March Book Club: The Three-Body Problem

Stormrider666

Hell is home.
Mar 19, 2005
28,087
2,792
673
Bronx, NY
Red Coast V

I wonder if there would have been a better way to explain using the sun to amplify and transmit radio waves. I had to re-read a lot of the chapter to figure out what was going on
 
Apr 30, 2011
35,363
93,578
358
CLT
Red Coast V

I wonder if there would have been a better way to explain using the sun to amplify and transmit radio waves. I had to re-read a lot of the chapter to figure out what was going on
It's like trying to explain how the force works, best to just not.
 

Chip Spackler

Patron Saint of Autists
Donator
Jan 5, 2016
7,679
5,863
168
At least the new narrator does an enjoyable Asian-speaking-English accent.
 

Chip Spackler

Patron Saint of Autists
Donator
Jan 5, 2016
7,679
5,863
168
He also gives one of the physicists an American country accent.
 

Creasy Bear

gorgeousness and gorgeousity made flesh
Donator
Mar 10, 2006
48,745
36,873
628
In a porn tree
I'm about halfway through.

Do the Asians realize how goddamned ridiculous their names sound to Western ears?

The author is trying to set up like a gripping and dramatic scene, and the characters are like Ping Pan and Dunk Fung, and it just makes it silly.
 

Falldog

Wackbag's Best Conservative
Donator
May 16, 2007
19,251
6,859
568
Nothern VA
Finished. Some thoughts...

Not a bad book, but I feel like everyone loved it so much based on what I heard. I was rather underwhelmed. With all the sci-fi I read, this is the first time in awhile I felt like I had to actively work to suspend my disbelief to a great extent. I don't know how scientifically practical the survival of a planet in that solar system would be, but I feel like it would've gotten ripped to shreds far before anything developed there. Especially when you have instances where all three suns are there and the planet melts or when it's so far away gravity pulls it apart. I also don't believe that a species advanced enough to come up with the ability to supposedly unfold a proton couldn't develop a predictive formula for their planet's orbit.

On that note, I'm confused as to whether the formula is important or not. There's such a huge deal made about it, including the introduction and back story of a guy who came up with a formula that, we're lead to believe, is the right thing. At some point I think they even say something along the lines that the Tri-Solar guys still need that formula, only to later negate the need all together.

In a similar note, the whole magical proton thing is just too much. I would've been good if it were just a data repository for the Adventists, but instead they take it to 11 and it's OP. It's deus ex machina of the worst kind and a wholey unsatisfying explanation and conclusion.

I don't feel like like the Three Body game was a good narrative device. I get why, but it felt really bumbling. It starts off as an important part part of the story, then you spend a lot of time in it, only for it to wrap up suddenly and that's that. There's all this talk about how much 'data' there is in the game but I don't feel like that's reflected in any way.

The characters are good, but poorly structured. They do things, but they don't really do anything. It's hard to explain. Ye Wenjie does a lot of stuff in the past tense, she's used to develop the history of everything but her actions don't really have a bearing on the events of the novel. Wang is another foil through which to tell events, and a lot of stuff happens early on, but after the game ends doesn't really contribute. You don't get to see the impact of the revelation about the aliens through him. The issues he goes through with the count down he sees is really limited, and the whole nano tech thing is just a gimmick. The novel spends forever talking about oops we unfolded a proton to the wrong dimension but we never see any struggle with making the nano stuff. It's just there to bring him into the story up front, then later when they need a fun way to cut up a ship. The story would've benefited a lot more with any sort of development of the anti-ETO faction, the effort that went into cutting up the ship, or the effort that went into recovering data. We're supposed to be pro-human, anti-ETO, but the novel doesn't help support that.

Oh, and as great as Da Shi is, he's a one dimensional "how do we write ourselves out of this situation" device.
 
Apr 30, 2011
35,363
93,578
358
CLT
Finished. Some thoughts...

Not a bad book, but I feel like everyone loved it so much based on what I heard. I was rather underwhelmed. With all the sci-fi I read, this is the first time in awhile I felt like I had to actively work to suspend my disbelief to a great extent. I don't know how scientifically practical the survival of a planet in that solar system would be, but I feel like it would've gotten ripped to shreds far before anything developed there. Especially when you have instances where all three suns are there and the planet melts or when it's so far away gravity pulls it apart. I also don't believe that a species advanced enough to come up with the ability to supposedly unfold a proton couldn't develop a predictive formula for their planet's orbit.

On that note, I'm confused as to whether the formula is important or not. There's such a huge deal made about it, including the introduction and back story of a guy who came up with a formula that, we're lead to believe, is the right thing. At some point I think they even say something along the lines that the Tri-Solar guys still need that formula, only to later negate the need all together.

In a similar note, the whole magical proton thing is just too much. I would've been good if it were just a data repository for the Adventists, but instead they take it to 11 and it's OP. It's deus ex machina of the worst kind and a wholey unsatisfying explanation and conclusion.

I don't feel like like the Three Body game was a good narrative device. I get why, but it felt really bumbling. It starts off as an important part part of the story, then you spend a lot of time in it, only for it to wrap up suddenly and that's that. There's all this talk about how much 'data' there is in the game but I don't feel like that's reflected in any way.

The characters are good, but poorly structured. They do things, but they don't really do anything. It's hard to explain. Ye Wenjie does a lot of stuff in the past tense, she's used to develop the history of everything but her actions don't really have a bearing on the events of the novel. Wang is another foil through which to tell events, and a lot of stuff happens early on, but after the game ends doesn't really contribute. You don't get to see the impact of the revelation about the aliens through him. The issues he goes through with the count down he sees is really limited, and the whole nano tech thing is just a gimmick. The novel spends forever talking about oops we unfolded a proton to the wrong dimension but we never see any struggle with making the nano stuff. It's just there to bring him into the story up front, then later when they need a fun way to cut up a ship. The story would've benefited a lot more with any sort of development of the anti-ETO faction, the effort that went into cutting up the ship, or the effort that went into recovering data. We're supposed to be pro-human, anti-ETO, but the novel doesn't help support that.

Oh, and as great as Da Shi is, he's a one dimensional "how do we write ourselves out of this situation" device.
Damn, just dehydrated and rolled it right up.
 

Jacuzzi Billy

Watching PTI
Donator
Mar 22, 2006
42,256
21,865
628
Red Jacuzzi
Finished. Some thoughts...

Not a bad book, but I feel like everyone loved it so much based on what I heard. I was rather underwhelmed. With all the sci-fi I read, this is the first time in awhile I felt like I had to actively work to suspend my disbelief to a great extent. I don't know how scientifically practical the survival of a planet in that solar system would be, but I feel like it would've gotten ripped to shreds far before anything developed there. Especially when you have instances where all three suns are there and the planet melts or when it's so far away gravity pulls it apart. I noticed this as well, moreso my second time though. This one isn't that hard to justify because we live in a universe where one in billion things happen all the time. I agree it's highly unlikely but so is everything else. I also don't believe that a species advanced enough to come up with the ability to supposedly unfold a proton couldn't develop a predictive formula for their planet's orbit. Completely agree.

On that note, I'm confused as to whether the formula is important or not. There's such a huge deal made about it, including the introduction and back story of a guy who came up with a formula that, we're lead to believe, is the right thing. At some point I think they even say something along the lines that the Tri-Solar guys still need that formula, only to later negate the need all together.

In a similar note, the whole magical proton thing is just too much. I would've been good if it were just a data repository for the Adventists, but instead they take it to 11 and it's OP. It's deus ex machina of the worst kind and a wholey unsatisfying explanation and conclusion. This is where we disagree. I enjoyed all the sci fi aspects.

I don't feel like like the Three Body game was a good narrative device. I get why, but it felt really bumbling. It starts off as an important part part of the story, then you spend a lot of time in it, only for it to wrap up suddenly and that's that. There's all this talk about how much 'data' there is in the game but I don't feel like that's reflected in any way. The narrative never fully came together.

The characters are good, but poorly structured. They do things, but they don't really do anything. It's hard to explain. Ye Wenjie does a lot of stuff in the past tense, she's used to develop the history of everything but her actions don't really have a bearing on the events of the novel. Wang is another foil through which to tell events, and a lot of stuff happens early on, but after the game ends doesn't really contribute. You don't get to see the impact of the revelation about the aliens through him. The issues he goes through with the count down he sees is really limited, and the whole nano tech thing is just a gimmick. The novel spends forever talking about oops we unfolded a proton to the wrong dimension but we never see any struggle with making the nano stuff. It's just there to bring him into the story up front, then later when they need a fun way to cut up a ship. The story would've benefited a lot more with any sort of development of the anti-ETO faction, the effort that went into cutting up the ship, or the effort that went into recovering data. We're supposed to be pro-human, anti-ETO, but the novel doesn't help support that. Agreed again. Like the narrative, the characters never fully worked either.

Oh, and as great as Da Shi is, he's a one dimensional "how do we write ourselves out of this situation" device.
Don't you ever say a bad word about Da Shi.
I was somewhere between loving it and where you are. However, your review is nearly spot on. I made some replies in red in your spoiler.
 

Falldog

Wackbag's Best Conservative
Donator
May 16, 2007
19,251
6,859
568
Nothern VA
I was somewhere between loving it and where you are. However, your review is nearly spot on. I made some replies in red in your spoiler.
I don't mind the sci fi in of itself, but I don't like how it's used. Sort of like the characters and narrative. There are cool ideas but they stand out as their own thing more than a cohesive concept. The very last part is just to much. So much of the novel is based on hard sci fi for that to work in the context of the rest of the novel.
 

Jacuzzi Billy

Watching PTI
Donator
Mar 22, 2006
42,256
21,865
628
Red Jacuzzi
I don't mind the sci fi in of itself, but I don't like how it's used. Sort of like the characters and narrative. There are cool ideas but they stand out as their own thing more than a cohesive concept. The very last part is just to much. So much of the novel is based on hard sci fi for that to work in the context of the rest of the novel.
I agree it was too much but I was like "fuck it, get crazy Chinaman".
 

Chip Spackler

Patron Saint of Autists
Donator
Jan 5, 2016
7,679
5,863
168
+40 more hours of series to go, hopefully it can only get nuttier.
It does, but I’m anxious to see how others feel about it... I’m halfway through Dark Forest and it seems likes questioning the shit you’re reading becomes a necessity in this story.
 
Apr 30, 2011
35,363
93,578
358
CLT
It does, but I’m anxious to see how others feel about it... I’m halfway through Dark Forest and it seems likes questioning the shit you’re reading becomes a necessity in this story.
I'm a little over an hour in and I'm questioning it because I don't think I paid much attention to it. Found the first book to be that way too, I've never had to rewind a book as much as this series.

Now that I know the premise moving forward I'm feeling less interested to continue at least now. Don't think I will abandon it entirely, do look forward to any updates in the thread if it's worth continuing.

@Jacuzzi Billy why didn't you move on to book 2 after reading TBP?
 

Falldog

Wackbag's Best Conservative
Donator
May 16, 2007
19,251
6,859
568
Nothern VA
Apparently the second novel has a different translator, but I'm not aware of any impact from the change. I'll probably kick it off later this week. If it's more of the same I'm not sure I'll jump right into book three afterward. I feel like just reading a synopsis of what happens would be just as enjoyable.
 

Stormrider666

Hell is home.
Mar 19, 2005
28,087
2,792
673
Bronx, NY
I'm in the middle of chapter 33. I'm half tempted to stop reading it and just skip to the end.
 

Chip Spackler

Patron Saint of Autists
Donator
Jan 5, 2016
7,679
5,863
168
I completely understand the mixed reactions.

Spoilers for the first half of Dark Forest, if you feel kinda meh so far:

Maybe it’s because I haven’t exposed myself to a ton of science fiction literature, but is there a series or novel whose main storyline is simply designed to discuss and analyze the very gradual (in literary context) transition of human evolution into the space age?
 

Creasy Bear

gorgeousness and gorgeousity made flesh
Donator
Mar 10, 2006
48,745
36,873
628
In a porn tree
I'll stick with it, but I've pretty much established that I'm too dumb to grasp the advanced concepts they're throwing at me. College algebra nearly killed me. This shit is way over my sped head.

I just want Godzilla to fight Mothra.
 

Falldog

Wackbag's Best Conservative
Donator
May 16, 2007
19,251
6,859
568
Nothern VA
I figured out, what I think to be, the root of the issue with TTBP.

I read on wiki that this was serialized before being made into a novel. When you break things out into little segments, for the most part they work pretty well on their own. When you're in the mindset of "let's write a section for this publication" you end up with a concise piece that works within that set of circumstances. When you go put them back to back, and read them straight through, you end up with weird separations.
 

Stormrider666

Hell is home.
Mar 19, 2005
28,087
2,792
673
Bronx, NY
Finished.

Overall I thought it was a good book. It explored some interesting themes and told an interesting story.

I have mixed feelings about the Three Body game itself. There were times I thought it was a fascinating part of the story. Then there were times I thought it was the reason why the narrative dragged a bit. On one occasion, it brought it to a screeching halt.

Like I said before, the science parts of the book were a little above my pay grade. I'm all for learning something new. But I thought when things got too complicated, it took away from my enjoyment of the story.

For example, chapter 33 was tedious and as I was reading it, I forgot why the Trisolarans were trying to split the proton in two in the first place. There had to be a concise way to say they were infecting the Earth with a virus that stalls scientific progress and creates miracles to frighten scientists.

BTW, The Three-Body Problem movie is supposedly in post production.
 
Last edited:

Chip Spackler

Patron Saint of Autists
Donator
Jan 5, 2016
7,679
5,863
168
Some questions get answered, many more are presented, and the narrator speaks in many different authentic accents if you’re listening on audio.

3/4 thru Dark Forest. Minor vague Spoiler:
It’s a book for anyone interested in NON-quantum technological evolution. The sophons are proving to be powerful, but tech advances in surprising and relatively simple ways relative to the story.