The Three-Body Problem

Cixin Liu
The Three-Body Problem Cover

The Three-Body Problem


I liked this book, although for the most part I found the science (physics, math) difficult. And the science was a very important part of this story. I'd heard of many of the concepts but cannot opine on whether their application in the book makes sense. I had no problem accepting them place in the story. What stressed me was the amount of detail given in connection with them!

What I liked about the story was the connection to China's cultural revolution, about which my knowledge is limited. From the articles about the book and interviews with the author that I've read, I understand that it was accurately depicted. And understanding that, I could see the appeal of the Trysolians to Ye Wenjie.

One big theme in the book is Ye Wenjie discovering how to enhance a the transmission strength of a message being sent into space in hopes it will be heard by an intelligent species. Another big theme is the Three-Body Problem massive-multi-player computer game that Wang Miao is encouraged to play, through which individuals are being brought into the fold of those who have been communicating with aliens.

What is never explained is how all the superpowers came together to fight this threat. Also sort of left dangling is the mysterious suicide of multiple scientists because of an emerging belief that science could not be understood - it really had no rules. I don't think the book explains either how that belief was spread or why it drove scientists to commit suicide. Perhaps the answer is that they were killed and it was not suicide, something we do learn happened in at least one instance.

The book has a great twisted ending that is quite delicious! I enjoyed this enought to want to read the next in the series when it is published in English!