Well, That Sucked – The Dark Forest by Liu Cixin

The book was fine, but the effect of reading it sucked. One of the darkest experiences I’ve ever had with a book.

Nihilism isn’t something that comes naturally to me. Don’t laugh; I know I can be cynical, but the idea that everything is meaningless, that existence is zero sum (or worse)–some possibly romantic part of me rejects all that. Liu Cixin embraces that part and whispers insults in its ear while slipping a blade between the ribs. This is the least optimistic science fiction novel I can remember reading. It has a deeply uncharitable view of humanity, and for me to say that lately is really saying something!

I know the book has been out for years, but I don’t want to spoil it by discussing it in detail. Just know that the use of the word “dark” in the title is pretty apt here and unless you’re prepared to struggle with that and are in a good mental place, give it a pass. I can’t bring myself to read the third in the series; I just went and read a summary of it on Wikipedia, and I’m glad I didn’t put myself through that.

February, my calendrical nemesis, was a terrible month to start reading these books. I’m already gloomy, but this has made my mood black. It’s combined in my head with all that UFO bullshit to give me a low level of fear I’m having trouble shaking.

Ah well. Maybe a few days away from it will shake the vibe. And if not that, well then, I can re-read a bunch of Pratchett until light is restored inside my soul.

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