3BP is an interesting mix of revolution, hard science, personal connection, and alien story with a twist. The aliens fear that humans will eradicate them as much as the humans fear the aliens will eradicate us. This is an interesting take on the traditional alien story.
Being set against the background of the Chinese cultural revolution was intriguing to me because I don’t know much about it. I feel like I learned a little bit about it along the way. Cixin Liu is the most prominent Chinese sci-fi author, so I trust I got a mythically true, if not factually true, representation.
Translating books is a tricky task, especially between two languages that are so radically different and have very few shared cultural references and understandings. There were a few footnotes to explain items of significance, but the translator did not overdo it. The prose flows well, too. The only thing that was somewhat difficult were the names, but changing those would have done a disservice to the original. There is a list of names and their corresponding roles in the beginning of the book if you get lost.
I already ordered the sequel to this book, The Dark Forest. I’m looking forward to seeing where the author takes this series.
Jackie Luo recommended this book to me in response to a thread on Twitter.