Ecological Science Fiction with Chinese Characteristics

The Three-Body Problem Problem

  • Hans-Georg Erney Georgia Southern University
Keywords: Liu Cixin, The Three-Body Problem, Chinese science fiction, Chinese ecocriticism, ecological science fiction


Liu Cixin presents his The Three-Body Problem as hard SF without any political agenda yet decided to bury the account of the Cultural Revolution which opens the American edition in a later chapter in the Chinese version. The most sensitive material of the book, however, revolves around China’s treatment of the environment and the various responses to it. Combining the discourses of science fiction, ecocriticism, and ecological science fiction, this essay argues that Liu’s book represents an ambiguously radical as well as a radically ambiguous work of Chinese ecological science fiction disguised as a pulpy alien invasion scenario.