Three-Body Problem

English language

Published April 19, 2021 by Head of Zeus, Head of Zeus -- an AdAstra Book.

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4 stars (17 reviews)

The Three-Body Problem (Chinese: 三体; lit. 'Three-Body'; pinyin: sān tǐ) is a science fiction novel by the Chinese writer Liu Cixin. The title refers to the three-body problem in orbital mechanics. It is the first novel of the Remembrance of Earth's Past (Chinese: 地球往事) trilogy, but Chinese readers generally call the whole series The Three-Body Problem. The trilogy's second and third novels are The Dark Forest and Death's End. The Three-Body Problem was serialized in Science Fiction World in 2006 and published as a book in 2008. It became one of the most popular science fiction novels in China. It received the Chinese Science Fiction Yinhe ("Galaxy") Award in 2006. A Chinese film adaptation of the same name was in production by 2015, but halted soon after. The English translation by Ken Liu was published by Tor Books in 2014. Thereafter, it became the first Asian novel ever to win …

13 editions

Review of 'Three-Body Problem' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

Content warning Discusses elements of the plot

Not just bizarrely nihilistic and cynical, but also pro-authoritarian propaganda

1 star

Content warning This book is intensely political.

Science Fiction

5 stars

Spannend aufgebaut mit verschiedenen Handlungssträngen, die sich irgendwann zusammenfügen. Technische / physikalische Grundprinzipien auch für mich als Laien verständlich dargestellt. Und die Frage nach dem "First Contact" mit all ihren Implikationen wurde toll beackert. Zusätzlich erfährt von noch etwas über die jüngere chinesische Geschichte.

Good, but watch out - sets up trilogy

5 stars

The first few chapters had me darting to and from Wikipedia to help add some context to a story that is deeply set in the Chinese Cultural Revolution. It',s a triviality to call the story complex, a mystery than unfolds through the book. Be warned this is the first in a trilogy and a very much sets itself up this way, which was a little frustrating in the last few chapters.

Guter Auftakt der Trilogie

4 stars

Ich hab innerhalb von zwei Tagen "Die Drei Sonnen" von Cixin Liu gelesen. Das hatte ich schon sehr lange auf meiner Liste und erfreulicherweise waren alle drei Bände der Trilogie in der Stadtbücherei vorrätig.

Die knapp 550 Seiten haben sich schnell und angenehm gelesen. Das Meisterwerkgefühl bliebt bei mir jedoch leider aus.

Die Geschichte ist nett, aber jetzt nichts neues, vieles wirkt eher konstruiert und anstatt Entdeckung wird eher präsentiert.

Review of 'El problema de los tres cuerpos' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

Empecé con muchas ganas este ganador del Premio Hugo de 2015. Ciencia ficción "hard", de una cultura un tanto exótica para mí como la china, y con aplauso unánime de la crítica, prometía mucho. Y no es que sea una mala lectura ni mucho menos, pero me ha acabado decepcionando bastante.

Se dice que el autor está muy influido por Asimov, Clarke y similares, y la verdad es que sí: la trama contiene muchos elementos que podían haber sido originales en los años 60, pero que desde luego hoy en día no lo son, al menos en Occidente. El personaje principal es bastante plano; los secundarios, que tenían mimbres para ser interesantes, acaban resultando estereotípicos; el hecho de que la novela acabe en un "continuará" (es el primer libro de una trilogía) no ayuda tampoco a la redondez de la trama.

En otros aspectos donde se ven influencias de otros …

Review of 'Three-Body Problem' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars


The three-body problem in physics states that although it is trivial to model the path of two bodies (e.g. binary stars) revolving around each other, it is currently impossible to create a model that can accurately predict the future positions of three bodies around each other, as minute instabilities add up over time to create a chaotic system. This book postulates that the nearest star to the earth, Alpha Centauri, as a ternary star system, is such a chaotic system; despite its unpredictability, a race of sentient species have evolved to sentience on an immensely inhospitable planet. When they learn of the existence of Earth, and realize it is in a stable solar system with a relatively mild climate, what would such a civilization do?

The book reminds me of Carl Sagan's "Contact" (well, the movie; I haven't read the book) but goes beyond the touchy-feely aspects of …

Review of 'The Three-Body Problem' on 'GoodReads'

5 stars

This was a stunning read. A dense mix of history and science entangled in a science fiction story. I especially liked the insight into the history of China written by a Chinese author. The science part is also very up2date. There are quite a few twists to the story and the characters are quite nuanced. This makes this book an interesting read and a novel in the rather classic sense and easy to read even for non-science addicted readers.


  • Fiction, science fiction, general