(Russian: "Далёкая Радуга", alternate translation: Distant Rainbow
) is the third novel by the Strugatsky Brothers
to be set in the Noon Universe
. It is extremely depressing and was directly inspired by the 1959 film adaptation of the Post Apocalyptic
novel On the Beach
, which the Stugatskys saw in 1962 and were devastated by.
Rainbow is a lush green planet far away from Earth, which is one big test ground for physicists. Their recent research is about 0-T, a teleportation technique
. Besides them, the planet is inhabited by their families, a couple of escapists, and few artists. When one of the experiments backfires
, the whole planet is threatened by the deadly Wave...
Tropes found in the novel:
- Advancing Wall of Doom - the Wave
- Apocalypse How - Class 5: all organics on the whole planet are going to die!
- Apocalyptic Log - The protagonists make one, so the tragedy won't be repeated.
- Children Are Innocent - And thus deserve to be saved.
- Cybernetics Eat Your Soul - Camillo.
- Do Not Go Gentle - People continue to do useful things during the Wave's approach.
- Face Death with Dignity - The entire adult population of the planet ends up doing it in the end. The cake definitely goes to the intended first human 0-T tester team, who swim into the Wave of their own accord while singing.
- Failsafe Failure - "Charibdas"
- For Science! - Motivates many of the protagonists.
- Gone Horribly Wrong - The Wave.
- Ignored Expert - Camillo.
- Immortal Life Is Cheap - Camillo+.
- Immortality Hurts - Camillo (both literally and emotionally - "I have risen from the dead thrice today. It hurt a lot every time. [...] Soon, I will raise from the dead for the fourth time, all alone on a dead planet covered by ash and snow.")
- Love Makes You Evil - Robert, who leaves a couple of children behind.
- Robert was aware of this but he knew that he cannot save all the children anyway, having only a tiny airplane. (Gaba: "But they are children!" Robert: "And those that stay here - they are not children? Who will choose the four of them who will fly to the Capital and to Earth? You will? Go and choose them!")
- Sadistic Choice
- Shoot the Shaggy Dog - Robert. Neither his heroics nor his betrayal of children matter, since everyone is going to die anyway.
- Teleporters and Transporters - The research is about them.
- Unexplained Recovery: Gorbovsky appears in latter novels, but the Rainbow incident is not discussed.
- You Shall Not Pass - Done by Robert (and Patrick) with regards to the Wave.
- What Could Possibly Go Wrong? - They know about the Wave, yet the planet has no escape ships ready? Were it not for "Tariel", nobody would survive!
- A partial excuse is that the 0-T scientists, according to their theory, never expected the Wave to be so strong; their calculations were flawed but they did not bother to check them because they considered the Wave to be only a bothersome side effect.
- You Are Too Late - The "Strela".