Trilogy – Remembrance of Earth’s Past
Author – Liu Cixin
The Three-Body Problem — 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 Dark Forest — In The Dark Forest, the aliens’ human collaborators may have been defeated, but the presence of the sophons, the subatomic particles that allow Trisolaris instant access to all human information remains. Humanity responds with the Wallfacer Project, a daring plan that grants four men enormous resources to design secret strategies, hidden through deceit and misdirection from Earth and Trisolaris alike. Three of the Wallfacers are influential statesmen and scientists, but the fourth is a total unknown. Luo Ji, an unambitious Chinese astronomer and sociologist, is baffled by his new status. All he knows is that he’s the one Wallfacer that Trisolaris wants dead.
Death’s End — Half a century after the Doomsday Battle, Cheng Xin, an aerospace engineer from the early 21st century, awakens from hibernation in this new age. She brings with her knowledge of a long-forgotten program dating from the beginning of the Trisolar Crisis, and her very presence may upset the delicate balance between two worlds. Will humanity reach for the stars or die in its cradle?
– Goodreads Synopsis
The Three-Body Problem
The Three-Body Problem hits like a strange, ludic, fever dream. There are times during the reading of this first book of the series, that you really wonder what the hell is even going on. (At least that is how it felt to me…) Sometimes it feels like you are reading propaganda, and other times it feels like you are on a majestic journey across time and space.
While this is the novel that started the trilogy and got showered in praise… it is the weakest book in the series for me. That actually may end up being a good thing! Here’s why: After committing yourself to a trilogy, or any series that is longer than a single-book, the disappointment if the end falls flat is just soul crushing. That is not the case with this series, as I see the final book to be the strongest entry. (Sure it would just be better if the whole thing was perfect…)
The science introduced is great. The big ideas are great. The setup through the fever dream feels slow and confusing, but it is setting you up for a reading experience you’ve never had before. Trust me.
“No, emptiness is not nothingness. Emptiness is a type of existence. You must use this existential emptiness to fill yourself.”
Liu Cixin, The Three-Body Problem
The Dark Forest
The Dark Forest is where the story starts to figure out where it is going. The characters that were introduced are expanded on, and are given a purpose that weaves it’s way into the overarching story that binds the trilogy together.
The scope of the first novel was already ambitious; The Dark Forest works to surpass that by asking bigger questions. Politics, sociology, intelligence, futurism, and morality are all explored. Concepts like what the Dark Forest actually stands for are dug into. (That’s the title of the book – Woah!)The best reading experience is one that leaves you thinking after you have read it which this series definitely does.
“Time is the one thing that can’t be stopped. Like a sharp blade, it silently cuts through hard and soft, constantly advancing. Nothing is capable of jolting it even the slightest bit, but it changes everything.”
Liu Cixin, The Dark Forest
Death’s End concludes the trilogy with an explosion of emotions and further mind-bending scientific concepts. This is the strongest book in the series, and it actually contains it’s own mini-story itself! (Two stories for the price of one!)
I really do not want to dive too deep into the fantastic conceptions this novel presents because it is best to experience it with no pre-conceptions. The grand scale of the universe, multi-dimensional theory, and time itself will always humbly put ourselves into perspective. This is what Death’s End delivers. (It can be a weird headspace to be in though…)
A Trilogy to Remember
The Remembrance of Earth’s Past is a beautiful journey in every sense of the word. The prose flows you from one page to the next, from one emotion to the next, and from experience to experience.
“And now we know that this is the journey that must be made by every civilization: awakening inside a cramped cradle, toddling out of it, taking flight, flying faster and farther, and, finally, merging with the fate of the universe as one. The ultimate fate of all intelligent beings has always been to become as grand as their thoughts.”
Liu Cixin, Death’s End