It would be difficult for any sequel to live up to Cixin Liu’s Hugo-Winning The Three Body Problem. The immediate sequel, The Dark Forest was an uneven and flawed book that had some merit. But the much-heralded conclusion of the trilogy, Death’s End, completely misses the mark.
|At least the cover art is pretty cool.|
(Image via Amazon.com)
The End Is Nigh Again
|Cixin Liu is China's most|
popular SF author.
(Image via Tor.com)
Everything And The Kitchen Sink
Men Are From Mars Or WhereverSome of us were troubled by the sexist assumptions that underpin portions of Death’s End’s plot. During a peaceful era that Cheng Xin explores, men are 'feminized' and indistinguishable from women, because according to the author, men are only needed for conflict. It’s an attitude that is demeaning to women, because it’s suggested they cannot deal with conflicts without men, and it’s demeaning to men because it suggests that all they are good for is fighting.
Because the book lacks any focus, and because Liu’s ideas are never fully explored, Death’s End ends up being less than the sum of its parts. The scattered plot, the scant development of these ideas, and the lack of human characters make this an unworthy nominee. Two years ago, most of our group voted for The Three Body Problem. This year, none of us are likely to rank Death’s End very high on our Hugo Ballot.