The Micro-Age by Liu Cixin | Book Review

Life shall not be humble for its size but be great for its achievement.

Story begins with a dreadful future, where humankind had ensured the explosion of the sun in about ten thousand years, which basically sentenced the death of the earth. After two hundred years of decadence, human beings finally made up their minds to launch an ark spacecraft into the depths of the universe to find a habitable planet. These explorers are called pioneers. The Ark sailed in the universe at a speed close to the speed of light, and explored more than 60 galaxies, but found nothing. At this time, the earth time has passed 25,000 years.

Like a stranger who has been wandering for tens of thousands of years, a pioneer returns to his hometown with a glimmer of hope. However, he already knew that the explosion had occurred thousands yeas ago.

Here’s a impressive description by Liu Cixin of the hopeless moment.

Pioneer went directly to the earth, without any glance at other planets. He closed his eyes and prayed, “My dear earth, my beautiful blue crystal ball….”. After a long silence , he forced himself to open his eyes.

He saw an earth without any color, only black and white.

Black for rocks that have melted and then condensed, white for oceans that have evaporated and then frozen.

Just when the pioneer thought that there were no more human beings on earth, he discovered a group of “micro-humans” with a size of only ten microns. They called the former human beings “Macro-Age” and themselves “Micro-Age“.

After it was determined that interstellar immigration was not feasible, human beings flashed the light of wisdom in desperation. A genetic engineer proposed that if human beings were reduced by a billion times, humans could survive as long as there was a small ecosystem. The remaining resources on the earth are enough to support hundreds of billions of micro-human beings, who live happily without worrying about it. Micro humans spent 500 years building an underground city to take refuge, and spent another 400 years returning to the ground. During this period, all human cultures are passed on. They admired Van Gogh’s famous paintings, listened to Beethoven’s music, and played Shakespeare’s plays.

Looking at the cheerful Earth leaders, the pioneer can’t help but sigh about the political differences between the two eras. The macro-age is a melancholy era with melancholy politics, and the micro-age is a carefree era that needs happy leaders.

The pioneer decided to give back a gift to Micro-Age. He walked into a refrigerated cabin on the Ark, where the seeds of hundreds of thousands of plants on the earth are stored. Next year, when the climate warms, he will start to plant grass on the earth.
He imagined the ecstasy of micro-humans seeing the grassland for the first time. In their eyes, it would be a green universe, in which the flowing stream would turn into a magnificent Milky Way, and every leaf would be an endless green plain. The wings of a butterfly are colorful clouds that traverse the sky, and every bird song is like a bell from the universe.

He must be contradictory when pioneer met the micro-humans. A grand new century of human history is in his eyes while his own era comes to an end. This is a hymn of human courage, for every pioneer seeking habitable planets for thousands years himself, and for micro-humans creating a new species bravely.

As a conclusion, Liu painted a vivid story and a beautiful future for us. His imagination of the microscopic world is very attractive, and his words are gorgeous.

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