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The Dark Forest by Cixin Liu

The Dark Forest

by Cixin Liu

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Remembrance of Earth's Past (2)

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Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
Such a disappointment. I can't tell if it's the translation or the story itself, but there is something that is just NQR about this book. ( )
  Fergster73 | Aug 15, 2017 |
This is the second volume of The Three Body Problem trilogy. At the end of the first volume, the Trisolarians have left on their 400 year journey across space to conquer Earth. They have stopped technological advances on Earth, and are able to spy on every action taken on Earth to prepare its defenses. This second volume relates the events of Earth's attempts to prepare its defense against the Trisolarians, as well as the initial forays of Trisolarian probes into our solar system.

Since the only advantage humans have over Trisolarians is that they cannot read our minds, the primary defensive tactic taken on Earth is to select 4 brilliant people as "Wallfacers." The 4 Wallfacers are each charged with devising and preparing a strategy for the defeat of the Trisolarians, all the while concealing the plan from everyone else and the Trisolarians, using deceit and evasive tactics as necessary. Three of the chosen Wallfacers are well-known scientists/intellectuals. The fourth, however, is Luo Ji, an unknown Chinese astronomer. The only thing that is known about him is that he is the one person on Earth the Trisolarians want dead above all others. Over the next couple of hundred years, the plans of the three other Wallfacers are exposed (by individuals working for the Trisolarians known as "Wallbreakers") and fail. An advance probe by the Trisolarians destroys most of the Earth's fleet. It is then left to Luo Ji--will he be able to come up with a plan to save the Earth?

When I first finished this volume, I had decided I wasn't going to read the final volume of the trilogy. The story seemed to be becoming focused on space battles and military techniques, which I don't usually care for. However, I have since read several reviews highly laudatory of the final volume, and how it ties everything together, so I will probably finish the series. Recommended for space science fiction fans only.

3 stars ( )
  arubabookwoman | Jul 14, 2017 |
It took me longer to get into this book than it did the first Remembrance of Earth's Past novel-- no character here was ever as arresting as Ye Wenjie in The Three-Body Problem. What really carries you through the first two-thirds or so are the ideas: how would Earth react to an inevitable alien invasion centuries in the future, especially if Earth has entered a period of technological stagnation thanks to alien intervention, and if the aliens can monitor almost all electronic communications? The book answers these questions in a variety of ways, most of them interesting: I liked, for example, the Wallfacer Project, where certain men are granted the power to do anything necessary for Earth's defense, without explanation.

As one of them (Luo Ji, an astronomer and sociologist who seems to know very little about either astronomy or sociology) finds out, this can be a curse and a blessing. You can't not be a Wallfacer (because people will assume everything you do is part of the plan, including saying you have no plan) but you can also do whatever you want (because people will assume everything you do is part of the plan, though eventually they will get suspicious if you just buy a lot of fine wine). The social implications about how to plan a mass evacuation and such are also pretty interesting, and the various Wallfacer plans for Earth defense pretty epic. Unfortunately, Luo Ji isn't a great character, and outside of him, there are so many other characters that I struggled to keep track of them all. There's especially this weird, long subplot about a really weird romance Luo Ji has that had some pretty questionable aspects.

The last third of the novel, which jumps ahead two centuries (several main characters use suspended animation) really picks up, especially once the first alien probe arrives, and I found myself engrossed once more. There are multiple events that made perfect sense that I did not see coming, and the idea of the "dark forest" and the way it is used by Luo Ji is pretty interesting and clever. Not as good as The Three-Body Problem, but it contains the scientific and social inventiveness of the best epic hard sf.
  Stevil2001 | Jul 14, 2017 |
The thought process on developing this book and the other two books in the series is just so detailed and amazing. ( )
  capiam1234 | Jun 14, 2017 |
Volume two in the Trilogy of the “Three Body Problem” again dazzles with its array of science and fiction. The translation highlights the Chinese character of the players and is more fluid than in volume one. Dr. Luo Ji, the last of the Wallfacers comes out of 200 years of hibernation and is challenged to seek a solution to an impeding Doomsday destruction by the Trisolarians. Earth’s defensive fleet is all but demolished. The excitement and desperation builds, as Luo Ji appears to take his own sweet time to resolve the crisis much to the consternation of those around him. In the end his strategy works, not withstanding the superior intelligence and firepower of the Aliens and he is able to deter the final conflagration. This is a challenging read but massive in its scientific outreach and imagination. ( )
  mcdenis | Mar 22, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Cixin Liuprimary authorall editionscalculated
Martiniere, StephanCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Martinsen, JoelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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