The Three-body Problem

The Three-body Problem

Book - 2016
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"Set against the backdrop of China's Cultural Revolution, a secret military project send signals into space to establish contact with aliens. An alien civiliation on the brink of destruction captures the signal and plans to invade Earth. Meanwhile, on Earth, different camps start forming, planning to either welcome the superior beings and help them take over a world seen as corrupt, or to fight against the invasion." -- page [4] of cover.
Publisher: New York : Tor, [2016]
Edition: First trade paperback edition
ISBN: 9780765382030
Characteristics: 415 pages ; 24 cm
Additional Contributors: Liu, Ken 1976-


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Aug 19, 2017

I found this book really interesting, and it contained many ideas that I hadn't previously seen in fiction. The game was an original device, and I appreciated the "aha!" moment it gave me.

The opening chapters about the Chinese Revolution were easily the most compelling. They were certainly necessary to explain why anyone would give up on the human race to the degree that some of the characters do. They got me to "buy in" to the book and its world.

The science fiction part was well done. Creative and interesting. As a physical scientist, I tend to be a bit picky about the science part of my science fiction. With only one or two minor "oh, really?" moments, the science seemed generally sound to me.

This is definitely a book focused on setting and plot (rather than character), but I found the characters' motivations to be generally plausible, and I enjoyed reading it. I look forward to the rest of the trilogy.

Aug 15, 2017


Jul 28, 2017

The mysteries of this alternate history sci-fi novel keep piling on top of one another until the crescendo at the very end when the unsettling truth is revealed. The author states in his post-script that he wasn't necessarily trying to place a magnifying glass on modern society. However, one can't help but see the issues of today reflected through the beginning of the novel during the Chinese Cultural Revolution and during the subsequent, more contemporary sections.

Jul 04, 2017

This is not my usual type of book, but after reading the blurb and seeing a lot of good reviews, I picked this book up. It was very rich in detail (maybe a little too much for my liking), I liked how it introduced some historical cultural background. The plot was intriguing. It seems like the story was told through unrelated pieces but it really comes altogether in the end. But it was a bit too long and descriptive for me.

Jun 17, 2017

A journey for the reader's mind in different dimensions and directions during which you turn around to review where you've been and imagine what construct about Trisolaris will reveal realities about Earth. Would I join the Pan-Species Communism movement? not likely, but it does tug me into thought realms previously unentered.

May 09, 2017

This novel is interesting, but the timing and rhythm of its story-telling seems off to me. Maybe that is part of its mind-twisting charm, to engage in lengthy nostalgic and philosophical self-discoveries while the world supposed to be ending at any moment. You can't help but wanting it to shut up already and get on with the real deal, thus, you read on grudgingly.

Apr 13, 2017

This is a fascinating novel that grounds its heady physics in a historically accurate picture of the cultural revolution in China starting in the 60's and shows flashes of how Chinese culture has developed into the modern day. I really enjoyed the characters which were a diverse bunch ranging from an emotionally damaged and daring woman scientist to a hard-boiled police detective and a dehydrating alien race who is never actually described physically. I was mostly just excited to see what kind of science fiction a modern Chinese writer would create considering the disapproval of this genre by the Chinese government until very recently. I was happy to see such ground breaking work coming from the sleeping giant.

fineplan Mar 21, 2017

This is one of those books that made me really annoyed with life -- why did it keep getting in the way of my reading time?!

I found the novel completely engaging and hard to put down. I'm not saying I understood all the science very well -- physics is not my field -- but what I did understand was fascinating and what went over my head didn't get in the way of my enjoyment. The footnotes were incredibly helpful, as well. I especially loved Ye Wenjie as a character and learning about the Cultural Revolution. It's a time period I knew nothing about and it was horrifying... I also enjoyed Wang Miao's journey into understanding. There are some great twists. I need book two ASAP.

Mar 13, 2017

A satisfying combination of recent history, science fiction (with the emphasis on the *science*), and speculation on the future.
Not having a book from a Chinese author before, I found it refreshing to follow a story in which everything is seen from a Chinese perspective.
The "big-screen' episodes in the book work well, as the descriptive prose is bright and original.
Helpful notes from the translator add to the enjoyment.

mvkramer Jan 09, 2017

I was very interested in the first few chapters, where Ye Wenjie is being chewed up by the Cultural Revolution. Once it abandoned her storyline for the present, I lost interest completely. There's just too much scientific info-dumping and not enough interesting characters.

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AL_KATYA Oct 17, 2016

A contemplation on the first contact with extraterrestrials. Very imaginative and almost cinematographic. The setting in China of the Cultural Revolution and contemporary China is fresh and exciting. The action unfolds quickly, the characters are interesting . Hard SciFi.


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