How to Read the Remembrance of Earth’s Past Trilogy in Order

Here's how to read Liu Cixin's Remembrance of Earth's Past trilogy in order before The Three-Body Problem invades Netflix.

by Drew Kopp
Image: Chongqing Press

One of the many projects unveiled during Netflix’s Tudum 2023 event was a television adaption of Liu Cixin’s critically-acclaimed science-fiction novel The Three-Body Problem, the first in the author’s Rememerbence of the Earth trilogy. While sci-fi enthusiasts will undoubtedly be interested in reading the trilogy before the Netflix series airs, the chronological order of the main series and its spin-offs can be tricky to decipher. To help you plot your journey through this generation-spanning sci-fi epic, here’s how to read the Remembrance of Earth’s past series in order.

All the Remembrance of the Earth Novels in Order

Image: Chongqing Press

Like most other trilogies, it’s best to read the Remembrance of the Earth series in the order each book was released. The first book in the series is set at the earliest point in the centuries-spanning timeline that the series follows, making it an obvious jumping-off point for new readers.

  • Book 1: The Three-Body Problem
  • Book 2: The Dark Forest
  • Book 3: Death’s End

While the three books listed above form the main body of the series, the trilogy’s story continues in a novel, The Redemption of Time. Originally written as a work of fanfiction written by a dedicated Remembrance of the Earth fan named Li Jun under the title Three-Body X: Aeon of Contemplation, Cixin was so impressed with the story’s loyalty to its source material that he fully endorsed the project. Soon after, The Redemption of Time would be officially released in print by the original trilogy’s publisher, Chongqing Press.

Related: Red Rising Series Order: Your Guide to Every Book and Graphic Novel in the Saga

What is the Remembrance of the Earth Novels About?

Image: Netflix

In the Remembrance of the Earth trilogy, a search for extra-terrestrial life (or SETI) experiment carried out by the Chinese government results in humanity making first contact with the Trisolarans, a highly-advanced but hostile alien race native to a world caught between the fluctuating orbit of three stars. After a misanthropic scientist named Ye Wenjie broadcasts Earth’s location to the Trisolarians, humanity comes together to prepare for the aliens’ arrival, with the fate of both human and Trisolarian civilization hanging precariously in the balance.

Has The Three-Body Problem Been Adapted Before?

Image: YouTube

Netflix first announced its plans to adapt The Three-Body Problem into a television series in 2020, but this isn’t the first time that one or more books in the trilogy have been translated into other storytelling mediums. Within China, The Three-Body Problem was adapted into two separate animated series by the Chinese animation studio Bilibili, with the first being made in Minecraft. The Three-body Problem was also adapted into a live-action television series, but a proposed film based on the book was postponed indefinitely.

- This article was updated on September 7th, 2023

About The Author

Drew Kopp has been a writer at Attack of the Fanboy for three months and has covered Baldur's Gate 3, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and Ahsoka. He has a Bachelor's in Creative Writing and loves writing about indie games and celebrity gossip. When he isn't writing, he can be found reading fantasy books or rocking out as Bard in Dungeons & Dragons.