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The dark forest / Cixin Liu ; translated by Joel Martinsen.

By: Liu, Cixin.
Contributor(s): Martinsen, Joel.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: London : Head of Zeus, 2016Copyright date: ©2015Description: 550 pages ; 20 cm.Content type: text Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeISBN: 9781784971618 (paperback).Uniform titles: Hei an sen lin. English Subject(s): Imaginary wars and battles -- Fiction | Human-alien encounters -- Fiction | Chinese fiction -- Translations into EnglishDDC classification: 895.13/52 Summary: The universe is a forest, patrolled by numberless and nameless predators. In this forest, others are hell, a dire existential threat. Stealth is survival. Any civilisation that reveals its location is prey. Earth has. And the others are on the way. The Trisolarian fleet has left their homeworld and will arrive in four centuries' time. But the sophons, their extra-dimensional emissaries, are already here and have infiltrated human society and and de-railed scientific progress. Only the individual human mind remains immune to the sophons. This is the motivation for the Wallfacer Project, a last-ditch defence that grants four individuals almost absolute power to design secret strategies, hidden through deceit and misdirection from Earth and Trisolaris alike. Three of the Wallfacers are influential statesmen and scientists, but the fourth is a total unknown.
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Originally published as Hei an sen lin in 2008 by Chonqing Publishing Group in Chongqing, China. Translation first published in 2015.

The universe is a forest, patrolled by numberless and nameless predators. In this forest, others are hell, a dire existential threat. Stealth is survival. Any civilisation that reveals its location is prey. Earth has. And the others are on the way. The Trisolarian fleet has left their homeworld and will arrive in four centuries' time. But the sophons, their extra-dimensional emissaries, are already here and have infiltrated human society and and de-railed scientific progress. Only the individual human mind remains immune to the sophons. This is the motivation for the Wallfacer Project, a last-ditch defence that grants four individuals almost absolute power to design secret strategies, hidden through deceit and misdirection from Earth and Trisolaris alike. Three of the Wallfacers are influential statesmen and scientists, but the fourth is a total unknown.

Translated from the Chinese.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Publishers Weekly Review

Readers who haven't read (or haven't recently reread) 2014's The Three-Body Problem will feel disoriented at the outset of this sprawling hard SF novel. In the prologue, an ant and a spider overhear Dr. Ye Wenjie, an astrophysicist, suggest to astronomer-turned-sociologist Luo Ji that there are "axioms of cosmic civilization," a neat variation on Asimov's psychohistory. This scene epitomizes the book's biggest flaw: clever ideas lost in often didactic prose. Before the notion of a cosmic sociology can be further developed, Liu shifts gears to present a dialogue between an alien intelligence, the Trisolaris, and the leader of the Earth-Trisolaris Organization, about the distinction between thought and speech. The Trisolarians pose a significant threat to humankind, which triggers very different responses on Earth, ranging from the Escapists, who believe that flight is the only option, to the formation of a Planetary Defense Council. The upbeat ending sets up the concluding volume, but not everyone will have the patience needed to get that far. (Aug.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Booklist Review

In 2014, Chinese star author Cixin Liu's The Three Body Problem came to the Western world with a fresh coat of English and a smartly imaginative and surreal first-contact story to tell. Now its sequel continues the tale of international alien intrigue as the extraterrestrial Trisolarans, a telepathic race incapable of deception, attempt to understand humanity, which knows deception to be its only advantage should the visitors turn out to be hostile. With this central conceit, Liu proves that The Three Body Problem only showcased a portion of his delightfully and powerfully clever imagination. The book's large cast of characters form a latticework of precisely placed focal points around which the story weaves and connects to wonderful moments of revelation. Readers of the prequel may feel the lack of extended, surrealistically dream-like scenes, and all readers will likely note this new installment's rather graceless exposition-dumps for uninformed newcomers to the series, but the macroscopic power of Liu's writing assures that The Dark Forest is worthy of its predecessor.--Francis, Chris Copyright 2015 Booklist

Kirkus Book Review

Second part of an alien-contact trilogy (The Three-Body Problem, 2014) from China's most celebrated science-fiction author. In the previous book, the inhabitants of Trisolaris, a planet with three suns, discovered that their planet was doomed and that Earth offered a suitable refuge. So, determined to capture Earth and exterminate humanity, the Trisolarans embarked on a 400-year-long interstellar voyage and also sent sophons (enormously sophisticated computers constructed inside the curled-up dimensions of fundamental particles) to spy on humanity and impose an unbreakable block on scientific advance. On Earth, the Earth-Trisolaris Organization formed to help the invaders, despite knowing the inevitable outcome. Humanity's lone advantage is that Trisolarans are incapable of lying or dissimulation and so cannot understand deceit or subterfuge. This time, with the Trisolarans a few years into their voyage, physicist Ye Wenjie (whose reminiscences drove much of the action in the last book) visits astronomer-turned-sociologist Luo Ji, urging him to develop her ideas on cosmic sociology. The Planetary Defense Council, meanwhile, in order to combat the powerful escapist movement (they want to build starships and flee so that at least some humans will survive), announces the Wallfacer Project. Four selected individuals will be accorded the power to command any resource in order to develop plans to defend Earth, while the details will remain hidden in the thoughts of each Wallfacer, where even the sophons can't reach. To combat this, the ETO creates Wallbreakers, dedicated to deducing and thwarting the plans of the Wallfacers. The chosen Wallfacers are soldier Frederick Tyler, diplomat Manuel Rey Diaz, neuroscientist Bill Hines, andLuo Ji. Luo has no idea why he was chosen, but, nonetheless, the Trisolarans seem determined to kill him. The plot's development centers on Liu's dark and rather gloomy but highly persuasive philosophy, with dazzling ideas and an unsettling, nonlinear, almost nonnarrative structure that demands patience but offers huge rewards. Once again, a highly impressive must-read. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

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