he Dark Forest is the follow-up book to Cixin Liu’s fantastic The Three Body Problem. As you’ll remember, the Trisolarian race, with intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic, regarded this earth with envious eyes* and have launched an invasion fleet to destroy humanity and use Earth as their new homeworld (if you know what the three body problem means, you might better understand why this is).
The good news is that the invasion fleet will take 400 years to get here.
The bad news is they have launched tiny atomic spies at our Earth, spies that that alter computer data and halt all scientific work in its tracks, as well as to spy out everything we attempt.
The title, The Dark Forest, refers to the idea that the universe is a dark forest with predatory races lurking in it. Humanity, with its probes and SETIs, has been seen by many as the child who lights a bonfire and cries out “Here I am”. This was evident in Three Body when a Chinese woman, bitter over the bloody Cultural Revolution, gets the Trisolarian original message and openly responds to it, knowing it will bring the end of the human race. Yes, that’s how mad she is.
So now we are following the paths of four geniuses tasked with saving humanity, coming up with plans to stop the Trisolarians in their drive on Earth. In that, the book is filled with wonderful plots, counterplots, twists and turns, with scientific considerations thrown into a different light. Every page brought a smile. In the end, the conclusion was sudden, unexpected and legitimate. A perfect ending of the situation brought on by the first novel.
There is a third in the set. Goodness knows what Liu is going to bring up in that one. I can’t wait.
So yes, a strong recommendation for this book, along with its originator. Check them both out!
* Credit to H.G. for this quote.