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Ball Lightning is a 2004 Chinese science-fiction novel by Liu Cixin, possibly the single most popular sci-fi novel in China. It was first published in English in 2018, with a translation by Joel Martensen of danwei.org.

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Ball Lightning [[quoteright:350:https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ball_lightning.png]]
''Ball Lightning''
is a 2004 Chinese science-fiction novel by Liu Cixin, Cixin (best known for ''Literature/TheThreeBodyProblem''), possibly the single most popular sci-fi novel in China. It was first published in English in 2018, with a translation by Joel Martensen of danwei.org.



Currently being translated by Joel Martinsen and Liu Yukun.

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* LackOfEmpathy: Both Major Lin Yun and Dr. Ding are so obsessed by their work (weapon development and theoretical physics, respectively) that they care very little about other people.

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* LackOfEmpathy: Both Major Lin Yun and Dr. Ding are so obsessed by their work (weapon development and theoretical physics, respectively) that they care very little about other people. However, Lin Yun is still horrified at the sight of [[ShootTheHostage children incinerated along with the terrorists holding them hostage]], and clearly feels remorse for their deaths.


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* ShootTheHostage: Ball lightning weapons are first used to kill eco-terrorists occupying a nuclear power plant. Unfortunately, the terrorists have a class of children as their hostages, and ball lightning discharges into as much matter as it takes to deplete its charge. Therefore, ''everyone'' in the plant is turned into ash, including the children.


* JustThinkOfThePotential: The most typical argument of major Lin Yun, when discussing various inventions and experiments.

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* JustThinkOfThePotential: The most typical argument of major Major Lin Yun, when discussing various inventions and experiments.



* LackOfEmpathy: Both major Lin Yun and Dr. Ding are so obsessed by their work (weapon development and theoretical physics, respectively) that they care very little about other people.

to:

* LackOfEmpathy: Both major Major Lin Yun and Dr. Ding are so obsessed by their work (weapon development and theoretical physics, respectively) that they care very little about other people.



* ScientistVsSoldier: Dr. Chen vs major Lin Yun, which finally leads him to leave the base.

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* ScientistVsSoldier: Dr. Chen vs major Major Lin Yun, which finally leads him to leave the base.


The story is centered around Dr. Chen and Major Lin Yun's pursuit and research of the eponymous anomaly, its weaponization and a war that... got worse after it ended. As shown by its sequel, the Earth's Past trilogy (''Literature/TheThreeBodyProblem'', ''[[CrapsackWorld The Dark Forest]]'' and ''[[KillEmAll Death's]] [[CosmicHorrorStory End]]''.)

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The story is centered around Dr. Chen and Major Lin Yun's pursuit and research of the eponymous anomaly, its weaponization and a war that... got worse after it ended. As shown by its sequel, the Earth's Past trilogy (''Literature/TheThreeBodyProblem'', ''[[CrapsackWorld The Dark Forest]]'' and ''[[KillEmAll Death's]] [[CosmicHorrorStory End]]''.)
trilogy.

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* MarriedToTheJob: Chen at one point says that for Dr. Ding physics is the single most important thing in his life. Also true for Major Lin, who may have a boyfriend but he's also in the army and they rarely meet (and he does not seem to occupy her thoughts that much).

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* LackOfEmpathy: Both major Lin Yun and Dr. Ding are so obsessed by their work (weapon development and theoretical physics, respectively) that they care very little about other people.


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* MorallyAmbiguousDoctorate: While not evil per se, Major ''Doctor'' Lin Yun certainly [[LackOfEmpathy lack empathy]] and, as her professor says, is fascinated by weapons she develops to the point of addiction. She sells one of her inventions to ''both'' sides of a conflict simply because she wants to see it in action.

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* JustThinkOfThePotential: The most typical argument of major Lin Yun, when discussing various inventions and experiments.


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* OffingTheOffspring: [[spoiler: General Lin]] giving the order to bomb the site of a dangerous experiment that [[spoiler: his daughter Lin Yun]] is trying to do.
* ScientistVsSoldier: Dr. Chen vs major Lin Yun, which finally leads him to leave the base.

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* ThrillSeeker: Major Lin Yun. She wears an ultra-sharp blade as a pendant on her neck and drives around with a landmine hanging from the rear-view mirror of her car because she wants to feel like she's living on the edge all the time.


Ball Lightning is a 2004 Chinese science-fiction novel by Liu Cixin and is being translated by Joel Martensen of danwei.org. Possibly the single most popular sci-fi novel in China.

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Ball Lightning is a 2004 Chinese science-fiction novel by Liu Cixin and is being translated by Joel Martensen of danwei.org. Possibly Cixin, possibly the single most popular sci-fi novel in China.
China. It was first published in English in 2018, with a translation by Joel Martensen of danwei.org.


* CallASmeerpARabbit: As it turned out, the titular Ball Lightnings are in fact not weather anomalies but electrically charged projections of "Macho-Electrons", a physical structure largely unknown to humans. However, they are still mostly called "ball lightning", and some ''Film/JamesBond'' fans in the book called them "Thunderballs".

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* CallASmeerpARabbit: As it turned out, the titular Ball Lightnings are in fact not weather anomalies but electrically charged projections of "Macho-Electrons", "Macro-Electrons", a physical structure largely unknown to humans. However, they are still mostly called "ball lightning", and some ''Film/JamesBond'' fans in the book called them "Thunderballs".



* LightningGun: Or Macho-atom gun.

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* LightningGun: Or Macho-atom Macro-atom gun.


* AbnormalAmmo: The Lightning Machineguns developed by the researchers fire ''supercharged mega-sized electrons'' that can disintegrate anything in front of them until the charge runs out.

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* AbnormalAmmo: The Lightning Machineguns developed by the researchers fire ''supercharged mega-sized macro electrons'' that can disintegrate anything in front of them until the charge runs out.


The story is centered around Dr. Chen and Major Lin Yun's pursuit and research of the eponymous anomaly, its weaponization and a war that... got worse after it ended. As shown by its sequel, the Earth's Past trilogy (''Literature/ThreeBodyProblem'', ''[[CrapsackWorld The Dark Forest]]'' and ''[[KillEmAll Death's]] [[CosmicHorrorStory End]]''.)

to:

The story is centered around Dr. Chen and Major Lin Yun's pursuit and research of the eponymous anomaly, its weaponization and a war that... got worse after it ended. As shown by its sequel, the Earth's Past trilogy (''Literature/ThreeBodyProblem'', (''Literature/TheThreeBodyProblem'', ''[[CrapsackWorld The Dark Forest]]'' and ''[[KillEmAll Death's]] [[CosmicHorrorStory End]]''.)


The story is centered around Dr. Chen and Major Lin Yun's pursuit and research of the eponymous anomaly, its weaponization and a war that... got worse after it ended. As shown by its sequel, the Earth's Past trilogy (''Literature/ThreeBodyProblem'', [[CrapsackWorld Dark Forest]] and [[KillEmAll Dead]] [[CosmicHorrorStory End]].)

Dr.Chen, who witnesses both his parents get disintegrated by ball lightning, devotes his entire life to researching the poorly understood phenomenon. His quest takes him to a national defense research institute where government scientists are seeking to use ball lightning as a new-concept weapon. He becomes disgusted with the thought of his pure scientific research being used for killing, but every time he tries to escape, his obsession draws him back in.

to:

The story is centered around Dr. Chen and Major Lin Yun's pursuit and research of the eponymous anomaly, its weaponization and a war that... got worse after it ended. As shown by its sequel, the Earth's Past trilogy (''Literature/ThreeBodyProblem'', [[CrapsackWorld ''[[CrapsackWorld The Dark Forest]] Forest]]'' and [[KillEmAll Dead]] ''[[KillEmAll Death's]] [[CosmicHorrorStory End]].End]]''.)

Dr. Chen, who witnesses both his parents get disintegrated by ball lightning, devotes his entire life to researching the poorly understood phenomenon. His quest takes him to a national defense research institute where government scientists are seeking to use ball lightning as a new-concept weapon. He becomes disgusted with the thought of his pure scientific research being used for killing, but every time he tries to escape, his obsession draws him back in.


The story is centered around Dr. Chen and Major Lin Yun's pursuit and research of the eponymous anomaly, its weaponization and a war that... got worse after it ended. As shown by its sequel, the Earth's Past trilogy (''ThreeBodyProblem'', [[CrapsackWorld Dark Forest]] and [[KillEmAll Dead]] [[CosmicHorrorStory End]].)

to:

The story is centered around Dr. Chen and Major Lin Yun's pursuit and research of the eponymous anomaly, its weaponization and a war that... got worse after it ended. As shown by its sequel, the Earth's Past trilogy (''ThreeBodyProblem'', (''Literature/ThreeBodyProblem'', [[CrapsackWorld Dark Forest]] and [[KillEmAll Dead]] [[CosmicHorrorStory End]].)


The story is centered around Dr. Chen and Major Lin Yun's pursuit and research of the eponymous anomaly, its weaponization and a war that... got worse after it ended. As shown by its sequel, the Earth's Past trilogy ([[AlienSky Three-Body]], [[CrapsackWorld Dark Forest]] and [[KillEmAll Dead]] [[CosmicHorrorStory End]].)

to:

The story is centered around Dr. Chen and Major Lin Yun's pursuit and research of the eponymous anomaly, its weaponization and a war that... got worse after it ended. As shown by its sequel, the Earth's Past trilogy ([[AlienSky Three-Body]], (''ThreeBodyProblem'', [[CrapsackWorld Dark Forest]] and [[KillEmAll Dead]] [[CosmicHorrorStory End]].)

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