Set against the backdrop of China’s Cultural Revolution, Cixin Liu’s massively popular Chinese science fiction saga The Three-Body Problem starts with a secret military project sending signals into space to establish contact with aliens. An alien civilization repeatedly on the brink of destruction captures the signal and makes plans for contact. And eventual invasion.
On November 11, this trilogy of books debuts in English starting with the eponymous first volume, The Three-Body Problem. But you can read a variety of stories from the novel for free, right now.
- In “King Wen of Zhou and the Long Night,” 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, if the reader can solve it before Miao himself can, may just explain why Earth is such a tempting target for invasion.
- In “The Universe Flickers,” Miao demands proof that the aliens are real, and is given a terrifying—and completely silent—demonstration of their power.
- In “Silent Spring,” young Ye Wenjie, a daughter of scientists, endures the madness of China’s Cultural Revolution in the 1960s as it brutally swallows her family in front of her. And here, this tale of first contact truly begins.
Click on any of the above links to read from the novel or preorder it at your preferred retailer.