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The Three-Body Problem (The Three-Body Problem Series Book 1) Kindle Edition
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Mass Market Paperback
Audio CD, Audiobook, CD, Unabridged
Soon to be a Netflix Original Series!
An NPR Best Book of the Decade
Winner of the Hugo Award for Best Novel
“War of the Worlds for the 21st century.” – Wall Street Journal
The Three-Body Problem is the first chance for English-speaking readers to experience the Hugo Award-winning phenomenon from China's most beloved science fiction author, Liu Cixin.
Set against the backdrop of China's Cultural Revolution, a secret military project sends signals into space to establish contact with aliens. An alien civilization 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. The result is a science fiction masterpiece of enormous scope and vision.
The Three-Body Problem Series
The Three-Body Problem
The Dark Forest
To Hold Up The Sky (forthcoming)
At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
Wildly imaginative, really interesting... The scope of it was immense' -- Barack Obama
'A milestone in Chinese science fiction' ― New York Times
'A marvellous mélange of awe-inspiring scientific concepts, clever plotting and quirky yet plausible characters' ― TLS
'China's answer to Arthur C. Clarke' ― The New Yorker
'Even what doesn't happen is epic' ― London Review of Books
Cixin Liu began his massively ambitious trilogy with this dazzling work of SF... Hard to sum up in a few short lines, but one you read it you'll be doing your best to tell everyone else to follow suit' ― SciFiNow
'This is the first of a trilogy that begins in the Sixties and reaches a shattering climax 18,906,416 years later, by which time the war for Earth has, quite literally, acquired new dimensions' ― The Times
'The most amazing story. You learn so much' ― Daily Mirror. --This text refers to the paperback edition.
About the Author
- ASIN : B00IQO403K
- Publisher : Tor Books (11 November 2014)
- Language : English
- File size : 4295 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 400 pages
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
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Top reviews from Australia
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For those who like to have some real science in their science fiction, Lui gives it to us as he throws a number of really interesting ideas in from left field and the three body gravitational problem is gradually exposed as a central ultimate cause of the danger that Earth is going to face. It the aliens who are directly affected by it and they have decided to take it out on us! As many Chinese would say: Fei chang hao!
I have already pre ordered the next thrilling instalment.
I found this book hard going at times. This is hard SF. There were times when I took a break from the book but I always came back to it.
I am glad I stuck with it because books two and three are more readable and really are hard to put down. So I gave it five stars to encourage anyone else like me to stick with it and enjoy the whole trilogy.
Prepare to laugh, cry, be uplifted and devastated. This series has it all.
Top reviews from other countries
To summarise the book, an eminent scientist is asked to join a global task-force fighting an unknown enemy that is making scientists commit suicide. It turns out the enemy is an alien race, invited to Earth by radical environmentalists (amongst others) despairing of humanity's behaviour.
Perhaps some of the problems are down to the translation - it was apparently done by a friend of the author rather than a professional - and perhaps some are down to the way Chinese novels are written. But in the end you can only review what you read. The major issues? First, the characters are utterly one-dimensional, interchangeable and without any kind of character development. Second, the dialogue is wooden and non-one has any kind of distinct voice. Third, the plot is simply unbelievable. It is just about credible that some humans, seeing their own species as environmentally destructive - might reach out to aliens without finding out what those aliens are actually like. But it is absurd to suggest that highly intelligent scientists around the world would be committing suicide because of strange results in their experiments. It is surely far more likely that most would be intrigued rather than despairing? Fourth, the computer game that the protagonist is drawn into makes no sense whatsoever. It is not a game in any real sense and the claims about its complexity and depth are not match in any way with the actual game as it is described. finally the action scenes are without any kind of suspense or excitement, devoid of interest and realism.
In some ways, this reads like a first draft, something that would then be worked on and revised and edited and worked on some more. Perhaps after that you might end up with something half-decent, that a good editor could knock into some kind of shape. But as it stands it is just strangely bad, in just about every important way.
Like most western readers and film-watchers, I'm very used to aliens always targetting America and the heroes being American - or at a pinch, British - and it felt surprisingly fresh to watch these semi-familiar events unfolding in a Chinese context. I was almost as fascinated at the insight into normal middle class lives in modern China as I was by all the science, science fiction, and history. And I loved the fact that many of the historical, cultural, and literary references were East Asian in origin.
It was the "oooh, a Chinese sci-fi novel, how intriguing," that made me pick this up, but I can't emphasise enough that this book has value far beyond that. The philosophy was thought-provoking and the science was head-spinning. I read a fair amount of sci-fic, but mostly the sort that's heavier on the fiction than on the science, so I'm not sure how clever the physics here was relative to other pieces of hard sci-fi. But with a ten year-old physics A-level, I found I had to concentrate and sometimes got a bit confused, but could follow proceedings.
The plot is really quite slow-burn, and for large swathes of the early and middle sections of the book, there's relatively little action and little really even to make this feel like sci-fi, beyond a few sinister hints and some unexplained mysteries. The first few chapters in particular - set in the Cultural Revolution - are more like historical fiction with a bit of science thrown in. Which is fine by me, as I enjoy that genre too. In the middle, lots of the action occurs via a mysterious virtual reality computer game, aimed at those with expertise in maths, science, philosophy, and history. The world it portrays is disconcerting and it's relevance to the plot in unclear - but ultimately, cleverly resolved. Towards the end, the action picks up, but it's all still focused on earth, humans, and more-or-less realistic science, rather than anything more flamboyant. As an aside, I went straight on to the sequel, where that really isn't the case.
Much as I enjoyed the plot, setting, and ideas, the characters often felt rather thin and two-dimensional, and the conversations between them often felt quite stilted and forced. I'm not sure whether this is due to translation issues, Chinese writing conventions, or the author's own deliberate choice or weakness. At times, it almost threatened to distract me from enjoying the novel, but that was ultimately never the case.
Overall, between the slow pace, the hard science and philosophy and - more negatively - some of the characterisation and dialogue, this isn't always an easy read. But it's ultimately a very worthwhile, interesting, and on balance, enjoyable one, that I'd heavily recommend.
Its just not very well written.From the characters, trough the story and all the way to how the plot is being advanced....its just not very good. The setting is quite interesting, and the idea is decent/good as well, but anything after the game sequences in the book is just....awful, lacking, and poorly written.
Maybe its the translation, but I doubt it. Way too many instances where characters simply explain their entire personality and motivation directly to you, as if the author is breaking the third wall in the most basic way imaginable.
"I always was a lazy boy but was also super intelligent without giving it a second thought but I never could be bothered to apply myself but then I decided to go to the monks where the head monk was super smart too and gave me an epiphany that motivated me to start working on this thing that is super important for the plot and then this woman found my half-burned notes and figured out instantly that I was working on this giga-complex problem and as it turns out this is very important to her as well so she got me out of the buddhist temple and we got marred even though I am practically dead inside and dont care about these things and now she threatened to kill me'
It would've been fine if this was just single occurrence, but at least two other characters are done in the same manner and it is just painfully bad and cringe-worthy.
Don't bother. Hugo award my arse
As the story unfolds the complexity deepens culminating in the bewildering realisation that we have already been infiltrated. The descriptions of the alien technology and capability are truly mind bending and fascinating! Hard Sci-fi encapsulated.
This translation in to English has a postscript by the author where he reveals a little of his personal history and what draws him to the genre. This is a great addition and helps explain some of the socio-political and psychological aspects of the book.
There is also a translator`s postscript. Likewise this is a really good idea for a translated work such as this. I am always a little wary when reading translations and this postscript outlines precisely what I feel and helps to address this issue.