Monday, April 12, 2021

Ball Lightning

Ball Lightning is a rarely seen, not very well understood form of lightning-look power. In the book, Cixin Liu creates his own explanation of it. The novel starts with the protagonist's parents getting vaporized before his eyes. This drives him to explore ball lightning. He meets up with others that have interest in the subject. One woman is keen an using in as a weapon. A scientist has an understanding of the phenomenon as in the quantum realm. Those incinerated by ball lightning live in a state of being neither dead nor alive. The whole concept is not understood with our current understanding of physics. The ball lightning effects can be used to wipe out electronics, vaporize specific things or control tornados. Various parts of the research are used as both offense and defense in a war that breaks out. In the end some research foreshadows "others" watching the earth (in the three body problem.) The author has a nice afterward where he explains how he was influenced by other science fiction writers to create this novel. The novel has a fairly "young" feel to it - at times it feels almost like a young adult sci-fi novel. Then it bounces to more detailed scientific explanation. There is warfare and destruction, but it feels like it is more at a distance. It is interesting that there is a progression from the child-focused Supernova Era to the young adult Ball Lightning and then the more dark adult Three Body Problem. 

No comments:

Post a Comment