Movie Poster for Three Body
Few science fiction books come with a Presidential recommendation. The Three Body Problem did just that, also making it to Mark Zuckerberg's Year of the Books list and earning author Liu Cixin a Hugo award.
I read the Trilogy in January and came away delighted. Three Body delivers on its promise of hard science-fiction at scale and in high resolution. With the limited Physics I have been exposed to, I can scarcely appreciate the skill of the author.
What Liu Cixin has achieved, by embracing and extrapolating from the known constraints of our physical world, is unimaginable. Akin to composing a symphony without string instruments or running a marathon barefoot, by respecting our current theories, the work creates an eerie sense of realism.
The obvious comparison is Asimov's Foundation, which so far had been my favorite Science Fiction series. A material referenced in the Three Body book itself (see if you can pick up on the reference), it combined a celebration of rational thought with the story of civilization in the far future.
I'm still a fan of Foundation and it's study of predictability, long-term strategy and choice of paths, Three Body is firmly in the same category with a slightly different focus. Most notably, it is an "Interstellar", not a "Star Wars" and correlated by construction with our current reality.
It will be a powerful read for those that trust their own thoughts. It is one of those value-altering books that may leave you equally inspired and confused.
I am following up with the Finite and Infinite Games by James Carse to better interpret what I read especially about the themes of purpose and choice.