Liu Cixin

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Liu Cixin

Unread postby laojim » Fri Jun 17, 2016 7:17 am

I have recently found a rather remarkable novel by one Liu Cixin called The Three Body Problem. It is a science fiction novel, in the general sense of that genre. The title is a reference to a problem in mathematics and physics in which a set of stable orbits is sought for a system of three bodies. Two, like a binary star, is easy, but three seems to be impossible except is some specific situations where initial states are specified.

The main character, and here I come to the point, is a woman, scarred by her childhood experience with the Red Guard, who makes a deal [you can skip this if you don't want what may be a key plot point] with an alien race searching for a new home. She promises to help them because Earth societies can no longer solve their own problems. I don't know about you but it reminds me more than a little of Cao Cao and his speech in the cabin on the first night of his flight into exile.

I would point out that if this seems rather an ulilkely thing to do there is a precedent in Russian history. The founding myth of Russia is that some Vikngs came through the area that is now Saint Petersberg and came across some Russians who immediately asked them to come and rule their lands because they lacked order. The Vikings accepted the invitation and made their way all the way across the Russian landscape with a single portage at what is now Smolensk to the city that would serve as the capital of Russia for some hundreds of years, Kiev. This also seems rather unlikely but in the hands of a good story teller it makes some sense.

To get back to Liu Cixin, there is a second book called The Dark Forest which is the sequel to The Three Body Problem in which Mr. Liu makes reference to the Romance of the Three Kingdoms. It remains to be seen if he carries on any analogy to his own plot but I will see as soon as I get a chance to read more of the second book.

You might also want to know that much of the plot of the first novel unfolds in an immersive computer game.

Finally, you might like to know that an motion picutre has been made of The Three Body Problem that is to be released in the next month or so. The trailers for the film are already available on Youtube.
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Re: Liu Cixin

Unread postby Sun Fin » Fri Jun 17, 2016 12:29 pm

Sounds interesting Laojim! I will check it out!
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Re: Liu Cixin

Unread postby WeiWenDi » Sun Jul 10, 2016 4:07 am

This has been on my reading list for awhile. I'll be sure to give it a nudge up!
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Re: Liu Cixin

Unread postby waywardauthor » Sat Aug 20, 2016 1:15 pm

laojim wrote:The Vikings accepted the invitation and made their way all the way across the Russian landscape with a single portage at what is now Smolensk to the city that would serve as the capital of Russia for some hundreds of years, Kiev. This also seems rather unlikely but in the hands of a good story teller it makes some sense.

That's actually something that a lot of different people and states tried to do at different times. Bernadotte was given the crown of Sweden because of his reputation for good administration, fairness in rule, leniency to Swedish citizens, and his abilities as a soldier. The widow of King Tutankhamun, following the death of her cousin-half brother husband, was being controlled and threatened by her chief retainers and in order to get out of the dangerous situation that would have seen her family supplanted, Ankhesenamun made an appeal to the Hittites for a Prince to be her new Husband and rule over Egypt. That one did not work out, Ankhesenamun lost all power, her would-be husband was killed, and war with the Hittites occurred. The Greeks had dozens of examples of these kinds of stories where a King or General or repute would be invited to take over leadership of a Poleis or an Empire. Theses stories are everywhere, and you can find a number of them in China too, only to take on official appointment to secure the empire or the government rather than take over - with the exception of Emperor Yao to Emperor Shun. I cannot be certain, but I believe I recall a conversation somewhere whereby the native Chinese subjects of the Korean commanderies that were left behind by the collapsing Jin invited the Koreans to take over the region, which more directly parallels this if true.

It happens a little too often for it to be as unlikely as it may appear at first glance.

As for the book, I'll have to check it out some time.
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