The book is solid classic science fiction, like the best space operas of vintage science fiction that we loved and still fondly remember as our first introduction to space and science. See my review of “The Three-Body Problem.”
This year the Hugo Award has been hijacked by fundamentalists dubbed “Sad Puppies” and “Social Justice Warriors (SJWs)” more interested in petty partisan politics than science fiction, who turned the Hugo in a flame war between “Right” and “Left” (scare quotes intended – real politics is something entirely different). I won’t give links because I don’t want to endorse either camp – I totally dislike both. Use Google if you want to know more.
To me, the meaning of the 2015 Hugo Award has nothing to do with SJWs and Sad Puppies. The meaning is that Chinese writers are taking the lead in bold, imaginative science fiction able to ignite minds and energize whole generations. We, in the West, have lost the capacity to think big, and Western science fiction itself seems to be giving up its core mission of stimulating people – and young future scientists – to think big. On the contrary, China is starting to think big and seems poised to take the pole position in the race toward a bright technological future on Earth and in space, and modern Chinese science fiction reflects that.
After reading The Three-Body Problem I rushed to read all Liu Cixin’s works that I could find in translation. My favorite is the novella “Sun of China,” which strongly reminds me of the best science fiction of Arthur Clarke. “Sun of China” is in “The Wandering Earth: Classic Science Fiction Collection by Liu Cixin,” and you want to read it.
Bravo Liu Cixin, congratulations for the deserved Hugo Award, and we your readers in the West are looking forward to reading more of your awesome science fiction. Please continue inspiring young Chinese readers to think big thoughts and do big things, and giving us in the West some reflected but much needed inspiration.
The second part of the Three-Body trilogy, titled “The Dark Forest,” is now available in English translation. It’s a great book – I am reading it for the second time and will write a review soon.