Translated from: English
Authors: Liu, Cixin
Translated by: Kondrotas, Saulius Tomas
Published in: Kaunas
Published on: 2020
Publisher: Kitos knygos
The Three-Body Problem is the first book of a three-part science fiction series “Remembrance of Earth’s Past” about human encounters with another civilization and the dilemma of whether it means the salvation or destruction of the Earth.
The novel takes place in China in 1967, during the Cultural Revolution. The book describes the horoble reality of the regime, which destroyed the lives of many, and even killed some. In fact, it is even hard to believe that a book showing the shortcomings of the regime was allowed to be published, knowing what a strong censorship there exists. However, it might not have been the case if the author had not “hidden” those particular scenes in the Chinese version. Although the novel takes place in an anti-science driven environment, Chinese scientists are still able to send signals into space and seek for a connection with extraterrestrial civilizations. One day their signal is caught by an alien race. This race suffers from one threat that plagues their planet – the “three-body problem”. Hence they do not wait too long and decide to go to Earth, but the inhabitants of the planet Trisolaris are not peaceful and are preparing to actually attack Earth.
However, this alien civilization never reaches Earth throughout the entire book. The main idea of the book is to tell how the preparation for the welcoming of the newcomers goes: on Earth, people are divided into two different directions – some are going to fight potential conquerors, while others are preparing to welcome the aliens and help them change the old world with a new one. This anticipation for years becomes somewhat like a cult and turns into a religion, which, like any other religion, is full of fiction, mysticism, conversions, insanity leading to suicide and distortion of the original idea of religion.
In the book, the author is able to combine history, science, philosophy, politics, conspiracy theories, and cosmology, and thus blends reality with fiction, facts with speculation. He raises the question of whether it is possible to prevent the alienation and colonization of aliens, or perhaps this can help change the world and solve many of the problems that plague it. He speaks of still one of the greatest secrets of mankind and makes us think again – aliens might not necessarily come in the distant future: they may never reach us, or we may meet them even tomorrow. However, the author does not describe experiments or communication with aliens in detail – he delves deeper into how all this affects the future of civilization and draws a clear parallel between two distant civilizations – Trisolari’s civilization, although more advanced than humanity, is just a reflection of our planet in the near future, because for the ideals of the nation, forgetting personal happiness, becomes the destruction of both civilizations.
Liu Cixin is the most popular author of Chinese science fiction, the first Chinese person to win the prestigious Hugo Award, born in 1963. The writer has won the Chinese Science Fiction Galaxy Award nine times, and the “The Three-Body Problem” has also been nominated for the Nebula, Locus, and Prometheus Awards. This book by Liu Cixin has been translated into more than 20 languages worldwide, sold more than 8 million copies worldwide chosen Facebook’s Book Year by Mark Zuckerberg.