Cixin Liu's The Three-Body Problem

Ted Gioia on Three-Body Problem (The Honest Broker, 2000, which I think was my first intro to the books)
...The higher powers in sci-fi stories don't need any theology either. They have technology instead. They just show up in their spaceship one day, and demonstrate through their weapons and gizmos that they operate on a higher level than the poor human race. This is no matter of myth, doctrine or parable, but a plausible scenario that might actually occur some day. In the words of Chinese science fiction author Cixin Liu: "I've always felt that extraterrestrial intelligence will be the greatest source of uncertainty for humanity’s future. Other great shifts, such as climate change and ecological disasters, have a certain progression and built-in adjustment periods, but contact between humankind and aliens can happen at any time."

...The aliens don't even need to send the spaceship. In fact, they don't even need to appear in the story. The most significant impact of first contact is merely the knowledge that the higher power exists. Once humans accept that fact, everything changes. And homo sapiens themselves will be the source of the change.

...So this isn't the book to read if you want to learn how sci-fi is merging with literary fiction in the current day. This novel doesn't reflect that important trend. But Liu may have achieved something even more difficult. He has taken concept-driven speculative writing and introduced some whizz-bang new concepts that you've never encountered before. That kind of imaginative leap cuts to the very essence of the sci-fi genre, and is just as essential as metaphors and modifiers in grabbing hold of readers of works of this sort.

And grab them he does. If you look to sci-fi for big ideas, this work will not disappoint. Cixin Liu is the real deal, a storytelling visionary who can take on the whole universe in his schemes.

The Trisolaran system of the Three-Body Problem could never evolve life Tim Andersen at Medium

Netflix's 3 Body Problem Explores Huge Questions But Still Feels Intimate Cheryl Eddy at Gizmodo

Wikipedia on 3 Body Problem

Perfectly Symmetric vs. Chaotic

Three-Body Problem Simulation with 3 Free Masses

Solving the Three Body Problem

THE THREE-BODY PROBLEM (Trisolaran Invasion, Lore + Entire Book Series) EXPLAINED

3 Body Problem | YOU ARE BUGS

3 Body Problem RECAP: Season 1

3 Body Problem's Einstein Joke Explained, How It Connects To The Dark Forest

Jin Explains the 3 Body Problem