by Cixin Liu
In the second of CixiinLiu’s Remembrance Of Earth’s Past trilogy, we find ourselves facing humanity’s end. The Trisolarian fleet is heading our way and it seems that the outcome of the ensuing conflict is in little doubt. With their extra-dimensional agents watching our every move and effectively putting a halt to scientific progress humanity looks set to pray for the ultimate price for being foolish enough to make its existence known. In a universe full of predators they best way to ensure survival to remain hidden. By contacting the Trisolarians humanity had made a seemingly fatal mistake.
Like the opening book of the series (The Three-Body Problem), although Dark Forest is global in scope, the book’s focus is, not surprisingly, focuses on the Chinese point of view.
The story spans 200 years with the main characters popping in and out of hibernation. But rather than being used as a convenient vehicle to help cover issues with the plot, it is an important part of the narrative.
Dark Forest is a clever, intense and very well-told story. There is a lot of speculative science and interesting philosophical debate throughout the book as well as some very interesting characters and one of the most imaginative plots I have read in years. The book never drifts too far from what might realistically be possible in the near future it portrays.
Cixin Liu has proven himself to be one of the best science fiction visionaries of his generation. His depiction of the first contact between Earth and Trisolarian technologies is quite gripping and totally unexpected. His characters are well defined and engaging.
The Dark Forest continues with the same intensity and imagination as The Three-Body Problem and I am looking forward to reading the final instalment in this gripping trilogy.