If you’re a sci-fi reader living in China, you’ve long known about Liu Cixin, the best-selling author that The New Yorker once called the country’s Arthur C. Clarke. If not, then the first time you heard of him was probably a year ago when he won a Hugo Award for Best Novel despite the machinations of the Sad and Rabid Puppies—the mostly white men who were trying to hijack the nominations by flooding them with picks they felt were more fitting candidates than some of the more literary, diverse winners of recent years.
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No matter how you’ve come to know about Liu’s career, it’s time you get familiar with his novels. That’s why this month the WIRED Book Club is picking up the author’s Three-Body Problem, which not only won that Hugo but also became the first-ever English translation to nab the award.
But just because Three-Body Problem is beloved, that doesn’t mean it’s easy. Liu’s work is considered “hard” science fiction—the title of this work refers to a gravitational problem in physics wherein the interaction between two objects becomes unpredictable when a third object enters the fray. And the story, the first part of the Remembrance of Earth’s Past trilogy, begins during the Cultural Revolution at a time when scientists and academics were persecuted for their work.
Read along with us, won’t you? We’ll be finishing Chapter 10 next week—let’s discuss then!