Ohhhhhhh boy this was the wrong day to link this.

Ben Hunt recommended Three Body Problem.

Then Geopolitical Futures recommended three body problem.

    If the scene above sounds strange, that’s because it is, but it belies the gravity of the story, which is set against the backdrop of China’s Cultural Revolution. Liu expertly captures the tumult of the times, as well as the brutality of the counterrevolutions that followed. He captures them so well, in fact, that for the first few dozen pages you’d think you were reading a work of historical fiction, not science fiction. You are introduced to no black holes or wormholes or spaceships. Rather, you are treated to the public execution of a theoretical physicist – a “reactionary,” as so many academics were branded – who was not felled by a phaser or a light saber but was instead beaten to death in front of his wife and daughter with belt buckles wielded by former students.

So I read Three Body Problem.

Hoo boy.

    His monumental Three-Body Trilogy – first published between 2006 and 2010, and recently translated into English by Ken Liu, a Chinese-American sci-fi writer – is Chinese science fiction’s best-known work. Barack Obama is a fan, and the forthcoming movie adaptations are already being described as ‘China’s Star Wars’.

Comparing Three Body Problem to Star Wars is like comparing Mothra to 2001. There is no science here. The plotting is awful. The narrative is tortured and stupid. The motivations of characters are utterly unbelievable - the fundamental basis of Three Body is the notion that scientists, when confronted with data that conflicts their theoretical predictions, are so distraught that they commit suicide. Meanwhile the core conceit of the book is an alien race develops in the radically unpredictable Alpha Centauri system where chaos reigns and they must develop a murderous interstellar civilization before mathematical chaos absorbs their planet, the last one in the system.

All the while Alpha Centauri has been known to be a stable system for over a hundred years.

Three Body Problem is bad sci fi. Not only is it nonsensically plotted, but the "science" in it is insane bullshit.

I warned veen away from this catastrophe two days ago. I finished it, resentfully, yesterday. I wholeheartedly recommend that fans of sci fi, as well as anyone with a budding interest, stay well away from this book.

posted by galen: 14 days ago