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Liu Cixin Books In Order

Publication Order of Three-Body Trilogy Books

The Three-body Problem (2014) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Dark Forest (2015) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Death's End (2016) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Weight of Memories (2016) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Collections

The Wandering Earth (2012) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Short Stories/Novellas

Devourer (2012) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Micro-Age (2012) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Sun of China (2012) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Mountain (2012) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Of Ants and Dinosaurs (2012) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Taking Care of Gods (2012) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Longest Fall (2012) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
With Her Eyes (2012) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Curse 5.0 (2013) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Wages of Humanity (2013) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle


Born on 23rd June, 1963, in the city of Yangquan in the Shanxi province of the People’s Republic of China, Liu Cixin has quickly risen in prominence among the science fiction writers of China to achieve a rare position in the global club of popular science fiction writers. Born to humble roots, Liu was trained at the North China University of Water Conservancy and Electric power, from where he was able to graduate in 1988, to begin working as a computer engineer for a local power plant.

Liu Cixin’s experience as a novelist began in 2002, when his first novel was published to widespread acclaim. Since then, Liu has gone on to publish several novels and short stories in the science fiction genre. His most famous work, The Three Body Problem, was published in 2007 and was extremely successful before being translated into english and published in 2014, helping Liu become the first asian writer to win the prestigious Hugo Best Novel of the Year award in 2015. Throughout his long and illustrious career, Liu has won a number of national and international awards for his written work, including the Chinese galaxy award on no less than nine occasions, a nebula award for best science fiction writer, a Hugo award for best novel, and the Xingyun award for best achievement in 2015.

Liu Cixin’s work reflects his personal take on the theory of ‘Cosmic Sociology’, based on the premise that there are many civilizations in the universe, each trying to survive and grow in a limited amount of space, thus leading to inevitable clashes between different cosmic civilizations. In face of such a situation, the only method of safety for civilizations with inferior technology is the hope that a technologically superior civilization does not become aware of their existence. It is on this cosmic scale, dealing with questions of humanity’s future in relation to its place in the universe, that most of Cixin’s work is placed.

The Three Body Problem –

The most highly acclaimed out of all of Liu Cixin’s novels, The Three Body Problem is a science fiction novel that is the first of a trilogy known as Remembrance of Earth’s Past. The title is a reference to the problem in orbital mechanics called the three body problem. First appearing as a serialized novel in 2006 in a science fiction magazine, it was later published as a full length novel in 2008, and quickly became one of the most popular science fiction novels in China. The novel has been adapted into a movie soon to be released in early 2017.

The novel deals with the inhabitants of a stellar world system known as Trisolaris, whose orbit is around three suns along with eleven other planets. The presence of the three suns makes the orbital pattern for the twelve planets extremely chaotic, leading to the other eleven planets being consumed by the suns. This leaves the people of Trisolaris in a state of great urgency to predict the orbital pattern of their planet in order to escape a similar demise. However, at long last the scientists on Trisolaris determine that there is no way to accurately predict the movement pattern of their planet, making it a certainty that Trisolaris will someday meet the same fate as the other twelve planets. Faced with such dire odds and the prospect of certain death in a highly uncertain future, the Trisolarans evolve into a totalitarian society whose sole aim is to migrate to other, more stable planets and resettle their civilization there.

The story of the Trisolarans connects to Earth through a young astrophysicist named Ye Wenjie. Suffering from a violent past filled with large scale oppression, Ye uses her knowledge of astrophysics to code information in the form of solar waves and send it into space, carrying a message concerning the cruelty of humans towards each other and a plea for help. The second such message is picked up by the Trisolarans, and they decide to make the planet Earth their latest conquest.

The Trisolarans find certain willing hosts among humans, eager to welcome their alien overlords. The Trisolarans plan of conquest is split into two pieces. The first step is to halt all forms of scientific progress and enlightenment on Earth, and them to descend in force on the planet, exterminate the human race and establish their own control. The rest of the novel deals with the affects of the Trisolarans plans on Earth and the uncovering of the truth by humans.

The Dark Forest –

The second novel in the trilogy moves the story forward as the Trisolarans are revealed to be on their way to Earth with a fleet of spaceships to win over the planet from the human race. The time taken to reach Earth is estimated to be 400 years, leading to a rush of military preparation on Earth to defend against the alien invaders. The problem grows more complex when it becomes clear that the Trisolarans are keeping a close surveillance on the human race, so that any attempt to discuss strategy is immediately reported. The rate of advancement in technology for the human race has also been severely curtailed by the Trisolarans.

This leaves strategic gambits the only defense for the human race. This takes the form of the ‘Welfare Project’, which employs savants with special abilities to form effective strategies and give them access to whatever resources they need to formulate effective plans of resistance. The biggest obstacle is to carry out the plans and strategies while avoiding the attention of the Trisolarans as they maintain a ceaseless vigil over all human forms of communication.

The team of wellfarers function under the authority of the UN, where, despite the need for secrecy, they are forced to undergo countless updation meetings as well as having their every move questioned. In the context of the new threat of invasion from a far superior foreign force, old political alliances dissolve and new ones take their place. However, in the larger scheme, human society continues to be divided along geographical, political and religious lines.

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