Science fiction trilogy that was originally written in Chinese, and recently translated to English. It’s a hard sci-fi novel but quite good, hard to summarize because so much happened in the 3 books. I felt that the ending of the third book was a bit rushed and not satisfying.
I’ll just list a few ideas I found interesting overall, in no particular order.
- In the third book, to communicate the ideas of curvature propulsion and black domain, Yun Tianming encodes it in a fairytale that she tells to Cheng Xin. This way, humans can decode the metaphors without the aliens realizing that a message is being sent. The fairytale has being painted into a picture as a metaphor for dimensional warfare, boat sailing in soap bubbles for curvature propulsion, etc.
- Dark forest theory and deterrence. If the coordinates of a star system is known, aliens will destroy it immediately, so you can instantly kill another civilization by broadcasting their coordinates. This serves as a deterrence system. Ultimately this is not quite infallible, as you need a “swordholder” to activate the broadcast, and humans are bad at making decisions like that.
- Wallfacer project. The sophons can see any spoken and written communication, but cannot read humans’ minds. So to counter that, we make “wallfacers” who have massive funding to do whatever they want, and aren’t required to justify any of their actions, in order to plan against the aliens.
- Sending a brain to aliens, knowing that they probably have the technology advanced enough to connect it to a body, this solves the problem of keeping a person alive in space.
- Using sophons to stop human progress in fundamental sciences. The trisolarans know that human science advances very fast, so in 400 years when their invasion fleet reaches Earth, humans will have developed technology advanced enough to destroy them, despite being inferior in the present.
Overall one of the best science fiction I’ve read, would definitely recommend!