The Three-Body Problem


A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.

I recently finished The Three-Body Problem trilogy by Cixin Liu.

I loved it.

It had been a couple of years since I read fiction. I had forgotten how fun, relaxing, cognitive stimulative reading a good fiction book can be. Even better if it’s science fiction. It’s a great way to pursue escapism.

I remember going to my local science museum, Nehru Science Centre, this one time in my early teens. It was my mom and a few out-of-town cousins who were visiting. We spent the whole day exploring exhibits, but the best part came when the sun went down.

We were about to leave for home when we saw a group of people crowded at the exit and decided to check out what was going on. The center set up a telescope just outside the exit stairs.

They were looking at planets.

I had never thought we could do that. I knew about telescopes, but I thought it was for looking at faraway objects on Earth. My little brain could not comprehend that it could be used to see other planets. I stood in the long queue.

And finally, it was my turn to look into the eyepiece.

There it was the most beautiful sight I’ve ever seen. The image I saw is burnt into my brain.

Saturn. And that beautiful ring.

I had only seen Saturn in my textbooks. Actually, looking at it blew my teenage mind.

I became obsessed with Astronomy after that. I read about NASA, Hubble space telescope, Apollo missions, among others.

My parents went to great lengths to find “space-camps” or astronomy classes, but it was slim picking. We did go to a few outings organized by the same Science Centre, but that would happen once in a blue moon (literally). The astronomy ecosystem was not vibrant at the time. I hope that has changed in Mumbai.

I told that story is because that interest was re-ignited after reading The Three-Body Problem trilogy. I’ve been binge-watching Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s videos on YouTube. I wish my teenage self discovered him. He is a great science communicator and inspiring budding space-enthusiast.

I recommend The Three-Body Problem trilogy(especially the second book in the series) to anyone who likes reading science fiction.

Also, I’ve decided to put in place a system, so I read fiction more often-

I will read a fiction book for every five non-fiction books or at least one fiction book in eight weeks, whichever comes first.