The Three-Body Problem

English language

Published April 18, 2021 by Head of Zeus, Head of Zeus -- an AdAstra Book.

ISBN:
978-1-80024-917-2
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4 stars (170 reviews)

Cixin Liu's trilogy-opening novel about first contact with aliens and the clandestine struggle with them over Earth's future, and its scientific progress in particular.

7 editions

reviewed The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu

Verisimilitude is the word

4 stars

Kinda dry, but quite enjoyable. I felt there were some plot holes that weren't adequately explained.

Other than those two things, I really enjoyed it. Aliens, scientists, intrigue, and, of course, the swearing cop/everyman. The prose certainly painted pictures in my mind.

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

3 stars

Content warning Discusses elements of the plot

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

2 stars

I am a novice when it comes to science fiction, so maybe that is why I was disappointed with this book. I tried to push myself to finish this book, but at some point, I decided not to waste my time anymore. The characters were shallow and stereotypical, the plot structure was somewhat predictable but these things can be forgiven if the science is deep and thought-provoking. Unfortunately, after reading some utter nonsense written in this book about nanotechnology and noticing other instances of inaccurate science, I gave up. It looks like the author is genuinely excited about the possibilities of various fields of science but is not patient enough to probe the science deeply to fish out fantastic possibilities. I read this book won the Hugo award. Does that mean the other books that year were even worse than this one? I truly believe that science fiction can accomplish …

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

4 stars

In my experience, this is a unique book. Aside from ancient Chinese religious writings, I have essentially no experience reading Chinese authors. I found this novel, interesting, unique, complex and engaging. It offers both a unique style and perspective (Weltanschauung). FWIW, I plan to complete much of this series during this Covid-19 season.

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

5 stars

SPOILERS THO

The three-body problem in physics states that although it is trivial to model the path of two bodies (e.g. binary stars) revolving around each other, it is currently impossible to create a model that can accurately predict the future positions of three bodies around each other, as minute instabilities add up over time to create a chaotic system. This book postulates that the nearest star to the earth, Alpha Centauri, as a ternary star system, is such a chaotic system; despite its unpredictability, a race of sentient species have evolved to sentience on an immensely inhospitable planet. When they learn of the existence of Earth, and realize it is in a stable solar system with a relatively mild climate, what would such a civilization do?

The book reminds me of Carl Sagan's "Contact" (well, the movie; I haven't read the book) but goes beyond the touchy-feely aspects of …

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

2 stars

I didn't think this book was very good. Maybe it's better in the original Chinese.

There are some interesting ideas, but they have the narrative urgency of a PowerPoint slide. The characters are cardboard. I wasn't sure if it's the Chinese style I'm not used to or the translation, but all the dialogue feels stilted. There's no character development except (maybe) for Ye Wenjie, who's actions remain completely unbelievable.

The parts about the cultural revolution were interesting.

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

3 stars

Quite a lot of material in this book and a lot of it was foreign for a foreigner.The Cultural revolution and the potential psychological damage that could do to those who lived through it or fought on each side was intense. As the book planed out the character development of the main parties was thorough enough to understand. The science was well spoken even if I can't verify the validity of it, it felt right. Thank goodness for all the footnotes or I'd never have pieced together all the Chinese references.

A little bit of a challenge but a good amount of enjoyment reading this. The author has a good pulse on some of the psychosis of human nature. I have some qualms with how the Trisolorans are portrayed but a re-read might make me feel different. It's a lot to wrap your head around what an alien culture might …

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Subjects

  • Fiction, science fiction, general