The Three-Body Problem by Liu Cixin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
One for the computer nerds right here! The cleverest part: creating an analogue computer… brilliant!
The Three-Body Problem is not, as it sounds, a murder mystery; but in fact a (potential) alien invasion and a physics problem.
The history of the Chinese Cultural Revolution lends a very hard-hitting tone to the story. The hardships created by that part of Chinese history impact upon the decisions made by each of the characters involved, and the way scientific innovation is perceived through this alternate cultural lens.
Spanning a couple of time periods, we learn of the life of two main protagonists, Ye Wenjie in the past from the Red Coast research station, and the potential receipt of a message from outer space; and Wang Miao in the present who seems to have received signals and messages through bizarre means, and becomes involved in the investigation of multiple suicides of various other scientists. Through working with the police, doing research on his own, and stumbling across a video game entitled “3body”, Wang Miao learns of two factions who each have their own plan for the future of the Earth and its inhabitants… i.e. the human race.
Only the first part of 3 (to date), I’m excited to see where this story goes next. It’s an innovative set of ideas, told from a perspective other than the well-established Western voices.
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