• As the four girls were taking her father's life, she had tried to rush onto the stage. But two old university janitors held her down and whispered into her ear that she would lose her own life if she went

    Liu Cixin
  • A newly formed planet appeared on the large screen. its surface was till red-hot, like a piece of charcoal fresh out of the furnace. Time passed at the rate of geological eras, and the planet gradually cooled. The color and patterns on the surface slowly shifted in a hypnotic manner. A few minutes later, an orange planet appeared on the screen, indicating the end of the simulation run."The computations were done at the coarsest level; to do it with more precision would require over a month." Green Glasses moved the mouse and zoomed in on the surface of the planet. The view swept over a broad desert, over a cluster of strangely shaped, towering mountain peaks, over a circular depression like an impact crater."What are we looking at?" Yang Dong asked."Earth. Without life, this is what the surface of the planet would look like now.""But . . . where are the oceans?""There are no oceans. No rivers either. The entire surface is dry.""Your'e saying that without life, liquid water would not exist on Earth?""The reality would probably be even more shocking. Remember, this is only a coarse simulation, but at least you can see how much of an impact life had in the present state of the Earth.""But--""Do you think life is nothing but a fragile, thin, soft shell clinging to the surface of this planet?""Isn't it?""Only if you neglect the power of time. If a colony of ants continue to move clods the size of grains of rice, they could remove all of Mount Tai in a billion years. As long as you give it enough time, life is stronger than metal and stone, more powerful than typhoons and volcanoes

    Liu Cixin
  • In his mind, the city, as it awoke from its slumber, seemed to be built on quicksand. The stability was illusory

    Liu Cixin
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