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The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu

The Three-Body Problem

by Cixin Liu

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1,6741114,276 (3.73)148
  1. 11
    Anathem by Neal Stephenson (storyjunkie)
    storyjunkie: There are stylistic and societal-implications similarities between the English translation of The Three-Body Problem and Anathem, despite being of very different worlds, and deep into different scientific areas.

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English (105)  Catalan (2)  Dutch (1)  Spanish (1)  French (1)  All (110)
Showing 1-5 of 105 (next | show all)
Interesting but rather outlandish concepts. The characters had the depth of cardboard cutouts, except for the main character, who had all the depth of a particle folded into one dimension. ( )
  Ashles | Aug 10, 2017 |
An engineer is asked by police to infiltrate a secret group involved in a mysterious game called Three Body as a result of a number of apparent suicides by some players. The game simulates life on a planet with three suns. Civilisation is disrupted on the planet many times as a result of the unpredictable motion of the suns. The players try to predict the motion of the suns without success. The game is an analogue for life on a real planet with three suns. One minor point, given that there are 3 suns and a planet, this is actually a case of a 4 body problem. But the problem is no less intractable. Numerical analysis is used to solve similar problems in astrophysics. The story develops into a struggle between different factions of those following the aliens. The police and military are also trying to unravel the deaths and the motives of those playing the game. The ending is a bit of a let-down as it sets the story up for the sequels. I give this story 3.5 stars out of 5.

Hints at the end of Part 2 suggest that the Trisolaran system is actually the Alpha Centauri system. In 2016, an Earth-sized exoplanet was discovered in the habitable zone around Alpha Centauri C, also known as Proxima Centauri. ( )
  Bruce_McNair | Jul 30, 2017 |
If you are thinking there's going to be aliens in this book, well, there aren't. We only see the alien perspective in the last 60 pages.

If you are thinking the "Three Body Problem" pertains to gender or sex. You'd be wrong. This book is about as sexist as you can get. Women constantly being murdered. You constantly see the text saying "She shouldn't be in this field" all the time.
What is the "Three Body Problem"? A math equation about three 'bodies' in orbit around each other.

The only one living is Ye Wenjie and she's not on the good side. Everything is male and default male. Even the Trisolarians.
The rest of the book? It's a pure slog fest. Nothing really happens for a good 50 pages of book and this is a big book.

This also isn't a book for regular people. This is a book for astrophysicists and even then they might face palm at some of the bullshit science going on in here to make science magic happen. You are constantly bombarded by science lecture at every turn. Add to that the fact the author likes to expound upon EVERYTHING, unfolding a proton? We have to describe how two other attempts fail before we get to it actually unfolding.

The "game" in this book isn't even a game, it's something like a VR MUSH (Multi User Shared Hallucination (appropriate for this)).
Really I have no idea why this book won so many awards other than a bunch of science bros stuffed the voting box.

This book is boring and long and there are no real aliens. It's a [b:The Forge of God|64732|The Forge of God|Greg Bear|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1388465357s/64732.jpg|2235106] which is another book that's long and boring with no real aliens.
It also doesn't help the Ken Liu has a very rigid style to his works where as Cixin Liu I've read has a more flowing style. Still nothing could save this bore of a book. ( )
2 vote Maverynthia | Jul 27, 2017 |
This left me anxious to pick up the next book in the series. Definitely one of the best I've read this year, period, and one of the best my book club has selected, ever. Sadly, I'll miss discussion for it, but I think it raises issues that would generate good discussion. ( )
  lorannen | Jul 25, 2017 |
Meh. I had to force myself to stay with this one, until the final quarter or so, which is the point when the various plot points and themes meet up and the plot becomes interesting. Incidentally, it’s only then that you find out what kind of story this is: it is a first contact story. I can’t decide if that is a good thing (measured buildup) or a bad thing (sudden genre shift).

Overall, I felt this novel suffered a little from two serious defects. One is that there is too much telling instead of showing. The other is a certain monotony: the various plotlines, flashbacks and game worlds felt a tad too separate to me (they come together only towards the very end), but their respective main characters and/or focalizers are not different enough as characters to make the various lines feel all that different. The result is a sense of tedium.

In fact, the main characters themselves are a good example of why this book didn’t do it for me: they all felt pretty much like the same person -- observant, reticent and cautious science geniuses who, we are repeatedly told, are exceptionally brilliant / good at what they do, but who are seldom actually shown to be so. Instead, they wander around their plotline, listening to exposition and reacting to what happens to them, until they make one plot-impacting decision. There’s very little in the way of actual characterization to differentiate these almost-but-not-quite characters. And that, writ large, made me feel pretty meh about the book as a whole.

I don’t think I’ll be reading the other books in this trilogy. This first instalment gained some real momentum towards the end, and introduced a couple of neat ideas that really appealed to me, but I don’t think I feel up to the slog. ( )
  Petroglyph | Jul 14, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 105 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Cixin Liuprimary authorall editionscalculated
Hasse, MartinaPrefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Liu, KenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Martiniere, StephanCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Average: (3.73)
1 11
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