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The Dark Forest

(Remembrance of Earth's Past #2)

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4.41  ·  Rating details ·  63,379 ratings  ·  5,304 reviews
This is the second novel in "Remembrance of Earth’s Past", the near-future trilogy written by the China's multiple-award-winning science fiction author, Cixin Liu.

In The Dark Forest, Earth is reeling from the revelation of a coming alien invasion — four centuries in the future. The aliens' human collaborators have been defeated but the presence of the sophons, the subatom
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Hardcover, 512 pages
Published August 11th 2015 by Tor Books (first published May 1st 2008)
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Leandro Guimarães No, it doesn’t, at least not without any further context. And I could not find anything like the citation given as Pascal’s neither in English nor in …moreNo, it doesn’t, at least not without any further context. And I could not find anything like the citation given as Pascal’s neither in English nor in the original French, it really seems made up.(less)
hrn I'm currently reading this while listening to a long ass "dark ambient" playlist on spotify and it fits perfectly :)

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Grey
About 80% through this book (after the Battle of Darkness), I needed a nap desperately. In the nap, I dreamed extremely troubling dreams, filled with the feeling of despair and the knowledge that humanity would die. Just felt like explaining the mood this book left me in for the most part: an overwhelming tension that every single human will perish, first in spirit, then in body. Thanks for that, Mr. Liu!

At that point, I thought I would end up not liking this book. I mean, the darkness of this b
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TheBookSmugglers
Ana’s Take:

I can’t think of a book that has squandered more of my goodwill than The Dark Forest in recent memory. Actually no, scrap that. I can’t think of a book that has CRUSHED me more than The Dark Forest did. Beware, spoilers and CAPS LOCK OF FURY AHEAD.

I loved The Three-Body Problem. I loved it so much, I handed it over to Thea, telling her: READ THIS NOW. We BOTH loved it so much, we gave it high ratings and the book eventually made our top 10 lists of 2014. I loved it so much, when it wo
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Petrik
Sep 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Hard Sci-Fi fans
Shelves: favorites
A superlative sequel that made its predecessor pale in comparison, The Dark Forest is an excellent middle book that made me finally recognize all the praises that Cixin Liu received.

The first thing you have to know before starting this book is that this is a completely different book from its predecessor, The Three-Body Problem. Although the plot built upon what happened in TTBP and a few characters made an appearance here, other than Da Shi and Ding Yi, the other characters were only mentioned
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Adina
Jun 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy-sf
A to Z around the world personal challenge – C is for China

"The past was like a handful of sand you thought you were squeezing tightly, but which had already run out through the cracks between your fingers. Memory was a river that had run dry long ago, leaving only scattered gravel in a lifeless riverbed. He had lived life always looking out for the next thing, and whenever he had gained, he had also lost, leaving him with little in the end.
This series is amazing. I started it in order to accomp
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Emily (Books with Emily Fox)
May 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
While the first half was incredibly painful to read (how much sexism can you excuse with cultural differences?) the second half did redeem this book for me.

It will be hard to find more books with this many interesting scientific concepts but be warned it's a struggle to go through the descriptions of the main character's ideal woman.
Bradley
Mar 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Will the Dark Forest sprout the seeds of love?

It's an excellent question, even if it induces a deep pessimism and the likelihood of eventual suicide. And yet, this is exactly what we're asked to consider at the end of this excellent novel.

First things first. How does it compare to the first novel? Well, it's a very different read. I can even say it's sedate and deliberate, despite the axe being held over the Earth and all its inhabitants for hundreds of years. We've got a sociology experiment go
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Michael Finocchiaro
Every bit as engrossing as The Three-Body Problem, if not more so, The Dark Forest is a masterpiece of scifi. The characters are deeper here than the first book and the technology and physics are a geek's wet dream. It is hard to say much about this book without giving put spoilers, but I really appreciated the space elevator, the Killer 5.2 virus, the underground cities, and the descriptions of the solar fleet. The droplet was a brilliant idea and still has my brain buzzing. Not to mention that ...more
Stevie Kincade
Mr Liu Cixin, my name is Stevie Kincade and I am your wallbreaker!



(Audiobook) Well not really but that seemed like the obvious way to start this review since I have some femur sized BONES TO PICK with this book.

The Dark Forrest is a 23 hour audiobook. Is there an interesting idea for us to digest at the end of it? MOS DEF. Do I wish I could have 22 hours of my life back (OK more like 16 due the miracles of modern audio technology) and just listen to the “dark forrest speech” then google “Dark
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TS Chan
Jul 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Dark Forest is a stunning sequel to the highly acclaimed The Three-Body Problem and in my opinion, surpassed it by the magnitude of astronomical units.

While I hold the first book in high regard, I had to admit that characterisation was sidelined in the narrative which focussed heavily on the science and plot. The sequel's storytelling approach was more balanced with the hard science toned down somewhat and character development emerging more prominently. The leading character in this respect
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Jody
Mar 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, sci-fi
The Dark Forest is a brilliant piece of sci-fi literature. The scope and imagination that Mr. Liu Cixin put into this book is nothing short of genius. At least in my humble opinion. I will admit the first 15% didn't hold my interest that well, but after that it was very hard to put down.

While book 1, The Three-Body Problem, explains the history of how contact was made with the Trisolarians and their intentions, book 2, The Dark Forest, details how humanity is trying to prepare for an unknowable
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Claudia
2nd read

It has one of the most stunning chapters I ever read in my life - the one with the droplet: it simply stops your breath; you choke with the words as you read them; and at the end, you'll feel like hit by a train.

But I won't praise it again; I did that already. Instead, I will leave one more quote from this incredible work (oops, I did it again :D):
"[...] two axioms for cosmic civilization. First, survival is the primary need of civilization. Second, civilization continuously grow
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R.F. Kuang
Jan 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
H o l y g u a c a m o l e.

This might be my new favorite book of all time. I don't even have the words right now. GOD. GO READ THIS.
Stuart
The Dark Forest: Only 400 years to prepare for an alien invasion
Originally posted at Fantasy Literature
The Dark Forest is Cixin Liu’s follow-up to The Three-Body Problem (first published in English in 2014 and selected as a Hugo and Nebula Award Finalist), and is the second book in his THREE BODY apocalyptic SF trilogy (which was already published in China back in 2010). It took a while for the series to gain enough popularity in China to catch the attention of US publishers, but since the first
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Andrea
Aug 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-collection, sci-fi
Couldn't put it down. Literally. I neglected other duties for 36 hours. Excellent continuation of the story. Again, fascinating view of drivers of species survival seen through a different cultural lens, somewhat alien to my Western background. I did not expect it to follow the usual paths of English and USA scifi and it did not disappoint. Loved it.

Unfortunately the translation jarred at times. Luckily infrequently. But not enough for me to deduct a star.
Zitong Ren
Compared to The Three-Body Problem, The Dark Forest was better in essentially every aspect. I generally consider myself to be a fan of sci-fi, even though I have not read a large number of sci-fi works, especially books on this sort of epic scale. I certainly get as to why this series is so popular, because even though I have yet to read the third book, Death’s End, The Dark Forest is stellar. I felt that the first book lacked direction, characterisation and that there was no real coherent plo ...more
Matthew Quann
Jan 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: SFF fans, science fans, cerebral readers
Spoiler-Free

Sequels are very difficult vessels to land safely.

Sequels are placed in the awkward position of providing the content that made its predecessor a success while simultaneously delivering an enjoyable story. Sequels, specifically second books in trilogies, face an even more monumental task: move the story forward and reveal just enough to leave the reader satisfied while simultaneously getting them to want to pick up the final installment. Lesser trilogies do this by making the second
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Henk
Jun 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thought provoking long-term scifi done well. I Liked the pacing and the execution much more in this second part of the trilogy - 4 stars
I feel The Dark Forest would be perfect as a Netflix series, like The Three-Body Problem it’s written very filmic, with big scenes in the UN, a kind of pristine Eden and space battles. Tides and fortunes rise and fall in a manner of a few pages repeatedly.

Admittedly, I still wondered how a Sophon the size of a proton could draw a pattern in someone’s retina (I m
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Barbara
Aug 02, 2016 rated it really liked it

This is the second book in a trilogy that starts with The Three-Body Problem.

As The Dark Forest opens a large fleet of hostile Trisolaran aliens is headed for Earth, destined to arrive in 400 years. Presumably this is when the 'Doomsday Battle' will occur between the human race and Trisolarans.

Humans are aware of the danger but are hampered in making preparations because the aliens have sent 'sophons' to spy on Earth. Sophons are souped up protons that (due to quantum physics) can INSTANTANEOUS
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Gary
May 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
The grand design of Cixin Liu's Three Body Trilogy towers above just about everything else going on in SF lit today. The Dark Forest is an even more rewarding accomplishment than The Three Body Problem - a novel that is both hard SF and social SF, meditative and philosophically dense even while engaging in spectacle, that views humanity in scales epic and intimate. Mind. Blown. Again.

I expect this book has an excellent chance of ending up on the Hugo shortlist, but if it also gets nominated for
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XLXL
Oct 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Enough has been said here about the plot summary and I don't want to repeat again. This is more than a Sci-Fi story and its freshness shocks me.

The author definitely has a genius imagination but it is the scientific ideas that backs up and moves the story. Many sci-fi stories nowadays are more fantasy than science fiction. Taken out a few galactic battles, those stories around things like empire, rebellion and senate fall back directly to ancient Roman times or Middle Earth. Instead of forward l
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Ashley
Oh, man. Okay. What a weird book.

(Spoilers for book one ahoy.)

So the Trisolarans are coming, man! They're coming! And humanity has four centuries to prepare. Particles called sophons are monitoring everything on Earth (all communication, written, spoken), and locking down technological and scientific advancement in order to cripple humanity in advance of their invasion. The only place safe from Trisolaran view is the individual human mind. Thus the Wallfacer Project is born. Four men (seriously,
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Scott
Aug 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Liu Cixin knows how to write a concept novel. The first book in his remembrance of things past trilogy, The Three Body Problem, was based on a fascinating physics model that Liu used to great effect in his story of interstellar first contact and the terrifying ramifications of discovering intelligent life in the universe.

At the heart of The Dark forest is another fascinating concept based on Liu's exploration of the Fermi paradox - the confounding absence of intelligent life in a galaxy that sur
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Ms. Smartarse
Two years after Trisolaris has declared war on Earth, humanity is panicking big time. Some try to pay their way into outer space, the military is building bigger, meaner and nastier bombs, and the UN launches the mysterious Wallfacer Project. Thus, four people are tasked with making top-secret plans for humanity's rescue, benefiting from virtually unlimited resources.

True to their military and scientific backgrounds, three of them immediately set out to devour their entire budget make the most
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ChopinFC
Apr 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: series, audiobooks, sci-fi
Stunning. Masterpiece. Speechless.


"Right now, the greatest obstacle to humanity's survival comes from itself."

- Dark Forest


Liu Xiu’s Dark Forest vastly improves from it’s near perfect predecessor - making my heart pound with tension and excitement! To say that Dark Forest is stunning achievement in the Sci-Fi genre is not an exaggeration! It’s chinese author, Liu Xiu, is able to carry on a story with such clarity and effectiveness that near the last 100 pages I literally though our planet Ear
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Otis Chandler
Oct 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, fiction, space
Mind blowingly cool. Best science fiction I've read in some time. I just loved all the descriptions of the society of the future - how they lived in trees, the notion of owning property or even getting married was gone. How every surface was a screen.

(view spoiler)
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Rob
Executive Summary: I'm not sure what happened. I really enjoyed The Three-Body Problem, but I found myself largely bored by this one.

Audio book: I don't like when series change narrators between books. I'm also a huge fan of Luke Daniels, but he wasn't really the best fit for this series. So I was willing to give P. J. Ochlan a chance. I thought he was fine, but he wasn't really any better. It would probably just have been better to stick with Mr. Daniels.

Full Review
After enjoying The Three-
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Ray
Jul 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: novels, audio, sci-fic, china
An incredibly epic science fiction novel! Highly recommended. The scope is amazing.

A different style from the more 'grounded' Three Body Problem, The Dark Forest goes way more out there. First it deals with the immediate aftermath of how society would react to preparing for a space invasion, and then it goes hundreds of years later with even more intense ideas.

I am, however disheartened (no spoilers!), looking forward to reading the third in the trilogy...

Incidentally, an interesting coincidenc
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Mike
One of the things I found most compelling about The Three Body Problem was the mystery of just what was going on with the science and scientists of Earth. The eventual reveal at the end of the book was quite satisfying but left 'The Dark Forest' in a bit of a bind. Now the reader knew what was going on ((view spoiler)) what would drive the story forward?

I think this
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¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪SomeBunny Reads (Phoenix)•*¨*•♫♪


I wish I liked this book. I really wish I did. It would say more positive things about my intellectual capacities. This is definitely not a book for everyone. If you expect a sci-fi novel, you will be disappointed. If you want to read this book, do it knowing that any expectations you have on it will be proven wrong. This is in some way a good thing, and I experienced this sensation in a positive way while reading the first one. The fact that the first book felt more like a study in philosophy,
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Zhao Alex
Mar 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Structure balance is still a big problem in this book. Characters are better then the previous book, but still not good enough. Liu is not good at characters.

Beside these problems, this book is just absolutely fascinate.

Although I don't fully agree with primary theory in this book, I have to admit it is very well thought and made of pure imagination, philosophy and wisdom. And Liu has obtained amazing achievement on using the theory to create a story that full of suspense, surprise and conflict.
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Liu Cixin also appears as Cixin Liu

Other books in the series

Remembrance of Earth's Past (3 books)
  • The Three-Body Problem (Remembrance of Earth’s Past #1)
  • Death's End (Remembrance of Earth’s Past #3)

Articles featuring this book

When you work at Goodreads, it's pretty tough to keep that Want to Read shelf under control. (And let's be honest, most of us don't even...
162 likes · 44 comments
“The universe is a dark forest. Every civilization is an armed hunter stalking through the trees like a ghost, gently pushing aside branches that block the path and trying to tread without sound. Even breathing is done with care. The hunter has to be careful, because everywhere in the forest are stealthy hunters like him. If he finds other life—another hunter, an angel or a demon, a delicate infant or a tottering old man, a fairy or a demigod—there’s only one thing he can do: open fire and eliminate them. In this forest, hell is other people. An eternal threat that any life that exposes its own existence will be swiftly wiped out. This is the picture of cosmic civilization. It’s the explanation for the Fermi Paradox.” 127 likes
“If I destroy you, what business is it of yours?” 84 likes
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