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.