The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu

Brian G Turner

Fantasist & Futurist
Staff member
Supporter
Joined
Nov 23, 2002
Messages
26,465
Location
UK
I know this award-winning book has been mentioned quite a few times on chrons, but doesn't seem to have it's own thread...

In the meantime, I've just noticed it's available to borrow for free from the Kindle lending library, for Amazon Prime and Kindle Unlimited customers. Not sure how long that's been the case, but it's going to be my next borrow. :)

The Three-Body Problem eBook: Cixin Liu, Ken Liu: Amazon.co.uk: Kindle Store
 
borrow for free from the Kindle lending library, for Amazon Prime and Kindle Unlimited customers.
No, cost is included in your subscription*. Saying it's free is like saying a program on Sky One is free.

I thought there was a thread on this intriguing book?

[*At least i hope its not subsidised by ordinary Amazon Customers]
 
It is terrific. Really very interesting and readable. The sequel is equally good.
 
I personally found the character development in these books to be unusual and interesting.
 
I personally found the character development in these books to be unusual and interesting.

I found there to be little depth to the characters with limited exposition to draw me in. Thoughts were stated but not explored; emotions were explained but not felt and drawing me in. By about 1/3 through it all felt very flat to me.
 
I just finished the Three-Body Problem and am going to read the next one. The science and the characterization both interest me, and the Chinese history offers a refreshing lens to view the politics and social conflicts. As I read the first book, I kept formulating explanations for the scientific mysteries, a level of engagement I enjoy, so the book satisfied me in that way, too. And the translation! All I can say is, I never once felt I was reading a translation. Impressive.
 
I read it. It was somewhat interesting but I won't follow the series.

psik
 
Out of the blue, somebody who used to work at the same place where I work left copes of The Three-Body Problem and The Dark Forest for me.

Those of you who have read them:

Do they work as stand alone novels, or is it necessary to consider them as one long work?

How necessary will it be to read them together with the third volume (Death's End)?
 
I've read the first and am now reading the second and I'd say they are not stand alone. The first finishes on a bit of a cliff hangar. It satisfactorily finishes the issues of that book but the story is a very long way from being complete. I'd assume that the same is true for the third volume.
 
The first book stands on its own. I wouldnt recommed 2 or 3 without having read the first. Having said that, the author really cranks up a gear in 2,3 in terms of ideas and plot twists. This is high class, very interesting sf.
 
Out of the blue, somebody who used to work at the same place where I work left copes of The Three-Body Problem and The Dark Forest for me.

Those of you who have read them:

Do they work as stand alone novels, or is it necessary to consider them as one long work?

How necessary will it be to read them together with the third volume (Death's End)?
Honestly, I do think they could be read out of order because they do not overlap that heavily. It is all one big story, but three very different aspects examined in different ways.

They are brilliant books, odd in many ways and full of a very different Chinese perspective.
 
I'd agree with Jo Zebedee's comments above about The Three Body Problem, the characterisation often felt very flat to me. I thought Ye Wenjie got the best character development, I thought the book did a good job of showing how her experiences during the Cultural Revolution may explain some of the things she does. Unfortunately, the majority of the story was told from Wang Miao's perspective and he didn't seem to have much in the way of personality or character development.

It felt very much like a Chinese version of a 'Golden Age SF' story with both the good (fascinating SF ideas) and bad (weak characterisation) aspects that a lot of mid-20th Century SF had.
 
I'd agree with Jo Zebedee's comments above about The Three Body Problem, the characterisation often felt very flat to me. I thought Ye Wenjie got the best character development, I thought the book did a good job of showing how her experiences during the Cultural Revolution may explain some of the things she does. Unfortunately, the majority of the story was told from Wang Miao's perspective and he didn't seem to have much in the way of personality or character development.
That is a fair criticism of an English language work, which the translation certainly is. But I think that there is a cultural component to the way it is written that has to be accepted as something other than a flaw. There is a lot of richness there that just isn't Western.
 
I read Dark Forest first - didn't realise it was a sequel ( bloody annoying cos nothing on the front or back blurbs of the paperback I bought suggested it was a sequel!). I would say I was a good third of the way through it and getting more and more confused by characters and situations appearing in the tale without any backstory as to who they were etc. I went online and found it was the second volume after Three Body Problem. I decided to shelve the book unfinished until I got 3 body and read that first. Several times since then I've had the opportunity to get 3 body very cheap or free but an inward snarl at how the publisher duped me always pops up. Will prob end up sticking Dark Forest into one of my charity shop donations and stubborn it out forever. Grrrrrr
 
I read Dark Forest first - didn't realise it was a sequel ( bloody annoying cos nothing on the front or back blurbs of the paperback I bought suggested it was a sequel!). I would say I was a good third of the way through it and getting more and more confused by characters and situations appearing in the tale without any backstory as to who they were etc. I went online and found it was the second volume after Three Body Problem. I decided to shelve the book unfinished until I got 3 body and read that first. Several times since then I've had the opportunity to get 3 body very cheap or free but an inward snarl at how the publisher duped me always pops up. Will prob end up sticking Dark Forest into one of my charity shop donations and stubborn it out forever. Grrrrrr
Those are all excellent reasons to not read and enjoy an excellent fiction trilogy. You show 'em!


(Plus, the first two books share very few characters, so reading the first probably won't help you.)
 

Similar threads


Back
Top