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Earth has also achieved interstellar travel with a massive fleet of spaceships. The UN's confidence in the space fleet leads them to think that they can repel the incoming Trisolarian invasion and to disband the Wallfacer project. However, when a Trisolarian probe arrives and confronts the entire fleet of Earth's spaceships, it is able to single-handedly destroy almost all of the fleet.

During this time, Luo Ji and the Wallfacer Head of Security, Shi Qiang , are able to verify the effectiveness of the method of broadcasting locations he discovered years prior. Armed with this knowledge, Luo Ji concludes that the Fermi Paradox would be proven because every civilization would only think for its own survival and the finite nature of resources create a situation where it would be best for each civilization to wipe out every other. Luo Ji then threatens to kill himself and trigger a mechanism that will broadcast the exact location of Trisolaris to the galaxy. This leads the Trisolarians to concede and agree to remove the sophons from earth and help humanity advance its technology.

The Dark Forest study guide contains a biography of Liu Cixin, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.

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Remember me. Forgot your password? Study Guide for The Dark Forest The Dark Forest study guide contains a biography of Liu Cixin, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis. Luo Ji uses the solar amplification technique originallly used by Ye Wenjie to contact the Trisolarans to send out a set of three images—pictures of scattered dots. When asked by the Wallfacer commission what he is doing, he answers that it is a "spell against the planets of star J3X1" The effects of the spell will be catastrophic, he predicts.

The Dark Forest

He also admits that it is a proof-of-concept, and cannot be used against Trisolaris yet. He then comes down with what appears to be a flu. Many people have come down with it, but the effects of the flu on them are minor. Luo Ji, however, seems to be dying due to the flu. Trisolaris, it turns out, has created a virus especially targeting his genetic makeup personally.

The Dark Forest Summary

It's a germ-warfare assassination attempt. Unable to be cured, Luo Ji enters hibernation, to await a future time when a cure can be found.


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Zhang Beihai creates bullets out of meteorite material, and uses it to assassinate members of the military who are against researching non-media radiation drive using nuclear fusion. Zhang believes that this is the only technology which stands a chance against Trisolaris. Since the assassination takes place in space, the meteorite bullets make it seem as if the generals were killed by a meteor shower, and Zhang Beihai escapes suspicion for the murders. Almost years after being put into hibernation Lou Ji is awakened to discover a drastically changed world.

The 'Total War' society Earth has created resulted in the repeal of Environmental regulations, leading to massive ecological collapse turning much of the surface into a desert. In response nation states excavated large caverns underground.

Despite the Sophon block, Earth technology has also progressed dramatically, culminating in a space fleet of ships numbering in the thousands. Citing its fleet strength, many discuss the potential for future peace talks with Trisolaris. Lou Ji however struggles to integrate into the new earth society which has radically changed its social structure. He eventually meets Da Shi, who has also been hibernating for centuries.

Together the two explore the new Earth, but are consistently met by attacks against Lou Ji by a computer virus that was dormant for decades and was using the machines to try and kill him. It is slowly revealed that Earth society underwent a dramatic depression, called The Great Ravine, during which more than half Earth's population died from starvation.

Immediately after awakening, Luo Ji attends a UN Wallfacer meeting, to discover his spell has failed. The other surviving Wallfacer, Bill Hines, presents his project as well. He invented a sort of mind control device called the "Mental Seal," which the military uses to overcome defeatism. Despite it's utility, it is not widely adopted. At the meeting, this plan is unmasked as false by his Wallbreaker, who turns out to be his wife and scientific collaborator, Keiko. Distraught by the complete failure of the Wallfacer Project, the UN disbands the program.


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The Earth Fleet, organized under three broad geographic commands, races towards the edge of the solar system to meet the incoming probes sent by the Trisolaris fleet. Political jockeying to be the first nation to meet an extraterrestrial species results in a massive formation of ships, organized in a three dimensional grid to meet the incoming probe. The probe, a solid 'droplet' of mirror like metal arrives, and at first seems innocuous. Earth rejoices that the aesthetic beauty of the probe is meant as the long awaited peace sign from the Trisolaris fleet.

The only ships absent are the renegade ship Natural Selection, and it's pursuers. The droplet awakens, and immediately destroys the ships surrounding it. It is inferred that the droplet is constructed of matter bonded together using the strong interaction force, creating an object of extreme strength. It uses this superior technology to lay waste to the entire Earth Fleet, which are conveniently arranged in a grid pattern. Only two Earth ships escape the carnage, fleeing into deep space. The droplet head towards Earth, and the population panics expecting it to destroy the planet.

The droplet however by passes the planet and instead parks itself in a Lagrange point between the Earth and the Sun. Here, it broadcasts a powerful scrabbling signal to prevent Earth from ever using the Sun's amplification mechanism ever again. The only surviving Earth ships are Natural Selection, and it's pursuers, and the two ships which escaped the massacre.

Ambient Creepy Music - Road Through The Dark Forest - Sad & Somber Background Music

A strategy is formed to escape the solar system and head for nearby stars in hopes of founding civilization once again. A tally of each ships stocks however quickly reveal that supplies are insufficient for such a plan to succeed, and return to Earth would result in destruction from the droplet. The hundreds of thousands of kilometers between ships delays communication and exacerbates the 'Chain of Suspicion', a self-reinforcing loop of mistrust where each ship can never be sure what the other's true intentions are.

This eventually results in a simultaneous first strike against the other ships using nuclear weapons. The resulting attacks, called 'The Battle in the Darkness', leaves all of the Earth ship's crew dead, with the exception of the crews of The Bronze Age, and Blue Space. These two ships then harvest supplies from the destroyed ships and head for distant stars, cutting off all contact with Earth.

THE DARK FOREST by Cixin Liu , Joel Martinsen | Kirkus Reviews

The Battle in the Darkness sets up the novel for the explanation of the central metaphor of the story. This confirms Lou Ji's suspicions, and he explains to Da Shi the implications of the star's destruction. The universe is full of life. Life's goal is to survive and 2. That matter resources are finite. Like hunters in a dark forest, life can never been sure of alien life's true intentions.