We Are Bugs in this thread for The Three-Body Problem 三体 and its various adaptations

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I don't want to repeat what's in the Wikipedia entry for the book, so go there first and see if this is anything you want to get involved with before continuing. I won't spoiler specific plot threads but honestly, I don't know if you could spoiler this.

A few months ago, there was a practice run at receiving a extraterrestrial signal. An encoded message was sent from Mars orbit, to Earth, where radio telescopes received it and put it online for you to do the decrypting and practice announcing to the world that you have received The Signal. Another group is beyond practicing - they're actively sending messages to other stellar systems large and small. Active SETI's Wikipedia will catch you up on what's happening.

So *should* we be doing this? All that positivist Space Brother/United Federation of Planets talk is polyanna-ish wishful thinking when put up against history's track record. It never ends well for the less advanced. Hell, you can play this out yourself in Civilization: channel all your resources into achievement, and if your lucky and left alone enough... you'll be taking on Napoleon's cavalry with stealth bombers. Why should the galaxy work differently? Our Alien Space Brothers wouldn't screw us over, would they? Cortés' flotilla is 4.5 light years away - that's safe, right?

Of course this is all bullshit, because there isn't any other life out there, right? We get into this somewhat on: what's your (favorite)answer to Fermi's paradox? - now twenty years running. There's a taxonomy of splinter ideas that derive from the Fermi Paradox: the Great Filter, Berserker hypothesis, Dark forest hypothesis, probably some others. All of them make our conception of alien contact or alien war as we now consider it - kinda hopelessly antiquated.

Seems like a good place for an epic science-fiction series...

Anyway, I'm starting this thread because there are dueling television adaptations of the first book - each of them out to make the War And Peace of radio telescope movies.

Tencent's serieswas released early this year.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qqK2oDPzfx4

It's a big production for China but still limited in budget - get used to seeing the same ops centers over and over. If you can get with its strange rhythm within the first couple of episodes and how it flips between the real world, the "in game" world, and 1950s China, it'll pay off. The first book is basically the screenplay here, so season one (30 episodes) is roughly this: one third cyberpunk, one-third historical epic that seems like it's been fought over by censors, one-third worldwide action movie.

I liked it - I'd watch it again [url=http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLMX26aiIvX5rFSYPXtcqda3tWd6pGVD5Q]now that it's officially on YouTube.

So Netflix has their own version, enlisting the Game Of Thrones people and invoking Carl Sagan himself.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5lj99Uz1d50

Netflix's take seems very serious. I doubt they'll ever spend five minutes on a scene with the characters hanging out, eating noodles, having a beer, and talking philosophy.

Elvis Telecom, Friday, 28 July 2023 04:27 (eight months ago) link

Previously on ILX: The Wandering Earth thread namechecks this series a couple times - the Foundation trilogy comes up in the discussion and while I don't believe that's inaccurate I think that this series is richer (and possibly flat-lines out faster).

Elvis Telecom, Friday, 28 July 2023 04:28 (eight months ago) link

xp that’s too bad. my favorite parts in the books (esp
the third) were these calm scenes of ppl sitting around doing mundane stuff (drinking tea together, telling fairy tales) but in these lulls between literally world-shattering events

i was happy to have finished because the ideas in the series got richer as they went on - although a lot of the ideas are lifted from the david brin / kim stanley robinson school of “realistic” / “hard” sci fi, with all its various limitations.

also the language (particularly figurative) sometimes seemed very stilted to me (a character notices how a chinese woman holding a baby looks “like an asian madonna” or something)

i got over similar feelings with the annihilation (southern reach) trilogy, in thid case wasn’t sure if maybe it was from poor translation or just different conventions for prose fiction

the late great, Friday, 28 July 2023 06:10 (eight months ago) link

I read the first volume and it was fun and inventive and yeah it did have a kind of hard sf feel but the 11 dimensional sentient light speed manoeuverable supercomputer the size of a proton is distinctly from the very soft end of the spectrum.

I'd like to watch both versions but chances of squeezing in a 20+ hour show that my wife has no interest in are slim.

a holistic digital egosystem (ledge), Friday, 28 July 2023 08:02 (eight months ago) link

i know what you mean. i just meant stuff that's rooted in responding (even fancifully) to current issues in science. i know all sci fi is a lens on the present, etc, but this is like "sci fi as ted talk" (in addition to whatever social issues you want to tackle).

i think it is often done well in life science: crichton did it in jurassic park w/ genetics, brin does it with evolutionary biology (his takes are kinda dubious imo). kim stanley robinson is weirdly good at this when getting into public policy! the proton you mention ("the teardrop") is a useful plot device and also a magical explanation that gives the author a chance to explain a current impasse in physics. even dune and annihilation sort of do this, at least giving a feel for how ecologists approach their work (although annihilation has some made-up fake environmental science ideas). i think when it's done with physical science (particularly stuff like computers) it can date very quickly (oh nooooooo these vacuum tubes have outsmarted the president, consult the magnetic reels!)

my first idea about something firmly rooted in the "real hard" sf tradition would be something like alfred bester "cold equations". that one is kind of linked to these because it functions in a way as an explainer for the technical problems of his era (in the context of rocket flight and air travel)

the late great, Friday, 28 July 2023 08:53 (eight months ago) link

I've always liked how Rudy Rucker's crazy books live in that area of advanced technology indistinguishable from magic, so a one line pitch of "what if there was a mathworld epic about the Kardashev scale" is an easy sell to me. I haven't thought about it being prescriptive in any way that those others would - more like a what-if. I mean if you get a bunch of experimental physicists together in a room, eventually someone will claim that you could build a time machine if you put 24 black holes in a ring surrounding a cylinder made of neutron star material. Isn't the whole point of being a type II or III civilization is being able to fuck around and find out like that?

I love how Kim Stanley Robinson uses time... I recently read his Sierra Nevada book and as I'm reading, he's writing about the mountains in the way he uses time in his books - giving everything a geology to build on. (gimme that kind of hard SF)

Elvis Telecom, Friday, 28 July 2023 11:58 (eight months ago) link

Is there a condensed version of this that's somewhere between a wikipedia summary and short form narrative? I remember liking "cold equations" and a bunch of Rucker stories but I don't think I could handle 1000+ page versions.

Philip Nunez, Friday, 28 July 2023 23:58 (eight months ago) link

There is a fan edit (called Three-Body Disembiggened) of the Tencent series that reduces the 22 hours down to a more manageable six. I haven't watched it yet, but I think it could be promising.

(much of the fanbase is up in arms about the Netflix version literally whitewashing the story)

Elvis Telecom, Saturday, 29 July 2023 10:17 (eight months ago) link

i don't even own a tv (or to steal from map, i'm not into scripted entertainment) but wait what

the late great, Saturday, 29 July 2023 20:58 (eight months ago) link

It's a Chinese story with the Cultural Revolution as a central backdrop and folks are rightly upset that the Netflix one is in English, with most of the male Chinese roles recast with non-Chinese actors.

Elvis Telecom, Saturday, 29 July 2023 22:12 (eight months ago) link

yeah that sucks. the stills i saw at least had the start of the story right. i hope it tanks

the late great, Saturday, 29 July 2023 22:35 (eight months ago) link

Oh nice, thanks for alerting me to these. I've read the first two books. Third one I will need to revisit - felt just a bit too much to devour at the time.

Stomp Jomperson (dog latin), Tuesday, 1 August 2023 12:12 (eight months ago) link

i read the whole trilogy in a month last year and it absolutely fucked me up for a while afterwards - despite the characters often being thinly-drawn and the ending seeming slightly rushed, the galactic-scale nihilism of the whole thing was very effective

not convinced at all about the netflix series but i am curious about the chinese version

come on barbo let’s go parpo (bizarro gazzara), Tuesday, 1 August 2023 12:35 (eight months ago) link

Yeah it's a pretty mindboggling thing to behold

Stomp Jomperson (dog latin), Tuesday, 1 August 2023 12:38 (eight months ago) link

the galactic-scale nihilism of the whole thing was very effective

That's the best summation I've read, otm.

immodesty blaise (jimbeaux), Tuesday, 1 August 2023 13:44 (eight months ago) link

despite the characters often being thinly-drawn and the ending seeming slightly rushed, the galactic-scale nihilism of the whole thing was very effective

yes, this summarizes my take pretty well. even as I recognized these shortcomings while reading it, it really stuck with me. although that may have also had a lot to do with powering through the books in a month or so that overlapped with having COVID and dealing with multiple family health emergencies

Maxmillion D. Boosted (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Tuesday, 1 August 2023 14:42 (eight months ago) link

two months pass...

The Tencent series is streaming on PBS now: https://www.thirteen.org/blog-post/three-body-scifi-series-china/

Elvis Telecom, Saturday, 7 October 2023 02:23 (six months ago) link

ty!

mookieproof, Saturday, 7 October 2023 02:30 (six months ago) link

three months pass...

idk anything about this (and will try to keep it that way) but by the end of this trailer I was p psyched

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mogSbMD6EcY

nashwan, Tuesday, 9 January 2024 20:48 (three months ago) link

nice to see that the GoT guys brought Davos Seaworth with them

Muad'Doob (Moodles), Tuesday, 9 January 2024 20:58 (three months ago) link

Thinking about Departed in the Scorsese thread, I wish this would have been adapted as an explicit comedy.

Philip Nunez, Tuesday, 9 January 2024 21:56 (three months ago) link

OTM. The best parts of the Tencent version was when the plot ground to a halt for a beer and noodles break.

Elvis Telecom, Thursday, 11 January 2024 07:42 (three months ago) link

It's a very silly book (if approached as hard SF, it's more science fantasy) and I'm going to watch this in that spirit.

organ doner (ledge), Thursday, 11 January 2024 09:46 (three months ago) link

i'd forgotten benedict wong was playing da shi in this - perfect casting tbh

still v skeptical about how effective an adaptation it will be but i'll probably watch anyway

memphis milano: the new trend of the 80s (bizarro gazzara), Thursday, 11 January 2024 10:24 (three months ago) link

this book was an f’in trip!

brimstead, Thursday, 11 January 2024 16:45 (three months ago) link

two months pass...

netflix version is out

mookieproof, Friday, 22 March 2024 20:53 (one month ago) link

I've watched the first episode, it was fine, I can remember some of the book but not so much that I know where it's all going. benedict wong as good as usual, some of the others... hmm.

the most memorable moment for me was seeing that huge round building labelled "oxfotd university particle accelerator" - lol, I thought. but it's true! I don't think it's owned or operated by the uni but it is in oxfordshire.
https://www.diamond.ac.uk/Home/About.html

gene besserit (ledge), Friday, 22 March 2024 21:57 (one month ago) link

is "pringles can suck a dick" in the book

mark s, Friday, 22 March 2024 22:06 (one month ago) link

first couple of episodes capture the vibe of the books pretty well despite the liberties taken with setting and character

the flashback sequences are the strongest - ziwen wang is great as ye wenjie, her defiant stare is perfect

benedict wong is always a delight, i could look at that craggy face forever

will def watch the rest of the season although i can’t see how the later parts of the series can avoid descending into endless cgi gloopfests as the story moves into the future

memphis milano: the new trend of the 80s (bizarro gazzara), Friday, 22 March 2024 22:22 (one month ago) link

based on the last ep title the 1st season covers the first book which makes sense
it’ll be interesting to see how they handle the wallfacer stuff

scanner darkly, Friday, 22 March 2024 23:49 (one month ago) link

I gave the Wikipedia entries a scan and, man this is quite a saga.

Can’t decide if I want to start with the show, or the actual books.

Marten Broadcloak, mild-mannered GOP congressman (Raymond Cummings), Saturday, 23 March 2024 00:03 (four weeks ago) link

I remember not really liking the books that much, but I did make it all the way to the end.

Watched the first episode of the Netflix show tonight and it feels very much like something that would have been on NBC immediately after, say, the second season of Heroes, and all the PR would have been about it being a huge international co-production and blah blah blah.

Tahuti Watches L&O:SVU Reruns Without His Ape (unperson), Saturday, 23 March 2024 00:38 (four weeks ago) link

Read the first two books and enjoyed them. No idea how you'd begin to make a faithful adaptation of them because they go deep into theory and on some huge flights of fantasy.

First episode is okay, fairly promising.pteferring the stuff in China than the modern day England stuff. Matey from GoT is corny

your mom goes to limgrave (dog latin), Saturday, 23 March 2024 01:01 (four weeks ago) link

awful, awful line readings throughout. are the overenunciated british accents for syndication? terrible "it is profound"/ DO U SEE? signposting. i mean, wow. shan't be bothering with ep2

massaman gai (front tea for two), Saturday, 23 March 2024 05:58 (four weeks ago) link

yeah being unfamiliar with the books I feel this is pretty bad - that Heroes comment above is spot on.

I was briefly irritated by the light spoiler in recent comments but probably actually grateful in that it strengthens my resolve to watch something else

Kraal Disorientation Chamber (emsworth), Saturday, 23 March 2024 06:55 (four weeks ago) link

I agree there were some clunky bits in e1. A story like this doesn't need a corny clown devouring crisps and mugging for the camera.

But I try not to judge shows by the first episode. Often they've been adapted from a pilot designed to test ratings and full of wonky concessions. Gonna give it a couple more episodes to see if it smooths out.

your mom goes to limgrave (dog latin), Saturday, 23 March 2024 09:01 (four weeks ago) link

Eh, it's just nice to watch a contemporary show that doesn't conjure an alternate dimension where climate change isn't happening without getting all afternoon special about it. This is keeping with the books which commence with the words,'Silent Spring'. Don't have to do as much pretending.

Showing a physicist been beaten to death and a leap forward in time to scientist suicides seems generally applicable. Maybe more revealing of a given commentator's preferred scale of 'otherness', in a story about literally aliens, to make it about China. Especially when the instigation of the alien thing is the belief we are no longer capable of solving our own problems. Like, why bring unfounded specificity to the 'we'? Recall around when books were first published (~2006) the Union of Concerned Scientists were writing papers to the second Bush Administration, or some official commentary in the Garnuat review (prominent Australian economist) that this could lead to extinction and ignoring it would make policy decisions delusional, or just the title of Ghosh's,'The Great Derangement'. Though, let's not get all academic about it, in lived experience, and only weeks ago, unprompted and regarding how it is harder to grow grapes when the weather is weird, the clerk at the local bottle shop asked me whether he should have kids. Fun chat.

So yay, there's some (often lacking) verisimilitude in a show set in 2024 with the occasional ambient news story about how cicadas are killing the crops, or a character arguing we should focus on our immediate problems while standing in from on an empty newsstand, and a character who isn't having children. Sure they've been televisionified but kinda digging the tone of the nominally gifted toiling in quiet despair. Like taking the cast of the West Wing, or Apollo 13, with their exhaustive competence, and updating it with 'but we hate it' which seems more keeping with the dynamic of many current working professionals.

Though, somewhat hilariously, the concept of perpetual surveillance hits different, and in layered irony, nearly two decades after publishing. In the novel it caused genuine dramatic consternation and now it's more, 'yeah we know, ohhh... you meant the aliens'.

Popture, Saturday, 23 March 2024 09:22 (four weeks ago) link

kojima liked it, that’s good enough for me

I've just finished watching through eight episodes of "3 Body Problem." The original novel by Liu Cixin is depicted on a grand scale and in a unique style. With a slow-paced introduction, the ensemble drama spins a timeless story with intersecting characters. Abstract and… pic.twitter.com/RlZaKIoHyz

— HIDEO_KOJIMA (@HIDEO_KOJIMA_EN) March 23, 2024

the defenestration of prog (voodoo chili), Saturday, 23 March 2024 14:47 (four weeks ago) link

john bradley is not a good actor

(he was ok in GoT i guess) (i dont really like the in-game stuff either but unliek all u clowns i am not a gamer so)

mark s, Saturday, 23 March 2024 15:27 (four weeks ago) link

The game aspect of the first novel was super-annoying too. I guess I understand the idea of aliens teaching humanity stuff by getting us to play video games, I just find it a very depressing statement about humanity.

Tahuti Watches L&O:SVU Reruns Without His Ape (unperson), Saturday, 23 March 2024 15:52 (four weeks ago) link

they should use free jazz instead

mark s, Saturday, 23 March 2024 15:55 (four weeks ago) link

"even now i would scythe him like wheat"

filing this away for future use after a struggle session goes awry

mark s, Saturday, 23 March 2024 16:16 (four weeks ago) link

video game sections were far and away the highlights of the first novel for me (besides the chinese revolution chapters and the trisolaris bit at the end)

the defenestration of prog (voodoo chili), Saturday, 23 March 2024 17:19 (four weeks ago) link

Yes, I really liked the video game bits of the book, far fetched and ridiculous as they often were

your mom goes to limgrave (dog latin), Saturday, 23 March 2024 21:46 (four weeks ago) link

enjoying jonathan pryce remembering halfway through a sentence that he’s supposed to be american and then forgetting again by the time he starts the next one

memphis milano: the new trend of the 80s (bizarro gazzara), Saturday, 23 March 2024 22:17 (four weeks ago) link

john bradley is not a good actor

I'm only 2eps in but he's def the most irritating thing in the show so far. I'm enjoying this,but wondering if I should start on the books as well?

Stoop Crone (Trayce), Sunday, 24 March 2024 10:50 (four weeks ago) link

Tell you who is a good actor: Benedict Wong

your mom goes to limgrave (dog latin), Sunday, 24 March 2024 12:12 (four weeks ago) link

The books are good. They're a fair undertaking though and you have to be prepared to do some mental stretching, not just intellectually but in your own credulity. I listened to the first two as audiobooks and they're a decent read

your mom goes to limgrave (dog latin), Sunday, 24 March 2024 12:14 (four weeks ago) link

any time Benedict Wong is mentioned i think of him on the phone to his mum in 14 Storeys High.

"hi mum, it's me, your son. yes, the Chinese one..."

koogs, Sunday, 24 March 2024 16:01 (four weeks ago) link

I feel terrible because while I thought I recognized Benedict Wong's face (and have probably seen him in other stuff), I was confusing him with the Korean actor Ma Dong-seok and thinking that his English (specifically, his English accent) was amazing.

This is Ma Dong-seok, ftr:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hKbo-ZKdSqw

Tahuti Watches L&O:SVU Reruns Without His Ape (unperson), Sunday, 24 March 2024 17:17 (four weeks ago) link

Yeah, they don't seem to have tried to do the usual streaming thing of padding it out eternally. Feels this could be comfortable done in 3 (maybe even 2?) seasons.

Tsar Bombadil (James Morrison), Thursday, 4 April 2024 01:12 (two weeks ago) link

How can you guys just skip past the fucking crazy Walter White lawyer poisoning his billionaire boss story?

Jordan s/t (Jordan), Thursday, 4 April 2024 05:24 (two weeks ago) link

any time Benedict Wong is mentioned i think of him on the phone to his mum in 14 Storeys High.
"hi mum, it's me, your son. yes, the Chinese one..."
lol that's exactly the bit I always think of... and "come and wipe your hands on me coat!"

I'm 3 eps in and enjoying this - it's a far easier watch than I expected (expected something like The Peripheral) but what's with the likes of Phil Wang and Reece Sheersmith popping up in the game?! And tons of Game of Thronesers. tempted to read the books but I'll see how the show pans out.

kinder, Friday, 5 April 2024 22:44 (two weeks ago) link

quite liked this

mookieproof, Saturday, 6 April 2024 16:13 (two weeks ago) link

How can you guys just skip past the fucking crazy Walter White lawyer poisoning his billionaire boss story?


wait this isn’t why this thread has been so active?!?!

brimstead, Saturday, 6 April 2024 16:18 (two weeks ago) link

I don’t want to watch a movie of this

brimstead, Saturday, 6 April 2024 16:18 (two weeks ago) link

could wade be any more over-the-top tho

mookieproof, Saturday, 6 April 2024 22:57 (two weeks ago) link

ep 5, man.
Annoys me when you can't tell if something makes zero sense intentionally because of sneaky people in the plot or because it makes good TV.

forgot Kevin Eldon was in it in one of the first eps too to add to the weird-but-I-like-it vibe

kinder, Sunday, 7 April 2024 21:25 (two weeks ago) link

yeah episode five was good stuff. it’s one thing reading that culebra cut scene, another thing entirely watching it *shudder*

the defenestration of prog (voodoo chili), Monday, 8 April 2024 04:22 (two weeks ago) link

I started reading the books after watching the Netflix show. It's good to know the physicists version of Friends was a creation of the GoT guys.

President Keyes, Tuesday, 9 April 2024 16:28 (one week ago) link

so no one told you life on other planets was going to be this way

the defenestration of prog (voodoo chili), Tuesday, 9 April 2024 16:57 (one week ago) link

The One With the Nanofibers

President Keyes, Tuesday, 9 April 2024 17:00 (one week ago) link

"Could there BE anymore sophons?!?!"

Maxmillion D. Boosted (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Tuesday, 9 April 2024 17:03 (one week ago) link

when it hasn't been your day, your week, your month, or your stable era

kinder, Wednesday, 10 April 2024 07:55 (one week ago) link

We're almost done with the season and I'm enjoying it, if not as much as the books, but god the scenes with the physicists hanging out at the beach are so boring and clashing in tone with everything else and so far adding nothing to the plot either

Vinnie, Wednesday, 10 April 2024 10:57 (one week ago) link

The bit about her being a boring beautiful was funny and accurate, though.

Tsar Bombadil (James Morrison), Thursday, 11 April 2024 04:14 (one week ago) link

things i don't get: a) how tatiana seems to have superpowers (like physically overpowering/killing jack; i get that she can surreptitiously appear anywhere at any time) b) why there was a need to kill keiko o'brien ye wenjie

mookieproof, Thursday, 11 April 2024 04:34 (one week ago) link

or how VR swordswoman / his own eyeless corpse appeared to wade IRL

I finished it a few days ago, I think it got better as it went on. I kept wondering why sad cancer man kept on hanging around but the scene with saul trying to persuade him not to kill himself was one of the best in the series.

ledge, Thursday, 11 April 2024 07:59 (one week ago) link

It was also never explained how benedict wong (does anyone even know his character name lol) didn't see jack getting killed.

ledge, Thursday, 11 April 2024 08:09 (one week ago) link

like you ledge, i found it seemed to get better, or i minded various things less, like how it looked and how people acted, and partly because a lot of the time i realised “no, shit, that *was* in the book”.

supernatural lady and that scene generally were shit tho. i *think* the implication was that aliens can control what you *perceive* but that takes their potency waaaaaay too far. one of the features of the story is the odd asymmetric equilibrium between the aliens and humans. aliens are *extremely* powerful and advanced but limited in important ways.

Fizzles, Thursday, 11 April 2024 08:19 (one week ago) link

yes, slamming a proton through your retina millions of times a second to make a wobbly countdown appear is one thing, completely controlling your whole experience is quite another.

anyway i want another series.

i probably learned this when i read the book and then forgot again, but the alpha centauri system, our closest stellar system at 4 light years away, is a three body system. but not as chaotic.

ledge, Thursday, 11 April 2024 08:51 (one week ago) link

top three benedict wong moments:

1) tequila
2) i don't know i'm from manchester
3) *grins, points*

ledge, Thursday, 11 April 2024 09:08 (one week ago) link

It was also never explained how benedict wong (does anyone even know his character name lol) didn't see jack getting killed.

― ledge, Thursday, April 11, 2024 9:09 AM (five hours ago) bookmarkflaglink

In the show he's called Clarence but in the book he's usually referred to as Da Shì (think that's right), which is pronounced something like "Dah-Shuh" or "Dah-Shur"

your mom goes to limgrave (dog latin), Thursday, 11 April 2024 13:22 (one week ago) link

Netflix's Three Body Podcast is worth a listen. They interview Wong and Marlo Kelly and both of them come across extremely warm and likeable

your mom goes to limgrave (dog latin), Thursday, 11 April 2024 13:24 (one week ago) link

One of the big changes from the book is the content of the conversation between Ye Wenjie and Saul. Makes me wonder what direction they'll take the show in the 2nd season.

President Keyes, Thursday, 11 April 2024 14:04 (one week ago) link

I do admit that I liked the subtle easter eggs for readers of the book - like the ant on the headstone and, gonna hide this one, the goldfish given to Will as either just an Easter egg or foreshadowing future seasons

Maxmillion D. Boosted (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Thursday, 11 April 2024 14:17 (one week ago) link

da shi is far more abrasive/annoying in the books (and the one episode of the chinese show i’ve seen) — much prefer wong’s mellow version

mookieproof, Thursday, 11 April 2024 18:30 (one week ago) link

There's loads that doesn't make sense to me - please feel free to explain if I haven't gotten it... The High Sparrow guy had been talking to My Lord for what, a decade at least? Years anyway? And they've JUST discovered that humans can say things that aren't true... even make up fictional stories without intent to deceive? And they just abandon their plan to train /test/manipulate people via super VR? Also, why was it a bad plan to bomb the cargo ship in case the hard drive (which as far as I can tell 's existence was just guessed at) got destroyed but fine to chop it into bits with a material that can destroy anything? I can't tell if it's the way the show's been adapted but Wade being on a very singular course of action made me think he'd come from the future or something to guide people onto that path.

Also the passing of time is quite unpredictable. I wish certain characters were still in it as well. That the whole concept of a Wallfacer seems insane make me laugh, just how weird it seems to have just one person deciding a course of action then doing it?

kinder, Thursday, 11 April 2024 18:44 (one week ago) link

Yeah in the books people come to think that the Wallfacer project is insane as well.

President Keyes, Thursday, 11 April 2024 18:56 (one week ago) link

Can’t believe I didn’t recognise Keiko! Duh.

I thought this was plenty of fun but sort of fizzled a bit after the fifth episode. There’s a giant eye in the sky -- exciting!!!!! — but then everything just got… slower and slower?

Chuck_Tatum, Friday, 12 April 2024 00:30 (one week ago) link

The High Sparrow guy had been talking to My Lord for what, a decade at least? Years anyway? And they've JUST discovered that humans can say things that aren't true... even make up fictional stories without intent to deceive?

as I recall, the books have some more explanation for some of the weird ideas/decisions you see in the show (for example, the scientists discuss that the nanofiber cut is so perfect, the hard drive can be restored) but overall I don't think it's a book series that really holds up well to logical scrutiny. the batshit impractical ideas are the basis and most enjoyable aspect of the books, and I think the characters, story, etc is just there to accommodate them. I don't think the show writers should bother too much with trying to explain things better either

Vinnie, Friday, 12 April 2024 11:39 (one week ago) link

most of the weird concepts in the books have explanations, but they’re all glorious nonsense

the defenestration of prog (voodoo chili), Friday, 12 April 2024 11:56 (one week ago) link

Haha yes true

Vinnie, Friday, 12 April 2024 11:59 (one week ago) link

Is Wade in the books? He’s such a great manga character made real

Chuck_Tatum, Friday, 12 April 2024 12:10 (one week ago) link

He is, and pretty much the same there

Vinnie, Friday, 12 April 2024 12:59 (one week ago) link

ah ok, good to know, happy to suspend disbelief!

kinder, Friday, 12 April 2024 13:13 (one week ago) link

Wade, I have recently found out, turns up in the third book. In fact so much stuff in the show is taken from the third one!!

your mom goes to limgrave (dog latin), Friday, 12 April 2024 13:29 (one week ago) link

Vinnie and voodoo chili OTM. It is the hardest of sci-fis, but within that it manages to lay out the workings-out of some totally unhinged ideas. I actually think it's a very positive book in the way all these different nations and organisations seem to more-or-less happily collaborate and go along with the most loopy shit imaginable. I couldn't imagine a Western post-Covid book being half as optimistic

your mom goes to limgrave (dog latin), Friday, 12 April 2024 13:33 (one week ago) link

Was Wade only in the third book?? I remember there are chunks of the later books which happen chronologically at the same time as the first book, so it's smart to set those threads up in the first season of the show

Vinnie, Friday, 12 April 2024 13:51 (one week ago) link

i might be wrong. it's been a while since i read the first two

your mom goes to limgrave (dog latin), Friday, 12 April 2024 14:03 (one week ago) link

There were some similar characters in the other books, like Col. Stanton.

President Keyes, Friday, 12 April 2024 14:59 (one week ago) link

haven't read the third yet, so i wasn't familiar with wade. i think it's an effective choice to have him as this mysterious power somehow more powerful than all western governments who's been secretly preparing for this invasion his whole life

and also a smart choice to have him replace the interplanetary council that da shi works for in the novel, if he's gonna have significance later in the timeline

the defenestration of prog (voodoo chili), Friday, 12 April 2024 15:42 (one week ago) link

Yeah I remembered Wade being the second book but I must have conflated him with a similar character. The show seems to be doing the same thing

Vinnie, Friday, 12 April 2024 15:53 (one week ago) link

The TV version is funny in that it honestly thinks the US would just stand back and let an obscure UK org run the show.

Tsar Bombadil (James Morrison), Saturday, 13 April 2024 01:00 (one week ago) link

oh i'm sure wade's org is international, which presumably lets the fact that he's *irish* slide

anyway if it's okay with cch pounder it should be okay for all of us

mookieproof, Saturday, 13 April 2024 01:30 (one week ago) link

one of the funniest things abt THE WANDERING EARTH (流浪地球) * is that it's the chinese that save the planet and the US is almost totally shut out (whenever it cuts to the UN, it signals this by having the french on the podium)

*(which is im sorry WAY better than this earnest and annoying and mostly poorly acted series, including being the EVEN HARDESTER of sci-fis: ffs they are moving our homeworld across the galaxy with giant rockets and nearly get caught in jupiter's gravity well)

mark s, Saturday, 13 April 2024 10:01 (one week ago) link

I think people have lost sight of what “hard SF” actually means.

Tsar Bombadil (James Morrison), Sunday, 14 April 2024 12:52 (one week ago) link

not me though

mark s, Sunday, 14 April 2024 12:56 (one week ago) link

^^^built different

mookieproof, Sunday, 14 April 2024 13:35 (one week ago) link


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