And that's what it's all about.
I also put the series down in the middle of the second book when I realized that there was not a single female character left that was a significant part of the narrative. But, I came back to it eventually, and I'm so glad I did. As it turns out, the 3rd book is largely from a feminine point of view, and thinking back, I'm pretty sure that Cixin was intentionally emphasizing a masculine point of view in the second book.
Otherwise, the incredible scope of this book and the sheer audacity of even trying to tell this the story Cixin tells is breathtaking. It even has the quality of a fairy tale, but not a modern Disney version, more like the old dark folk tales of the past. Cixin waxes and wanes from optimism and despair, destruction and renewal and yin and yang throughout. As with life, there is no fairy tale ending, the story just ends when it ends.
I'm going to be thinking about this story for many years to come.