(5 / 5) – It Completes Me!
This book was an absolute ride! Cixin Liu’s award winning “The Three Body Problem” has recently been translated into English and I am so glad because it was a winding, twisting, other worldly science fiction story that lingers in the subconscious.
In recent years I have been reading a great deal more fantasy than science fiction and when this reality struck me, I dived into a science fiction novel, deciding on “The Three Body Problem.” This title had come up in a couple different places as a “must read” and after reading it, I must agree, at least for the science fiction lovers out there. Liu is a master writer who weaves and twists history, hard science and math into human lives, relationships and psychology. The journey Liu takes his readers on is intriguing and thought provoking leaving questions and circumstances rolling around in their minds for days and weeks.
I love everything about this book but as much as I love it, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it as an entry book into science fiction, nor to everyone who even reads science fiction. There is a lot of math and science descriptions and explanations in this novel. I will be honest, I do not understand half of what Liu is describing but over the years of reading such books, I have come to realize if the writing is good enough I can hold the science and math loosely and eventually it will all come together and make some semblance of sense. Liu did not disappoint. It brought his story home beautifully.
The pace is also a great deal slower than many western readers might be expecting. I found this intriguing and even though it took me until about two-thirds of the way through the book to start putting the pieces together (more me than the narrative), I LOVED it! It seriously has seeped into my brain and weeks later I am thinking about some of the moments in this book from both a human and science point-of-view. As much math and science, historical and modern, is incorporated, this is still a story of humanity and our various commitments to survival. It is a beautiful thought experiment of how humanity would respond in all our various ways to first contact and the ensuing consequences.
If you love a good brain teaser science fiction novel, this is the one for you, but it certainly isn’t for everyone.