The Three-body Problem

The Three-body Problem

Book - 2014
Average Rating:
Rate this:
With the scope of Dune and the commercial action of Independence Day, this near-future trilogy is the first chance for English-speaking readers to experience this multple-award-winning phenemonenon from China's most beloved science fiction author. Set against the backdrop of China's Cultural Revolution, a secret military project sends signals into space to establish contact with aliens. An alien civilization on the brink of destruction captures the signal and plans to invade Earth. Meanwhile, on Earth, different camps start forming, planning to either welcome the superior beings and help them take over a world seen as corrupt, or to fight against the invasion. The result is a science fiction masterpiece of enormous scope and vision.
Publisher: New York : Tor, 2014.
Edition: First U. S. edition
ISBN: 9780765377067
Branch Call Number: F
Characteristics: 399 pages ; 24 cm
Additional Contributors: Liu, Ken 1976-- Translator
Alternative Title: 3-body problem


From Library Staff

With the scope of Dune and the commercial action of Independence Day, this near-future trilogy is the first chance for English-speaking readers to experience this multple-award-winning phenemonenon from China's most beloved science fiction author. Set against the backdrop of China's Cultural Revo... Read More »

From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Oct 10, 2019

I can see why this author is considered one the best science fiction writers in China - I consider his work right up there with the best English writers such as Herbert, Clark, Hienline, etc. Not only is this book an exciting story, but it also provides great insight into China's history and culture, while ate the same time leaving you comfortable with the surroundings in the world. His knowledge of scintific developments in America is impressive. .

President Obama recommended this, Three Body trilogy. I do not know of any other president, or former president, who has recommended a science fiction book.

Sep 20, 2019

From: Michael R. Brown, Editor/Chief of Ghettostone Publications Company and
leader of "The BEST SELLERS BOOK CLUB" reviews "The Three Body Problem"
by Cixin Liu...

What a ride...! Part one of a three part series. A real science fiction mind melting.
"The Three Body Problem" lived up to it's name as my mind was divided into three
parts, one visual, one mathematical, and one high tech futuristic...! I just now came
down from this adventure story.

"Impressive..! In the not to distant future Earth is divided other whether humans
should control the future of human beings, or whether extraterrestrials from a distant
solar system should get involved in steering the Earth ship away from mankind's
certain and eventual end!

Author Cixin Liu breaks new ground in America's translation of this Chinese
classic tale by introducing the reader to historic events from the 1970's, Cultural
Revolution to the Apollo Moon Missions to today's political turmoils with global warming...ect! When an ex-politico astrological physics receives a message from
"them" intelligent life in our galaxy...!

When weird multi-dimensional annomally begin impacting Earth's notable
scientists extraordinary detecting brings the loose ends together in this elegant
forecast into human nature unravels conventional thinking and defies belief.
There are moments when the reader must "go with the flow" and except that
there will be understanding in the end, so please "hang tough" good things are
ahead... as "Three Body" is no longer in Kansas anymore...! No spoilers today
folks- Like me you must "Trust The Process" and I know enjoyment will be the
outcome in the end!

Best Seller's Book Club- members wish to thank all of our many, many
followers who follow us now on facebook and give their all to enlightenment.
Thank you Life Long Learners...!

We all highly recommend this title to all of our book lovers across American!
Enjoy "The Three Body Problem" by author Cixin Liu and stay tune for
part two "The Dark Forest"...!

Thank you for your time and attention,

Michael R. Brown, Editor/Chief
Ghettostone Publications Company

please like us @ghettostone/ facebook

LPL_IanS Aug 28, 2019

One woman’s experiences in the Chinese Cultural Revolution come back to haunt humanity in this dense, critically acclaimed first contact novel. Things get pretty technical, and some characters speak purely in exposition, but there’s enough mystery and big ideas here to keep a reader fully engaged throughout its 400 pages.

Read if you like: big concept sci fi and a gripping story

Aug 07, 2019

NOT an easy read. NOT a quick read. Requires more math, RPG, physics, astronomy, and religious knowledge than I have. It helps that I know about the Cultural Revolution and have taught at a Chinese University and talked with professors who were "educated" during the Revolution. Overall, worth the effort to read.

Jul 30, 2019

I've been getting more and more into hard sci-fi and really enjoyed the book. I must say that the descriptions and reviews I see of the book on the internet tend to give a lot about the plot away . I would recommend just grabbing it and reading it if you think you like hard sci-fi. Don’t think I would recommend it to many people unless you're into technical descriptions and many pages about physics. As someone who isn’t very STEM inclined I was able to make it through but I can see someone putting it down. Asks existential questions which the best sci-fi always does and made me think about the Cultural Revolution which I haven’t before!

Jul 24, 2019

This Hugo award winning book (first in a trilogy) is a work of traditional “hard” science fiction based on solid science and speculative technology. Richly imaginative and detailed, it explores so many ideas: disaffection with humanity’s destructive behaviour, alien civilization shaped by complex planetary motion, manipulation of higher dimensions to shrink complex AI technology, use of video games for a purpose other than entertainment. A powerful opening scene during China's Cultural Revolution sets the story’s trajectory in motion; its impact will determine the future of humanity.

IndyPL_SteveB Jun 19, 2019

This is the first of an SF trilogy which is considered a modern Chinese classic. The English translation won the Hugo Award for Best Novel. You’ve probably never read anything like it. This novel is fascinating but written a bit stiffly. The sequels are even better, with the series as a whole challenging us on our place in the universe.

In 1967, during the Chinese Cultural Revolution, a young dissident physics student is sent to work in an unusual radar outpost to listen for messages from intelligent non-human civilizations. Her decisions are the first step in turning humanity upside down. 40 years later, we follow Wang Miao, another physicist. He has gotten curious about a new computer videogame called “The Three-Body Problem”, which asks users to solve problems of a civilization on a planet which has unpredictable and destructive climate variations. The game is very difficult and some serious science background is required.

Of course these two stories are connected. Are aliens preparing an invasion or does the government just want people to think so, so it can assert more control? What mysterious company has designed the computer game and how is it connected? What is “our side” (as humans and as Chinese citizens) and who is really on it? It’s not easy, but if you are looking for something very different in SF, a novel that will challenge your intellect and also slowly draw you in to an unexpected reality, you will want to try this series.

Mar 07, 2019

The limits of scientific exploration, and a terrifying first contact narrative, now in a solid English translation from the superlative writer of Chinese speculative fiction. The translation needs a lot of footnoting to keep Western writers apprised of cultural references, but the story proceeds at its own relentless and looming pace.
SETI (the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence) projects got a lot of good press and global good vibes in the era of "Star Trek," but the Three-Body Problem asks the question if making contact with another intelligence somewhere in the universe is actually a good thing for the human race. The story oscillates among 20th century (and earlier) Chinese historical contexts, 21st-century scientific innovations, and a captivating VR game world which offers humans an introduction to another ancient - and *very* alien civilization.

Mar 07, 2019

Meh - maybe too cerebral for me... tho idea of bodies drying up and waiting for next moist period is very interesting.

Nov 21, 2018

One of the best sci-fi books I have ever read. I found the scientific descriptions easy to understand (until the second to last chapter lost me a bit with sophons), and the characters, world building, and plot perfectly paced and clever. A dark view of history and the future, but now I want to read everything else Cixin Liu has written.

View All Comments


Add Age Suitability
Sep 24, 2019

abcdthai thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Tung Yin
Jun 21, 2018

Tung Yin thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over


Add a Summary
ArapahoeKatya Oct 17, 2016

A contemplation on the first contact with extraterrestrials. Very imaginative and almost cinematographic. The setting in China of the Cultural Revolution and contemporary China is fresh and exciting. The action unfolds quickly, the characters are interesting . Hard SciFi.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at MCPL

To Top