The Three-Body Problem - Liu Cixin

To effectively contain a civilization’s development and disarm it across such a long span of time, there is only one way: kill its science.

The Three-Body Problem is a Hugo Award winning sci-fi novel by a Chinese author, Liu Cixin, first published in 2008. The story started in 1967, when a physics professor was beaten to death in front of his daughter, Ye Wenjie, during Cultural Revolution in China for advocating science to his students. Trying to endure the pain of losing his father, years later Ye was accidentally involved in a secret government project in the search of extraterrestrial intelligence. This leads to a series of events that will change the course of the planet for the better or worse, involving a string of scientist suicides and a mysterious VR game called Three Body.

This book is exceptional in a lot of ways. The author did an excellent job in incorporating difficult subjects in many scientific fields into his plots, while still delivering on a character-driven story. It's truly extraordinary of how natural the story goes from a certain aspect of science to another, from theory A to theory B. Some explanations are quite a meal to chew, but most of them are relatively easy to swallow. It takes some time to warm up to the story in the beginning, especially if you're not familiar with China's Cultural Revolution, but I guarantee that the book is very much worth the effort.

This book is the first of the series, unfortunately. And it closes with a lot of things unresolved. I feel quite pessimistic of how the story goes on from here because of how spectacular this book is. I'm afraid the author exhausted all the good resources and twists in this first book, but I'm determined to see how the saga continues and ends because it deserves it. What everyone says about this book is true, fortunately. One of the masterworks of modern science-fiction.

The Three-Body Problem
Liu Cixin
First Published
May 2008