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Cixin Liu

Fiction and Excerpts [9]
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Fiction and Excerpts [9]

Death’s End: Cheng Xin

|| Book 3 in the Remembrance of Earth's Past series. Cheng Xin, an aerospace engineer from the early 21st century, awakens from hibernation 50 years after the Doomsday Battle. 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?

Chinese Literature and Apocalyptic SF: Some Notes on Death’s End

Article translated by Ken Liu.

Compared to the first two volumes in the “Three-Body” trilogy (The Three-Body Problem and The Dark Forest), Death’s End has a more intense dose of my personal style. I strove to write a purer science fictional novel, and wanted to go as far as possible with wild speculations. Thus, I put in the idea of altering the natural laws of the universe as weapons in interstellar warfare, and consequently, the universe and its laws are seen as the leftover mess from a feast of the gods, a strange universe in which the Solar System falls into ruin in a morbid, poetic manner…

Before the book’s publication in China, my publisher and I were both rather pessimistic concerning its commercial prospects. I wrote a novel that I thought only extreme and hardcore fans would read because it satisfied their narrow definition of “science fiction.” In the words of Chinese SF critics, Death’s End was an example of “science fictional fundamentalism.”

Unexpectedly, Death’s End turned into a major success. It made a much bigger impact than the first two books in the series and became a bestseller. Readers who normally never touched science fiction picked it up, and the book influenced the conversation on multiple subjects, drawing mainstream attention to Chinese SF for the first time.

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Death’s End: Cheng Xin

With The Three-Body Problem, English-speaking readers got their first chance to experience the multiple-award-winning and bestselling Three-Body Trilogy by China’s most beloved science fiction author, Cixin Liu. Now this epic trilogy concludes with Death’s End—translated by Ken Liu and available September 20th from Tor Books. Read an excerpt below, or head back to the beginning with Chapter One.

Half a century after the Doomsday Battle, the uneasy balance of Dark Forest Deterrence keeps the Trisolaran invaders at bay. Earth enjoys unprecedented prosperity due to the infusion of Trisolaran knowledge. With human science advancing daily and the Trisolarans adopting Earth culture, it seems that the two civilizations will soon be able to co-exist peacefully as equals without the terrible threat of mutually assured annihilation. But the peace has also made humanity complacent.

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?

[Read more]

Death’s End: Yun Tianming

With The Three-Body Problem, English-speaking readers got their first chance to experience the multiple-award-winning and bestselling Three-Body Trilogy by China’s most beloved science fiction author, Cixin Liu. Now this epic trilogy concludes with Death’s End—translated by Ken Liu and available September 20th from Tor Books. Read an excerpt below, or head back to the beginning with Chapter One.

Half a century after the Doomsday Battle, the uneasy balance of Dark Forest Deterrence keeps the Trisolaran invaders at bay. Earth enjoys unprecedented prosperity due to the infusion of Trisolaran knowledge. With human science advancing daily and the Trisolarans adopting Earth culture, it seems that the two civilizations will soon be able to co-exist peacefully as equals without the terrible threat of mutually assured annihilation. But the peace has also made humanity complacent.

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?

[Read more]

Death’s End: The Death of the Magician

With The Three-Body Problem, English-speaking readers got their first chance to experience the multiple-award-winning and bestselling Three-Body Trilogy by China’s most beloved science fiction author, Cixin Liu. Now this epic trilogy concludes with Death’s End—translated by Ken Liu and available September 20th from Tor Books. Read an excerpt below, and check back for additional excerpts before the book’s release!

Half a century after the Doomsday Battle, the uneasy balance of Dark Forest Deterrence keeps the Trisolaran invaders at bay. Earth enjoys unprecedented prosperity due to the infusion of Trisolaran knowledge. With human science advancing daily and the Trisolarans adopting Earth culture, it seems that the two civilizations will soon be able to co-exist peacefully as equals without the terrible threat of mutually assured annihilation. But the peace has also made humanity complacent.

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?

[Read more]

The Dark Forest

This near-future trilogy is the first chance for English-speaking readers to experience this multiple-award-winning phenomenon from Cixin Liu, China’s most beloved science fiction author. Book two, The Dark Forest, is translated by Joel Martinsen and publishes August 11th from Tor Books. Read an excerpt below, and listen to a clip from the audiobook, out from Macmillan Audio the same day as the book! Note: this excerpt (and the following book description) contains spoilers for the first book in the series, The Three-Body Problem.

Earth is reeling from the revelation of a coming alien invasion-in just four centuries’ time. 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, means that Earth’s defense plans are totally exposed to the enemy. Only the human mind remains a secret.

This is the motivation for 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.

[Read more]

The Dark Forest

Earth is reeling from the revelation of a coming alien invasion-in just four centuries’ time. 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, means that Earth’s defense plans are totally exposed to the enemy. Only the human mind remains a secret.

This is the motivation for 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.

This near-future trilogy is the first chance for English-speaking readers to experience this multiple-award-winning phenomenon from Cixin Liu, China’s most beloved science fiction author. Translated by Joel Martinsen, book two, The Dark Forest, is available August 11th from Tor Books. Read an excerpt below, and listen to a clip from the audiobook, out from Macmillan Audio the same day as the book!

[Read an excerpt]

The Worst of All Possible Universes and the Best of All Possible Earths: Three Body and Chinese Science Fiction

Article translated by Ken Liu.

A few years ago, a science fiction novel appeared in China under the strange title of Three Body.

There were, in total, three volumes, and the title for the entire work is Remembrance of Earth’s Past. After volume I, Three Body (note: the official English title for volume I is The Three-Body Problem), the next two volumes are The Dark Forest and Death’s End. However, Chinese readers habitually refer to the entire work as Three Body.

Science fiction is not a genre that has much respect in China. Critics have long been discouraged from paying attention to the category, dismissed as a branch of juvenile literature. The subject of Three Body—an alien invasion of Earth—is not unheard of, but rarely discussed.

[Science fiction and cultural history in China…]

The Three-Body Problem: “Silent Spring” (Excerpt, Chapters 1-3)

Set against the backdrop of China’s Cultural Revolution, a secret military project sends signals into space to establish contact with aliens. An alien civilization on the brink of destruction captures the signal and plans to invade Earth.

The Three-Body Problem is the first chance for English-speaking readers to experience this multiple award-winning phenomenon from China’s most beloved science fiction author, Cixin Liu. The English edition, available November 11th from Tor Books, was translated by Ken Liu. Learn more about Stephan Martinière’s cover art, and read Cixin Liu’s article about Chinese science fiction here on Tor.com.

[Read an excerpt]

Series: Cixin Liu’s The Three-Body Trilogy

The Three-Body Problem: “The Universe Flickers”

Set against the backdrop of China’s Cultural Revolution, a secret military project sends signals into space to establish contact with aliens. An alien civilization on the brink of destruction captures the signal and plans to invade Earth.

The Three-Body Problem is the first chance for English-speaking readers to experience this multiple award-winning phenomenon from China’s most beloved science fiction author, Cixin Liu. The English edition, available November 11th from Tor Books, was translated by Ken Liu. Learn more about Stephan Martinière’s cover art, and read Cixin Liu’s article about Chinese science fiction here on Tor.com.

[Read an excerpt]

Series: Cixin Liu’s The Three-Body Trilogy

The Three-Body Problem: “King Wen of Zhou and the Long Night”

Set against the backdrop of China’s Cultural Revolution, a secret military project sends signals into space to establish contact with aliens. An alien civilization on the brink of destruction captures the signal and plans to invade Earth.

Meanwhile, in “King Wen of Zhou and the Long Night,” a self-contained story within the novel, scientist Wang Miao is encouraged to play an online VR game by the name of “3Body.” He becomes immersed in a planet that is itself a puzzle, a puzzle that, once encountered, may just explain why Earth is such a tempting target for invasion.

The Three-Body Problem is the first chance for English-speaking readers to experience this multiple award-winning phenomenon from China’s most beloved science fiction author, Cixin Liu. The English edition, available November 11th from Tor Books, was translated by Ken Liu. Learn more about Stephan Martiniere’s cover art, and read Cixin Liu’s article about Chinese science fiction here on Tor.com.

[Read an excerpt]

Series: Cixin Liu’s The Three-Body Trilogy

The Worst of All Possible Universes and the Best of All Possible Earths: Three Body and Chinese Science Fiction

Article translated by Ken Liu.

A few years ago, a science fiction novel appeared in China under the strange title of Three Body.

There were, in total, three volumes, and the title for the entire work is Remembrance of Earth’s Past. After volume I, Three Body (note: the official English title for volume I is The Three-Body Problem), the next two volumes are The Dark Forest and Death’s End. However, Chinese readers habitually refer to the entire work as Three Body.

Science fiction is not a genre that has much respect in China. Critics have long been discouraged from paying attention to the category, dismissed as a branch of juvenile literature. The subject of Three Body—an alien invasion of Earth—is not unheard of, but rarely discussed.

[Science fiction and cultural history in China…]

Series: Cixin Liu’s The Three-Body Trilogy