The Three-Body Problem (Remembrance of Earth’s Past, #1)
by Liu Cixin (translated by Ken Liu)
Published: Nov 2014 (first published 2007)
THIS is the hard sci fi I’ve been craving: chock full of physics thought-experiments, tedious descriptions of nanoparticle research and multi-dimensional folding, with a hefty dose of cult environmentalism. Plus it’s written and set in China — starting with the Cultural Revolution and spanning the decades leading up to present day– so there’s also heavy focus on the persecution of scientists and intellectuals by the Communist Party. So if you enjoy your dystopian fiction a little too real, look no further.
As a literary work it’s not entirely consistent – there are some gloriously crafted passages with a fair share of dry, struggle-to-get-through moments. But I’m leaving the 5 star rating on Goodreads for the incredible ingenuity packed into the story. There’s a lot to unpack here and I felt it all pulled together quite nicely. Though for anyone interested in checking it out, a warning: definitely did myself a disservice listening to this over audiobook. On top of it being a bit more difficult to distinguish between names, there were so many times I wanted to go back and reread an especially technical passage or process described in a previous chapter with absolutely no idea how to scroll back and find it. Will definitely be adding this to my library as a hardcopy.