Review of Cixin Liu’s “The Three-Body Problem” translated by Ken Liu

A couple of weeks ago I decided I needed to take a break from working on my own stories and read someone elses.  As I walked down the aisles at Indigo’s in Cambridge (Canada) I came across an interesting title called “The Three-Body Problem” in the science fiction section.

This is a Hugo winning story for best science fiction originally written in Chinese and later translated into English and German.

After years of reading science, fantasy, and historical fiction along with other genres I didn’t think I could find something completely original to read.  Cixin Liu’s book caught my attention and held it until the end.  I’m not an astophycisist, nor an engineer, nor a mathematician so I am grateful he does an amazing job of explaining the sophisticated scientific concepts that run throughout the book.  There is also the fascinating matter of taking me on a journey through Chinese history and way of thinking.

Ken Liu sums up the book for those of us brought up in the West in the postscript of the book:  “The English words are arranged in such a way that the reader sees a glimpse of another culture’s pattern of thinking, hears an echo of another language’s rhythms and cadences, and feels a tremor of another people’s gestures and movements.”

A marvel of a story to read outdoors, or inside across from a  large bay window, where you can glance up at the stars.


Liu Cixin:

Ken Liu