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Cixin Liu


Ball Lightning

Cixin Liu

When Chen's parents are incinerated before his eyes by a blast of ball lightning, he devotes his life to cracking the secret of this mysterious natural phenomenon. His search takes him to stormy mountaintops, an experimental military weapons lab, and an old Soviet science station.

The more he learns, the more he comes to realize that ball lightning is just the tip of an entirely new frontier in particle physics. Although Chen's quest provides a purpose for his lonely life, his reasons for chasing his elusive quarry come into conflict with soldiers and scientists who have motives of their own: a beautiful army major with an obsession with dangerous weaponry, and a physicist who has no place for ethical considerations in his single-minded pursuit of knowledge.

The Supernova Era

Cixin Liu

Celestial giants don't go peacefully. They tear themselves to pieces, unleashing a tsunami of ultra high-energy radiation. Eight years ago and eight light years away, a supermassive star died and tonight its supernova shockwave will finally reach Earth. Dark skies will shine bright as a new star blooms in the heavens and within a year everyone over the age of thirteen will be dead, their chromosomes irreversibly damaged.

And so the countdown begins.

Parents apprentice their children and try to pass on the knowledge they'll need to keep the world running.

But the last generation may not want to carry the legacy of their parents' world. And though they imagine a better, brighter future, they may not be able to escape humanity's darker instincts.

The Wandering Earth: Classic Science Fiction Collection

Cixin Liu

"The Wandering Earth" is a collection of short stories by Cixin Liu, China's most acclaimed contemporary science-fiction author. Unabashedly classic in the great tradition of Asimov and Clarke, Cixin Liu's science-fiction is firmly rooted in the cosmic.

Cixin Liu uses the unique perspective of science-fiction to take us on a journey into this majestic, desolate cosmos. He gives us the chance to reacquaint ourselves with the fundamental truth that in the face of a vast universe we are no more than a speck of dust; That the Earth is just another celestial body – And an extremely vulnerable one at that. The flash of a gamma-ray burst or the blast of a nearby supernova could, at any moment, reduce our cherished home to nothing but ashes. It can be terrifying to contemplate the end of our world and stories that describe such destruction can be disturbing. At the same time however, they can leave us feeling not only entertained, but exhilarated and inspired. Maybe, they can even give us a chance to renew our love of life.

Most stories found in the "The Wandering Earth" collection take us to a sci-fi vision of Earth's end. But here, there are no Hollywood aliens, descending from the depths of space to blow up our cities. In these futures, the dangers humanity faces are much stranger and whimsical than that. The unexpected calamities that befall his richly detailed worlds are only eclipsed by humanity's epic, but always plausible, attempts to escape destruction.

In all this peril and doom, Cixin Liu always feels for humanity. His stories are full of a deep love for all of Earth's peoples. But even this love does not escape reflection and even ridicule when viewed through his unrelenting cosmic lens. No matter how dearly one loves the Earth, humanity and all its cultures, there is no avoiding the cold, hard truth that they mean absolutely nothing when viewed against the vastness of the universe. But even an infinite universe could not change the simple fact that we are worthy of love, that we need love. It is this twist that lies at the very heart of the stories in this collection.

The Weight of Memories

Cixin Liu

From the author of The Three-Body Problem, The Dark Forest, and the forthcoming Death's End comes a story about unborn memories.

Translation for Chinese by Ken Liu.

Read the full story for free at Tor.com.

Yuanyuan's Bubbles

Cixin Liu

Translation by Carmen Yiling Yan. Read the full story for free at Clarkesworld.

The Three-Body Problem

Remembrance of Earth's Past: Book 1

Cixin Liu

Set against the backdrop of China's Cultural Revolution, a secret military project sends signals into space to establish contact with aliens. An alien civilization on the brink of destruction captures the signal and plans to invade Earth. Meanwhile, on Earth, different camps start forming, planning to either welcome the superior beings and help them take over a world seen as corrupt, or to fight against the invasion.

Translation by Ken Liu.

The Dark Forest

Remembrance of Earth's Past: Book 2

Cixin Liu

Earth is reeling from the revelation of a coming alien invasion—in just four centuries' time. The aliens' human collaborators may have been defeated, but the presence of the sophons, the subatomic particles that allow Trisolaris instant access to all human information, means that Earth's defense plans are totally exposed to the enemy. Only the human mind remains a secret. This is the motivation for the Wallfacer Project, a daring plan that grants four men enormous resources 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. Luo Ji, an unambitious Chinese astronomer and sociologist, is baffled by his new status. All he knows is that he's the one Wallfacer that Trisolaris wants dead.

Translated by Joel Martinsen

Note: first published in China in 2008.

Death's End

Remembrance of Earth's Past: Book 3

Cixin Liu

Half a century after the Doomsday Battle, the uneasy balance of Dark Forest Deterrence keeps the Trisolaran invaders at bay. Earth enjoys unprecedented prosperity due to the infusion of Trisolaran knowledge. With human science advancing daily and the Trisolarans adopting Earth culture, it seems that the two civilizations will soon be able to co-exist peacefully as equals without the terrible threat of mutually assured annihilation. But the peace has also made humanity complacent.

Cheng Xin, an aerospace engineer from the early 21st century, awakens from hibernation in this new age. She brings with her knowledge of a long-forgotten program dating from the beginning of the Trisolar Crisis, and her very presence may upset the delicate balance between two worlds. Will humanity reach for the stars or die in its cradle?

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