Some people enjoy mountain-climbing as a hobby, while others hate it. What if mountain-climbing had become something necessary for survival? A group of pitiful aliens are forced to exist within a small spherical space, surrounded by layer upon layer of rock. They have named this space the "Bubble World," and their lifelong ambition is to find out what might exist beyond the rock walls that envelop them. Do the strata just go on forever? Or could they end in a void? To this end they build great ships of exploration, dying generation after generation as they adventure outward. Consequently, they form a completely unique world view, as well as theories of physics and cosmology that are vastly different from our own.
Liu Cixin's writing will remind SF fans of the genre's golden age, with its positive focus on scientific development, combined with a consistently constructive vision of China's future role as a global superpower. It's characteristic of an SF genre which has been embraced by Chinese culture because it is seen as representing the values of technological innovation and creativity so highly prized in a country developing more quickly than any other in the world today.
Liu Cixin has put his exuberant energy to good use, erecting a gallery that must be measured on a scale of light-years. Inside this gallery of his, he has stored away marvels beyond imagination produced by the science and technology of cosmic civilizations. The moment you step into Liu Cixin's world, the rush of his enthusiasm buffets you like a particle storm – a storm of enthusiasm for science and for technology; And it is this enthusiasm that bears the heart of his world's magnificent galaxy. We can find it reflected not only in the grand vistas he creates, but also in the fateful decisions of his characters. The stark contrast of his grand worlds against the choices of these lonely and feeble beings can be truly shocking!
First and foremost, as a reader, I very much enjoy and find great satisfaction in Liu Cixin's stories. The stories he tells are incredibly lucid, their language is conversant, their rhythm is tightly woven and their plots exceedingly compelling; Their imagery is unique, they have a boundless quality about them and they are brimming with powerful language; In these ways he echoes the great Taoist philosopher Chuang-tzu. What is more, I truly adore technology and industrial culture and consider them to be very exquisite, serious and atmospheric; almost holy. Liu Cixin's stories reflect this sentiment of mine. Therefore, I at times think that he echoes Newton. Finally, there is the military side of things. One does not have to look far to see his innate passion for all things to do with weaponry. In Liu Cixin we can see a stubbornness, a heroic ideal of centuries past.