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变形金刚

Book of the Month 4/2012: 刘慈欣's 三体

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变形金刚

I would like to suggest 三体 by 刘慈欣, a sci-fi novel which seems to be pretty popular in China! Is anyone else interested?

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roddy

Hmmm. I'd suggest the shorter and more accessible 球状闪电, which was BOTM way back in early 2008. Same author. But if you want to run with 三体 you may well find willing readers.

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Gleaves

Both are on my to do list, so I would join.

(I'd want to hunt down a hard copy, so I might be late in starting.)

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imron

If I can track down a copy of 三体 too I might join in. 球状闪电 is not a bad choice either, and I'd chime in with my thoughts if anyone started on that also.

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heifeng

what...sci fi!? I'm there. Well, actually I'll put it on my list for the year if it looks promising when you continue to do a thread write up on it. (I'm trying to finish up my other book right now and must keep the momentum going!)

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feihong

I'm definitely interested.

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Gleaves

I have book one of 三体 on order. So I would be able to kick off in early April sometime. I was going to pick it up anyway, so I can switch gears to 球状闪电 if need be.

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变形金刚

Nice, seems like there is some interest in this! I am about halfway through the first book now. There are some really creative ideas in here, for example there is one scene where Von Neumann and Isaac Newton travel to meet 秦始皇 in a virtual reality world (right after Newton defeats Leibnitz in a sword fight over who really invented calculus) and try to convince the emperor to build a computer using millions of soldiers that serve as transistors by waving black and white flags. Would recommend it, I will try to post a better writeup when I finish the first book

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paotale

which one did you all decide on? I finally have some time to read so I'll join in.

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feihong

I'm really just waiting for the official post to go out. I can't take the lead on this because I happen to be in the middle of another book, and I sorta hope to finish it before starting another one.

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feihong

Is anybody else ready to start reading this? I've actually already read the first chapter. A fairly promising start, in my opinion.

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Gleaves

Just got my copy in the mail yesterday. I'm almost finished with my current book, so I'll move to this next, probably in a few days. I'm quite curious about this one, because I feel like this is the only Chinese sci-fi book (or even pop fiction book in general) I ever seen any articles about. I'll probably need up through end of May to finish as my reading time has really suffered at the hands of all this darn listening/speaking practice stuff.

变形金刚 - You might want to go ahead and retitle, make this a bit more affirmative.

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变形金刚

Retitled! It looks like people are still reading so I will try not to reveal any plot details

I recommended this book to a chinese friend, and that person finished reading it in 5 hours (!) and then started the second book, which was rather demoralizing... anyway, I was impressed with this book. I expect that if someone translated this into english it would be well received. The language was difficult for me in some places because of some of the physics stuff, but it was all manageable

Supposedly there are two editions of the book. One opens in the cultural revolution, and the other edition moves the cultural revolution segment to later on in the book. The one I read started with the cultural revolution scene. A lot of people seem to complain about the cultural revolution bit, though I thought it was one of the most interesting aspects of the book. The things that happen during that time period motivate one of the characters to make some really extreme decisions later on in the book. Later on, that character becomes more familiar with the 三体 civilization and starts to regret those decisions. I feel like there might be some kind of social commentary happening here, but my understanding of Chinese history is not good enough to pick up on what exactly the author is trying to say.

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feihong

I think there is more than one version of the cultural-revolution-starting version of the book. The difference that I noticed was at the end of the first chapter. In one version, at the end of the first chapter the character goes to her apartment building, and then the chapter ends. In the other version, the character goes somewhere besides her apartment building before the chapter ends. I like how the second version closes out the chapter, so that's what I'm reading now. I downloaded it from book.kanunu.org.

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feihong

Really enjoying this book so far! Just finished Chapter 6 (射手和农场主). I do have a question about a line towards the end of the chapter.

"话刚说完,汪淼吃惊地长大了嘴,他竟下意识中说出了那两个这时应十分忌讳的名次,还好,没有说出更忌讳的那个." Am I supposed to know what word he wasn't supposed to say? Or is it made clear later on?

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feihong

It's been two months already, but I'm still not finished. Getting close to the halfway point now. How is everyone else doing?

This book was a bit hard for me at the beginning due to all the unfamiliar science vocabulary. But at this point I seem to have gotten used to it so maybe I'll start picking up the pace soon.

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变形金刚

Keep it up, the ending is interesting! I finished up the the second book a few days ago. The science vocabulary slowed me down a lot too. It was actually much worse in the second book, to the point where the author started adding in footnotes to explain things. This combined with the much longer length of the second book made it a big slog at times compared to the first one though it was still an enjoyable read.

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skylee

This book seems interesting. I have downloaded a free android app on it (I believe there is also an IOS version). I would like to read it but I might not (my problem - I am lazy. There are many ebooks in my phone that I have not yet read).

It is interesting to note that the writer is called Magnet Liu in the app. :P

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feihong

Finally finished the first book today. Wow, that took a long time. But it was totally worth it.

Still, this was a tough read. I was still looking up a lot of words even towards the end. Although I read the majority of the book on my Kindle, by the end I was so motivated to find out what happened that I just used Pleco instead.

I thoroughly enjoyed the book. The highlights are definitely the sci-fi set pieces, which are all spectacular. The few action scenes are also pretty well done. The most glaring weakness would have to be the characters. I didn't feel they always acted consistently, and sometimes their motivations were not entirely clear. However, if you are used to reading sci-fi, you can easily ignore the characterization issues because you are probably used to them by now.

Although I liked this book a lot, I am not very willing to immediately start the next book in the series. It was a huge commitment of time, and I feel like I neglected some other reading material while I slowly worked my way through this.

Has anyone else besides 变形金钢 finished the book?

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Gleaves

My Chinese reading dried up completely over the last few months, but I got about halfway through this before that happened. I really liked what I've read so far. I'm easing myself back into reading with some comics at the moment, but I hope to turn back to this sometime soon.

I think an English translation of this is in the works. I was also surpised to find some of 刘慈欣's short stories on Amazon in English. Could be helpful as a reference if tackling these in Chinese.

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