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Binker

Three-Body Problem

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I looked for an entry for this book and was surprised not to find it, since this has apparently been a huge deal in the last several years.  This is the first book in a trilogy that is called "Three-Body Problem," but has some other actual name that i don't remember.  The guys who brought "Game of Thrones" to life are apparently working on a series for Netflix based on the trilogy.

 

The book takes place in China during and after the Cultural Revolution.  Almost all of the characters are Chinese physicists who have suffered from the attentions given to intellectuals during the Cultural Revolution.  Several of them retreat to a computer game played with virtual reality gear that has much better graphics than the typical video game.  The game always posits the same problem:  there is a plant that orbits 3 suns, which leads to very strange gravitational effects that are sometimes terrible and other times just fine.  The era when everything is fine is called a "Stable Era" and the era when things are not find are called a "Chaotic Era."  And the Chaotic Eras are TERRIBLE and difficult to predict (this is or was an actual problem in physics).  

 

Of course, it appears that this planet, cleverly called "Trisolaria," is real and its inhabitants are desperately looking for a solution or, failing that, another place to live.  Meanwhile, the Chinese are convinced that humans are the worst creatures ever, which their recent history suggests is true.  So the communication between them begins....  

 

I wolfed this book down and have ordered the next one, which I will read after a palate cleanser of Candice Millard's River of Doubt, which is also excellent.  

 

If any of you enjoy science fiction, I highly recommend this book.  I will report in when (if...I sometimes get sidetracked) I read the next books.

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