The Three-body Problem — My Favorite Chinese Science Fiction
It is glad for me to heard about the publication of The Three-body Problem in America. Because ever since I read it in college, it has been my favorite science fiction about universe and aliens.
We’re following two main characters over two different time periods. The first is Ye Wenjie who witnesses the death of her father, a scientist, during the cultural revolution in China during the 1960s.
The culture revolution makes her desperate about humanity and the society. She believed that the invasion of an advanced alien civilization was the only way to improve the human world. A scientist herself she then gets the chance to participate in a high security project for the government, despite her anti-government attitude.
Our second protagonist is Wang Miao, also a scientist, who lives in modern times and gets involved with a police investigation related to some strange suicides in the scientific community. During the course of the investigation, Wang discovers a mysterious video game called The Three-Body Problem and starts to play it.
The first part of the series is about how Wang find out the secret of Ye and the three-body aliens in the game. The book reads a lot like a thriller and the SF elements are rare, but when they happen they always have significance.
While reading it, reader easily get lost in its parallel narrative of what happens now and what happens in the past. But in the end the book offers you some clues and if you can connect those, you’re going to see what a well constructed piece of art the novel is.
I like this book also because of the brilliant setting of the aliens. The the first part they do not even show themselves so it keeps the mystique about them. While at the same time, their attitude and motivation of invading the earth is super clear. So this book is definately going to give you an entirely different experience about the alien story.
In conclusion, The three-body problem is one of those books that really functions on a meta level and you need to do a little bit of analysis and interpretation to get the full level of enjoyment out of it.