The Three-Body Problem

Book cover of The Three-Body Problem.
Book 1 of the Remembrance of Earth's Past series


The Three-Body Problem was recommended as a exciting, hard-scifi book full of new ideas. I was eager to read it, having just gotten back into fiction. I bought it for my flight from Melbourne to San Francisco and I threw it in the airport trash as I got off the plane.

Or that’s what I wish I had done. Instead, I had 50 pages to go when I landed and I finished it during the ride home, where I threw it in the trash (after trying to give it away for a week).

The premise is promising: physics experiments have stopped working and several prominent scientists have committed suicide. But that promise is not delivered on. The characters are 1-dimensional and unlikable. The Cultural Revolution part feels oddly romanticized. The video-game part is gimmicky. The writing is bad.

I kept reading because I wanted unravel the mystery, but the explanation was anticlimactic: aliens did it with a magic computer.

The Three-Body Problem is the last book I’ll read by Liu Cixin.