The Three Body Problem - Or why communists bullying astrophysicists might be a bad idea

Absolutego

Middleman who didn't do diddly
True & Honest Fan
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I just finished reading Death's End, the last of the books in Cixin Liu's Remembrance of Earth's Past trilogy (colloquially known as the Three Body trilogy). They're Chinese science fiction books from the mid 2000's, translated into English in the mid 2010's, that is packed to the gills with interesting science fiction concepts, a hostile extraterrestrial species and their quantum AI cronies, the Sophons, amateurish sociology that is nonetheless quite entertaining and characters that are all over the place in terms of quality and personal taste,
Brief, mild spoiler synopses below:

During the Cultural Revolution, Ye Winjie is an astrophysicist who winds up working on a top secret military base studying space to avoid the Red Guard coming after subversives. In the modern day, Wang Miao, a nanotechnology professor, is roped into investigating why prominent scientists the world over are mysteriously dying, and becomes engrossed in a VR game called Three Body.
After humanity becomes aware an alien fleet is heading towards Earth, the planet deals with preparing to fight them when they reach the Solar System in 400 years. The Wallfacer program is created to empower certain humans to strategize in secret on how to defeat the aliens. Luo Ji, a Chinese sociologist, is deputized into being a Wallfacer, much to his chagrin. He then spends the next 1/3 of the book hiding in Sweden, drinking 800 year old wine, and making the UN chase down his real life waifu. Yes, this is where the character writing starts becoming so stupid it's hilarious.
Earth in the future enjoys unprecedented prosperity after Luo Ji negotiated an uneasy armistice b/t humanity and the aliens, until the planet replaces him with Cheng Xin, an aerospace engineer from the present day. Everything then goes tits up.

I left most of the sci-fi revelations vague since that's the real prize from these novels (the concept of a Dark Forest universe especially, pretty haunting to contemplate).
Has anyone else read these? What was your favorite part? What books do you think are similar that I could seek out?
 
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Absolutego

Middleman who didn't do diddly
True & Honest Fan
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Good books, though extremely Chinese. Favorite part was when humans gained access to 4th dimensional space.
That whole sequence and the realization behind it is pretty existentially horrifying.
 

HumanHive

Human behavior is exceptional behavior.
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The Dark Forest hypothesis is interesting, but extremely zero sum. Typical Chinese thinking. How dare any alien race be utterly apathetic towards other species.
 

Absolutego

Middleman who didn't do diddly
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
The Dark Forest hypothesis is interesting, but extremely zero sum. Typical Chinese thinking. How dare any alien race be utterly apathetic towards other species.
Have you read the 3rd book? Apathy is precisely word I'd use to describe the Singer chapter. I will say the level of zero-sum thinking at play reaches ludicrous levels when it turns out civilizations in this universe are willingly/deliberately dropping themselves to a lower number of dimensions if it means they can kill a rival in the process.
 

Furina

Centerfold
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I read Three Body Problem and really enjoyed it, but yes, it is very Chinese in it's thinking. What actually surprised me though, was that the author depicts the Cultural Revolution and Mao's Red Guard and being a huge waste of time and actively harmful to the betterment of the Chinese people. I wouldn't have thought such a high-profile book with such pointed criticisms of China's past would be allowed to go uncensored and certainly not translated and shared around the world.
 

Justtocheck

Premature ejaculator
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I don't know much about Chiniese way of thinking. What does it mean that it's very Chiniese? By zero-sum, does it mean that Chiniese believe that you cannot succeed unless you are fucking someone over?
 

marco.xing

troon witch scammer
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I don't know much about Chiniese way of thinking. What does it mean that it's very Chiniese? By zero-sum, does it mean that Chiniese believe that you cannot succeed unless you are fucking someone over?
All of the characters have standard Mandarin Chinese names - if you don't have some familiarity with Mandarin it might be hard to read. Also it references a ton of Chinese culture and history. Also very in line with the modern CPC's "Communism overall good, but Cultural Revolution Bad" theme. Finishing Book 1 and it's pretty damn good tho.

The twists so far are really rewarding lol
 
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