In Cixin’s Liu’s The Three-Body Problem, the first in his Remembrance of Earth’s Past series of novels, the truth about the existence of sentient life beyond Earth looms large in the minds of a number of different characters who all have varying takes on what to do about the aliens.
But in addition to being a story about humanity’s response to other intelligent life in the present day, The Three-Body Problem is also striking reflection on how living through a period like the Chinese Cultural Revolution profoundly altered and devastated many people’s sense of reality.
Using the Cultural Revolution’s violent sociopolitical upheavals as its backdrop, The Three-Body Problem explores the various ways that people survive and emerge from revolutions. While Liu’s prose and its excellent translation by Ken Liu are immersive, the book takes on a different kind of energy in Macmillan’s new audiobook production narrated by Luke Daniels.
Though the original audiobook’s been available for purchase and at libraries for some time now, Tor Books and Macmillan Audio have partnered to release The Three-Body Problem as an ongoing serialized podcast released on Macmillan’s Stories From Among the Stars feed.
Over the next few weeks leading up to August 6, Stories From the Stars’ feed will share new chapters from The Three-Body Problem every Tuesday and Thursday, after which the entire book will be available until September 10. Given The-Three Body Problem’s density, sitting down to read or listen to it in a single sitting might not be everyone’s speed, and there is something about the book being served up on a podcast platform that lends itself to consuming it as “episodic” content.
The book-as-a-podcast move definitely feels influenced by Netflix’s upcoming adaptation of The Three-Body Problem, but this is the sort of trend that honestly would be very interesting to see more of from major publishers.
Stories From Among the Stars is now available wherever you get your podcasts.