China’s most beloved science fiction author, Cixin Liu, concludes his award-winning series that began with The Three-Body Problem with Death’s End, which is currently a Hugo award finalist for 2017. With the threat of the Trisolaran invasion temporarily at bay, Earth is experiencing a jump in scientific and technological development. Engineer Cheng Xin, of the 21st century and beginning of the Trisolar crisis, awakens from hibernation in Earth’s new age. After rising in the ranks, Cheng Xin is given responsibility for the fate of all humanity.
Reading the final installment of the Remembrance of Earth’s Past series is like reading and watching 2001: A Space Odyssey for the first time. It’s a truly monumental piece of work, layered in complexity, rich in science fiction imagination, and leaves you with a sense of just how small and insignificant you are in time and space.
What else can I say and avoid spoilers? The pacing in Death’s End is livelier than the previous installments, with each successive event building upon and eclipsing the previous. While I like that most of the characters are all thoughtful analysts, and the drama and plots twists are external, I wonder at the decision to have the female lead’s primary decision-making motivation be love and fairy tales. But humanity itself is the real protagonist, vacillating between love and hate, and trust and first-strikes on the grandest of ethical scales.
If you love hard scifi (and are looking for a long series in which to immerse yourself), this series is an absolute must!
“Mere existence is already the result of incredible luck. Such was the case on Earth in the past, and such has always been the case in this cruel universe. But at some point, humanity began to develop the illusion that they’re entitled to life, that life can be taken for granted.”