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The Three-Body Problem Hardcover – Nov 11 2014

4.6 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books (Nov. 11 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765377063
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765377067
  • Product Dimensions: 16.1 x 3.3 x 24.2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 721 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #7,619 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

Review

“Remarkable, revelatory and not to be missed.” ―Kirkus Reviews, starred review

About the Author

CIXIN LIU is the most prolific and popular science fiction writer in the People's Republic of China. Liu is an eight-time winner of the Galaxy Award (the Chinese Hugo) and a winner of the Nebula Award. Prior to becoming a writer, he worked as an engineer in a power plant in Yangquan, Shanxi.

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.


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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
You read the description for The Three-Body Problem and you think that what you’re going to be getting is a standard alien invasion story where the only thing to set it apart from so many others is that it happens to take place in China. If you go into this book with that preconception, then prepare to have your mind blown by an outstanding intelligent story of discovery and humanity that goes far beyond any justice I can do it here. But nevertheless, I’ll give it my best shot and try to review this book properly.

The story starts in the past, with China in turmoil as society shifts and old ways are discarded in favour of revolution. Ye Wenjie has lost so much: her family, her home, and eventually, her freedom. But the circumstances that follow these losses, combined with her intelligence and education, place her in a prime position to influence the future of humanity, as well as become privy to secrets from far beyond the reaches of our world. Decades later, Wang Miao stumbles across bits and pieces of a scientific conspiracy that leads him slowly down the same road, and to a video game known as Three-Body, ostensibly set in a fantasy world with real-world historical elements thrown in for flavour, in which time runs in unpredictable Chaotic Periods and Stable Periods and discovering the secret behind them is the key to the survival of an entire civilization.

There’s so much to this novel that you very quickly realise that it’s not just going to be a quick read. It deserves taking time on, and it brings up plenty of thought-provoking concepts in science and philosophy that are explained in ways that don’t require years of field training to understand.
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Format: Hardcover
The first thing I loved about The Three-Body Problem was that it qualifies as hard science-fiction. Too often nowadays, a story is considered science-fiction only because it features some spaceships or artificial intelligence, or is simply set in the future. It doesn't happen often that a book gives a mere thought about science. The Three-Body Problem does: it's in the title. The three-body problem refers to the impossibility to predict the motion of three bodies in space, based on their respective gravitational attraction. To put it simply, if three celestial bodies are revolving around each other in a system, we can't predict their trajectory at any point in time because it's close to random.
In the book, this mystery is translated into an online virtual reality game called Three-Body: the player is sent on a planet with the most extreme and fastest climate change, compromising the survival of its inhabitants. Fortunately, life has adapted to those recurring disasters and, given time, always blooms again. The goal of the game is to find a pattern in the climate changes and offer a reliable way to predict them. Of course, it has something to do with the three-body problem. I really loved how the book turned into a scientific investigation... and had me search Wikipedia to broaden my (meagre) knowledge of physics.

But The Three-Body Problem is not a dry speculation about physics: it's also a reflection about the consequence of China's cultural revolution (the cultural revolution is, in a nutshell, the violent repression and social purge that followed the establishment of the first communist government in China). We meet Ye Wenjie, a university student and daughter of a teacher who was accused of being a reactionary, on the account that he was teaching Western science.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Hard Science Fiction writers are becoming an endangered species. Narratives of Hard Science Fiction go beyond escapist entertainment; they examine the underpinnings of the natural world. In short, they remind us what's possible today and tomorrow. All those wonderful gadgets that we take for granted would never exist without months and years of trial & error undertaken by scientists and engineers. If we are to survive the 21st-century, we must grow up and take heed of the world around us.

Cixin Lui is a master of Hard Science Fiction. "The Three-Body Problem" is an imaginative quest for universal truths. His characters are vivid and memorable. His stage is galactic in scope. I don't believe the phenomenon of computation has ever been described so well and so easily accessible for non-scientists. But computers occupy a minor part of the narrative. Humans play the lead role as they quest for truth and survival. Should humans yield to alien race with advanced technologies? Can humans save themselves and their planet from utter destruction? Read on... You won't regret it.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
So much of sf comes from our western perspective. It was really refreshing to read a deeply intelligent sf novel which starts and finishes without one American hero.

This story pushes both your intellect and your conscience. As an environmentally conscious person I too have wondered if the planet wouldn't be better off without us humans. Read this and wonder again.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought the first and the second from Amazon.ca. The best SF masterpiece! Read it and you will see far more distant time space. Endless curiosity enlightened! Greatest SF book! Hugo award 2015! Thanks, Cixin Liu!
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