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Sci-fi episode gets a reception that is truly out of this world

Updated: 2022-01-27 10:09 ( Xinhua )
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File photo of Chinese writer Liu Cixin.[Photo provided to China Daily]

The final episode of audio drama Three-Body was released recently on online audio platform Ximalaya to wide acclaim from internet users.

This marked the completion of the 100-episode radio drama based on Liu Cixin's Hugo Award-winning sci-fi novel, The Three-Body Problem.

The news made headlines on China's social media sites, with the hashtag "How do you like Three-Body radio drama" generating about 75 million interactions on micro-blogging platform Sina Weibo as of Jan 20.

"It's the same experience as watching an awesome sci-fi movie, not through your eyes, but by immersing yourself in a universe created by sound effects and voices," wrote one Sina Weibo user.

Created by 729 Voice Studio, a highly reputed Chinese voice actor brokerage company, the project aired its first episode in November 2019 and has aired regular installments of the show for the past two years.

Boasting a total of 115 million hits, the Three-Body radio drama currently tops the popularity chart on Ximalaya, data from the platform showed.

An audiobook of the original novel is also available on the audio platform, and has raked in 300 million hits.

The Three-Body Problem is the first book in a sci-fi trilogy that revolves around physicist Ye Wenjie's contact with the Trisolaran civilization living in a three-sun system, and follows the centurieslong clashes between earthlings and the extraterrestrials.

Film and television adaptations of the critically acclaimed trilogy are always greatly anticipated by Chinese sci-fi fans, and any news that pertains to it gains great traction within China's online community.

Tencent Video revealed in November that the television drama Three-Body was on a list of dramas to be undertaken by the online streaming platform this year, releasing its first trailer cut with the announcement "coming soon".

The Wandering Earth, another sci-fi story by Liu, became a blockbuster film in 2019 and raked in a total of 4.68 billion yuan ($737 million) at the Chinese box office.

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