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'''Ivan Antonovich (Antipovich) Yefremov''' (also spelled Efremov), (1908-1972), was a famous Russian SpeculativeFiction writer, a noted paleontologist, a sailor, and a social thinker. Born in 1908 in a timber merchant family, he had a pretty rough childhood. During RomanovsAndRevolutions his parents divorced, and his mother moved with him from Saint Petersburg to Kherson in Ukraine, where she met a Red Army commander, married him, [[ParentalAbandonment and left her kids with an aunt]]. The said aunt soon died from typhus, and young [[RussianNamingConvention Vanya]] (just 12 at the time) basically [[PromotionToParent had to care for his siblings]] alone. He soon banded with a Red Army regiment and [[ChildSoldiers fought with them]] in the Crimean Campaign of the [[RedOctober Russian Civil War]]. After the war ended, he moved to Saint Petersburg again to continue his education and completed the school in just three years. In 1922, sixteen at the time, he added a year to his age to enter the Merchant Marine Classes to study as a navigator, to complete them also in a record time.

He then sailed a couple of years in the Russian Far East, but in the end the scientific calling won over, and he soon enrolled to Leningrad University's Biology Department. There Yefremov specialized in paleontology, making his doctorate in 1935, and for a couple of decades divided his time between studies and expeditions. Experiences of this turbulent life gave them a lot of inspiration, and he turned to writing quite early. His first short stories, originally a simple adventure yarns, often based on his expeditions and his brief sea career, began to be published during the WWII, but he quickly started to add fantastic elements to them. After the war, Yefremov [[TheProfessor continued to pursue the scientific career]], creating a new discipline in the modern paleontology the so-called tafonomy, a study of how the fossils distributed in the earth while his writing steadily became more grandiose and epic.

TheFifties became a major breakthrough for him, as in 1955 Yefremov completed his Magnum Opus, a sweeping epic {{utopia}} called ''Literature/AndromedaNebula'' (published in English as ''Andromeda: A Space Age Tale''), where he not only managed to break the then entrenched (and [[ExecutiveMeddling governmentally encouraged]]) tradition of "[[TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture near aim]]" in the Soviet SF, but has essentially set the milestones for the [[NoPoverty classless, moneyless, communist]][[note]]In the original Marxist sense, not what Westerners came to think what it is.[[/note]] [[CrystalSpiresAndTogas technocratic utopia]] that was rumored to inspire not only Soviet, but also Western authors. Yefremov, being a prodigy that he was, also [[{{Omniglot}} knew a lot of languages]] and was very knowledgeable of the contemporary Western SciFi. He frequently disagreed with its themes, though, and often added [[{{Anvilicious}} not so subtle]] [[TakeThat jabs]] about the pieces he was particularly unhappy with in his stories.

You see, being a prominent scientist and fundamental believer in that the RousseauWasRight, Yefremov found the HumansAreBastards trope and all its consequences distasteful in the extreme. He also was disturbed by the frequent [[ScienceIsBad antiscientism]], which then started to appear not only in Western, but also in the Soviet society. He also became quite disillusioned with the Soviet society at laarge, and his next epic, ''[[Literature/TheBullsHour The Bull's Hour]]'', while on the surface criticizing the Chinese brand of "ant socialism", how he called it (the novel was completed in 1968, at the height of the Sino-Soviet Split), was close enough to home for the authorities [[BannedInChina to ban it]] ''days'' after the book was out.

After that, Yefremov turned to HistoricalFiction. Early on he already published an adventure novel about AncientEgypt-cum-AncientGreece, ''Literature/AtTheEdgeOfEcumene'' and returned to the theme once more, in his last work, ''Literature/ThaisOfAthens'', a story about historical [[HighClassCallGirl haetera]] Thais, who was a companion of AlexanderTheGreat and is famous for [[KillItWithFire burning down the Persepolis]]. The novel, which basically [[HistoricalInJoke fills up the gaps around known historical events]], also features the most developed version of Yefremov's social ''Theory of Inferno'', which he worked on for most of his life, first introduced in ''Andromeda Nebula'' and further discussed in his TheSixties novel ''Razor's Edge''.

The key point of this theory is that the Nature is completely indifferent to the individual and is thus inherently endlessly cruel, and all natural processes (including spontaneous, uncontrolled processes in society) only serve to increase the suffering of the intelligent beings a process he called "the circle of Inferno". He also predicted that the uncontrolled social processes will introduce the negative selection essentially a moral version of ThePeterPrinciple, where [[AristocratsAreEvil only the worst will come to the top]]. Only conscious, controlled and good-natured effort could break this vicious circle.
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!!Major Works:

* ''Hellenic Secret'' his first short story cycle, 1942-1944
* ''Star Ships'' second short story cycle, 1945
* ''Literature/AtTheEdgeOfEcumene'' HistoricalFiction adventure novel, 1946-1959
* ''Literature/GreatRing'' cycle including
** ''Literature/AndromedaNebula'' a massive, sprawling utopia with some SpaceOpera themes, 1957
** ''Literature/TheSnakesHeart'' - ''Nebula's'' related novella
*** Only in AlternateContinuity. The world is pretty similar overall, but it is stated there that this IS a FirstContact, and no Great Circle is ever mentioned.
** ''Literature/TheBullsHour'' ''Nebula's'' distant {{sequel}}, a social critique, 1968
* ''Razor's Edge'' another adventure novel, set in PresentDayPresentTime (that is, TheSixties), 1962
* ''Literature/ThaisOfAthens'' HistoricalFiction, with a healthy dose of adventure, 1972
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!!His writing provides examples of these tropes:

* ActionGirl: Aplenty. Yefremov was a staunch feminist and his works are chock full of strong, independent women.
* AristocratsAreEvil: More correctly, aristocrats have much more ''potential'' to be evil.
* AuthorTract: A frequent accusation leveled at him, and not entirely baseless. Especially in ''Andromeda Nebula'' the writing sometimes becomes dry and illustrative, and characters may seem more like philosophical ideas rather than people.
* AuthorFilibuster: A consequence of the above.
* CasualInterstellarTravel: Averted. In most of his works interstellar travel is a big deal, given that it's usually Slower Than Light.
* FasterThanLightTravel: With much moderation. In the ''Andromeda's'' Universe, for example, it was developed ''very'' late into the franchise and is still a tricky and dangerous thing.
* HistoricalFiction
* HugeGuyTinyGirl: Arguably, the AuthorAppeal Yefremov insisted that the women shouldn't be very tall.
* NoPoverty: A cornerstone of his utopias.
* RagtagBunchOfMisfits: The Italian crew in ''Razor's Edge''. Some of them ''do'' become TrueCompanions, while [[JerkAss other]]... don't.
* RousseauWasRight: Yefremov was a great believer in the inherent goodness of man.
* TakeThat: His novella ''Cor Serpentis'' is essentially a one big TakeThat to Creator/MurrayLeinster's ''Literature/FirstContact''.
* TreasureHunt: The Italians' motivation in ''Razor's Edge'', who plan to (illegally, or at least illicitly) prospect for diamonds on the shores of South Africa. They are also quite successful at that.
** ''At the Edge of Ecumene'' also features several, as well as [[ManlyMenCanHunt real hunts]].
* {{Utopia}}
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