The Three Body Problem

Review of “The Dark Forest”, a Science Fiction novel by Liú Cíxīn   The ‘Three-Body Problem’ is a difficult to solve mathematical puzzle left for us by Isaac Newton. The actual problem for all people of Earth is even more challenging. Very intelligent aliens originate on a planet in an unstable three-star system, so they are called the Trisolarians. Their evolution has forced them to be extremely resilient because of the planet’s erratic orbit, but now they realise the planet will be drawn into one of the suns. They are looking for a new planet and have chosen Earth.  Their […]

Chinese Science Fiction

Fiction allows worries and aspirations about the future to be explored, without much constraint by current political configurations. The three-body problem trilogy by Liú Cíxīn has had a huge impact in China. There is now the possibility that a TV series will put it centre-stage in Britain. Meanwhile there has been a dramatic move of women into SF. The unprecedented award of the prestigious U.S. Hugo award in 2015 to Liú was followed by a succession of female Hugo awards. Biological themes, rather than combat with extra-terrestrials have thus become important. Gu Shi wrote her short story “Chimera” around a […]