Friday, April 14, 2017

Review: The Three-Body Problem

I actually tried to read Cixin Liu's The Wandering Earth and thought it was garbage, so I wasn't going to bother with The Three-Body Problem. But Cynthia told me she thought it was good, so I thought that maybe my issues with the previous book was the translator. I decided to give it a try and check it out of the library.

Here's my problem with The Wandering Earth: it's science fiction as it was written in the 1940s. This might be great if you have zero scientific background, or no understanding of first year Physics or Chemistry, but for modern, scientifically literate audiences it's a major distraction and a major turn-off. Unfortunately, The Three-Body Problem also suffers from the same problems as The Wandering Earth.

The story is purportedly about the mysterious deaths of various high level Physicists. As the plot unravels, we get the real story. I won't spoil the true story, but suffice to say, the N-body problem plays a major part in it. Unfortunately, the science is implausible, and even the depiction of a VR game as depicted in the novel is a shambles. The characters are wooden, emotionally dead, and not developed. So let's see: the plot is dumb, the science is silly and unrealistic, and the characters suck. Wow, that's 3 for 3. I have to ask, "Cynthia, what were you on when you read this and liked it?"

This novel is as complete a waste a time as you can get. I'd like those hours of my life back, and I will not waste my time reading any more books by Cixin Liu. My guess is that the luminaries that have given this novel all the attention it doesn't deserve don't actually read enough good science fiction to know it if one good novel hit them in the head.

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