A Cosmic Adventure
Reading ‘The Three-Body Problem’ helps me see the world in a new light
Published: Nov 09, 2023 07:18 PM


Editor's Note:

"Read ten thousand books, and your pen will be guided as if by the gods" is an ancient Chinese idiom that can be seen in students' textbooks. China's Ministry of Education has published an action plan to further promote reading among students across the nation. With new and diverse book recommendations, the reading scene is expected to be revived not only at schools, but also across society. To contribute to this endeavor, the Global Times launched "My Reading Life" essay contest for middle school students.

Please pick up a pen and share your stories with us at

Participants will be rewarded once the article has been selected.

I recently read The Three-Body Problem by Liu Cixin, and I must say, "Oh my god, it was out of this world!" The novel tells the story about a fictional alien race called the Trisolarans who want to invade and inhabit Earth. Several key characters stand out: Wang Miao, Shi Qiang, Ye Wenjie and Luo Ji, to name a few. Each character plays a unique role in this challenge of dealing with the aliens, forcing the readers to understand the complexities of each perspective. This fascinating philosophical examination of diverse human experiences in encountering aliens had me engrossed from beginning to end. I wholeheartedly recommend this epic science fiction adventure to my fellow bookworms.

First things first, this book is like a rollercoaster riding through the cosmos. We are talking about first contact with an alien civilization! As human beings, we have long believed we are alone in the universe, but what if that assumption was shattered? In the book, the moment humans realize they are not alone, the whole world goes crazy. I suddenly realized that people have no clue how to deal with this possibility! We are simply unprepared. 

This book is not just about spaceships and aliens, as cool as these sound. It is about a battle of ideas. People have different thoughts on how to deal with the Trisolarans. Some humans want to welcome them with open arms, while others want to lock the doors and pretend they are not home.

The very idea of other beings in the universe also forces readers to explore what other galaxies could look like. The title of the book is The Three-Body Problem, which is not just a fancy name. It is a mind-bending concept. Imagine a planet that is orbiting not one, not two, but three suns! This scorching habitat is where the invading Trisolarans used to live. The gravitational forces made the development of civilization incredibly difficult. This "Three-Body Problem" is not just a scientific puzzle, but also a symbol of the crazy chaos in our universe. The book constantly made me question whether grand rules govern the universe or if we are just floating around in cosmic chaos.

One of the wildest ideas in the book is the "Dark Forest" theory, discovered by one of the characters Luo Ji. It is basically this creepy notion that advanced civilizations choose to stay super quiet in space because they are afraid of attracting cosmic predators. The novel forces readers to imagine a universe where everyone is tiptoeing around, too scared to greet other people. It makes me wonder if silence has become the universal language across galaxies. Also, how much remains wildly unknown about the terrestrial development of other planets and the societal development of other alien races?

The book also dives deep into the Trisolaran world, which is full of its own challenges and moral debates. Aliens, like humans, are not all evil. However, it is about comprehending how different civilizations might cope with huge existing ethical dilemmas. Without knowing where these aliens have come from, can we really understand them? The issue can even be as we try to figure out why E.T., the little alien, loves cola and beer.

The Three-Body Problem is like a perplexing puzzle that messes with your mind and leaves you thinking about it for days. It is not just science fiction; it is also a journey into the unknown. If you are up for it, The Three-Body Problem is a passport to an extraordinary journey. So buckle up, fellow space fanatics, this book is absolutely worth it! 

The author is a student at Beijing Chenjinglun High School