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1%% Zero Context Examples have been removed. Please add context before uncommenting.²²[[quoteright:144:https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/real-story_3913.jpg]]²''The Gap Cycle'' by Creator/StephenRDonaldson is a five part ScienceFiction Epic, borrowing heavily from Music/RichardWagner's Ring Cycle. The setting is in a dystopian future where Earth is dependent on the resources of deep space and governed by a man who is in control of both the police [UMCP] and the biggest company in human history [UMC]. Most of the plot is driven by an EvilPlan of the UMCP director, seeking to undermine the control of the UMC CEO. The storyline follows several branches and perspectives which are brought together as more and more information is revealed about what is going on behind the scenes.²²----²!!Contains examples of:²²* ActuallyPrettyFunny:²** After Warden [[spoiler: frees Angus from all control and gives him everything in his secret database]], Angus goes into a laughing fit, realizing the {{Irony}}.²--->“It’s got to stop,” he croaked at Davies as if that were the funniest thing he’d ever heard. “It’s got to stop.”²** Warden chuckles at Hashi's choice of code word to [[spoiler:free Angus' will]] as "vasectomy", finding it weirdly apropos.²%% * AerithAndBob: Weird names are everywhere.²* AndIMustScream / FateWorseThanDeath: Bio-retributive cyborgs are people not only enslaved with zone implants, but BodyHorror cases where they've been completely altered. One poor woman has massive breasts ''that she cuts off against her will with a dull blade - on a nightly basis''.²* AndShowItToYou: [[spoiler:Angus apparently takes Warden's instruction "tear his fucking heart out" to heart when hunts down Holt.]] ²* AndThisIsFor: Davies punches Hashi in the face, breaking his jaw in three places.²-->'''Davies:''' That’s for Angus. He wanted to do it himself. But he was afraid you would fry his brain.[[note]]Hashi admits, yes, he would have.[[/note]]²* AsteroidThicket: A pirate moon is surrounded by large rocks. Justified in that they're not actually asteroids but parts of the moon blasted off by some recent collision with another body. The base is built in the gap of the moon where the chunks were blasted from, and a large gravity well nearby prevents the rocks from re-accretion. ²* TheAtoner: [[spoiler: Warden. His CatchPhrase of "It's got to stop" is sincere. He acknowledges he's as responsible for the fucked up state of space exploration and mining as Holt. He even refuses to be completely cured of the mutagen, and tells Angus before he dies in an explosion to "tear [Holt's] fucking heart out", the ''only'' time he's not TheStoic. Angus naturally approves.]]²* AxeCrazy: A small percentage of the population experiences mental disturbances called "Gap sickness" after going through hyperspace. Symptoms vary from individual to individual, but they usually add up to AxeCrazy.²* BadSanta: Cleatus Fane, Holt Fasner's trusted proxy, reminds Hashi of "Santa Claus with fangs".²* BeautyIsNeverTarnished: Averted. Morn starts out as gorgeous but is a complete mess by the end of the books. However, she's moved beyond her looks by then.²%% * BigBad: UMC CEO Holt Fasner²* BrainwashedAndCrazy: Anyone who are infected by the Amnion ''become'' Amnion, forever.²%% * BreakTheCutie: Morn Hyland²%% * BlackAndGrayMorality²* BlueAndOrangeMorality: The Amnion are appropriately alien with a HiveMind. They can't understand why humanity would reject their BodyHorror gifts.²* ByTheBookCop: Min Donner, though she manages to avoid being LawfulStupid.²* CantStopTheSignal: How the heroes strike humanity's greatest blow against the Amnion. [[spoiler: They broadcast the formula for the mutagen immunity drug.]] ²* CannotTellALie: The Amnion. They find it literally incomprehensible. Humans turned into Amnion, however, understand dishonesty even though they themselves can't lie. They do get around it by being a RulesLawyer or using ExactWords.²* CentralTheme: The entire series is about RashomonStyle storytelling, how events and actions can be misconstrued by even the smartest people. There's a reason the first book -- which is also by far the shortest -- is called ''The Real Story'', as it gives an unfiltered look at what happened between Angus, Morn, and Nick. In fact, the book even states that it ''seemed'' to others the classic story of Nick TheHero saving DamselInDistress Morn from the CardCarryingVillain Angus, but nothing is as it seems. ²* CloningBlues: Poor Davies has the mind of a woman in the body of the man who ''raped'' her.²* ConsummateLiar: Hashi Lebwohl makes no psychological distinction between saying true things and false things.²* CorruptCop: An unusual case. The UMPC is divided by those truly dedicated to justice and law (led by Min Donner), and the fact that it's not a governmental agency leaves it wide open for abuse by the higher ups in United Mining.²%% * CrapsackWorld: The characters are trying to avoid this.²* CreepyGood: Hashi is considered this. Despite having the best interests for humanity, he is a person with incredible power who is an unreadable toady with a [[TechnicallyASmile fake smile]] always planted on his face.²* DeadGuyJunior: Morn gives her son the name of her father, because she's more than partly responsible for his death.²%% * TheDragon: Wardon Dios, and Cleatus Fane is the Dragon's Dragon.²%% * DragonWithAnAgenda: Warden Dios²* DrivenToSuicide: Ciro, out of guilt of nearly killing everyone including his sister. Angus puts that self-destruction to good use in the climax.²%% * EarnYourHappyEnding²* ExplosiveLeash: [[spoiler:'''Sepulcher''' is the command Warden could have used to fry Angus' brain.]]²* FantasticDrug: If a person with a zone implant gets the controls to their own implant, they quickly become junkies to being able to give themselves pleasure and power anytime they like. Morn quickly finds that pleasure + pain = sexual ecstasy, which allows her to be attracted to anyone, no matter how disgusted she is by them. Turning off the implant is akin to the crash after a drug high, only more intense.²* {{Fiction500}}: Holt Fasner owns most bigger Enterprises, the Police and buys the World Governments' support whenever he needs it²* FreudianExcuse: Angus Thermopyle's childhood was not pretty, and he'll do anything to avoid being in a position of being helpless again.²* GambitPileup: And how. Everyone has their own motives and secret plans. Much of the fun in the books after ''The Real Story'' is about how people wrongly interpret the actions of others, especially after the reader ''knows'' the real reasons for their actions. ²* TheGlovesComeOff: Doubles as WhamLine, when Warden tells Angus: "I’ve heard how you justify yourself, Angus. Now I want you to hear me. We’re facing a total crisis here. An outright '''apotheosis'''... Are you listening, Angus? Vestabule has his guns aimed at Suka Bator. If we don’t do what he wants, he’s going to give us a super-light proton '''vasectomy'''.” [[spoiler: Those words both free Angus from his programming, then gives him access to every single file in his database.]]²* HeelFaceTurn: The entire series shows how someone who is utterly loathsome and seemingly irredeemable can find himself becoming a hero, even if he's more of a NinetiesAntiHero.²%% * HerrDoktor: Hashi Lebwohl lacks the accent, but he makes up for it in utter lack of morals. He's not immoral, but he's so amoral that he fundamentally makes no distinction between truth and lies.²* HiveMind: The Amnion.²* ILied: The Amnion ''will'' change their promises if they realize it benefits them to.²* IdiosyncraticEpisodeNaming: Every chapter is titled with the character from whose perspective it is written.²* IncapableOfDisobeying: Space travelers suffering from "gap sickness" (a form of psychosis brought on by hyperspace) can be fitted with zone implants that allow their nervous systems to be temporarily shut down. In theory, this allows someone else to stop them if they become a danger to themselves or others, but Angus Thermopyle abuses Morn Hyland's implant to make her compliant while he abuses her.²%% * InsufferableGenius: Hashi Lebwohl and Lane Harbinger²* ItIsPronouncedTroPAY: Angus's surname is pronounced Ther-mo-pi-lay. He gets very annoyed when Nick calls him Thermo-pile.²* KineticWeaponsAreJustBetter: The Amnion have a "super-light proton cannon". According to Donaldson, it's "mass (in this case, protons) accelerated to the speed of light."²* LaserGuidedKarma: Angus, a rapist, becomes {{Mind Rape}}d and forced by others to do their will, no matter how degrading.²%% * LimaSyndrome: [[spoiler: Angus, for Morn]]²* LivingLieDetector: Warden Dios's prosthetic eye enables him to read IR emissions and detect signs of stress associated with lying. (As described above, Hashi Lebwohl has no such stress, so is unreadable.)²* MeaningfulRename: As a result of the events, the United Mining Companies Police (UMCP) becomes the Space Defense Police.²* MercyKill: Angus accedes to Norna's request for euthanasia, because being kept alive and immobile in a bed is particularly offensive to him. "I wouldn't do this to a fucking Amnion".²* MindControlDevice: Zone implants. Originally discovered by someone who was trying to find a cure for epilepsy, zone implants offer what amounts to total mind control in the hands of someone who knows how to use them. They may only legally be used for one very specific purpose: If someone has gone AxCrazy from gap sickness, every member of the crew testifies that the use of zone implants was necessary to keep them alive, and the implantee themselves testifies that their will was not violated in any other way. But nevertheless, every ship carries them, just in case that nightmare comes to pass.²* NoTranshumanismAllowed: A [[InfoDump few pages of exposition]] [[DiscussedTrope explain why]]: Humanity's prejudices and fears (especially fear of the Amnion) have ensured that people haven't changed their biology. Holt Fastner isn't happy about this.²* NonIndicativeName: The invention of the FTL drive was [[AchievementsInIgnorance actually a mistake]], with the inventor thinking it involved tachyons and tardyons. Even though it was discovered quickly that it didn't, captains still use "going to tach" and "going to tard" as shorthand for entering and leaving FTL travel.²* OneNationUnderCopyright: Most of humanity's corporations and half of the government are ruled by the United Mining Companies.²* OOCIsSeriousBusiness:²** Only twice in the series does Warden lose his cool: when Hashi sends ''Free Lunch'' to kill Morn[[note]]though, in his defense, Warden made Hashi think he wanted Morn dead[[/note]], and when Warden finally let's his true anger show to the one person who would understand it: Angus.²** The normally placid Amnion become obsessed with finding out how Morn was able to survive having her mind copied into her force-grown son, because that would enable them to have Amnion agents who were completely indistinct from humans, allowing them to conquer the entire human race.²* PowerOfTrust: Because Morn trusts [[spoiler: Angus, her rapist,]] Warden decides to trust him too.²* QuantityVsQuality: Amnion technology is, by and large, superior to that of humans. But their OrganicTechnology manufacturing processes are so inefficient that humanity can massively outproduce them. This is why the Amnion do not seek a conventional war with humanity: they know they would lose.²* RapidAging: The Amnion force-grow Davies into a sixteen year old. In order to make sure he has a working mind, Morn's mind is copied into him.²* RecycledInSPACE: In the Author's Note at the end of the first book, Donaldson says that the books after the first one are a retelling of [[Theatre/TheRingOfTheNibelung Wagner's Ring Cycle]].²* RedemptionEqualsDeath: [[spoiler: Warden believes this wholeheartedly. See The Atoner.]]²* ReforgedIntoAMinion: ²** After the events of the first book, Angus Thermopyle is turned into a [[UnwillingRoboticisation mind-controlled cyborg]].²** The Amnion do this to several characters using a mutagen.²* RevengeBeforeReason: Once Nick discovers that ''Soar'' is captained by Sorus Chatalaine, all bets are off. Everything, '''''everything''''' he does is aimed at taking Sorus down, and everyone is expendable.²* SciFiWritersHaveNoSenseOfScale: The economy of the world seems built on mining deep space, despite the fact that the asteroid belt in the solar system alone would fulfil Earth's needs for millions of years. An asteroid belt is not a place where you actually have to manoeuvre between rocks to avoid collision, since it's still pretty damn empty. The world was clearly built to allow for the plot, not to be logical from the logical point of view. It's also justified in that most of them want to be far, far away from Earth for various reasons. It's further justified in that the planet was recently cracked open, so the debris hasn't had a chance to re-coalesce.²* ScrewTheRulesIHaveMoney / ScrewTheRulesIMakeThem: [[CorruptCorporateExecutive Holt Fasner]] literally owns the police, and is the most powerful man in the human race.²* SesquipedalianLoquaciousness: Not to the extent as ''Literature/TheChroniclesOfThomasCovenant'', and it varies depending on the current viewpoint character. Hashi's chapters are full of it, while Davies's or Morn's are comparatively simple.²%% * SociopathicHero: Angus Thermopyle, after his HazyFeelTurn. He's still just as monstrous, but this time his targets actually deserve what they get.²* Main/SpaceIsAnOcean: Also asteroid fields are dangerous reefs and starships manoeuvre much like sea vessels. Averted with hyperdrives and g-related issues.²%% * SpaceOpera²* StarfishAliens: The Amnion. They find [[HumansAreCthulhu humanity just as incomprehensible]] as we find them. In fact, they constantly change their form at will through genetics to suit specific tasks.²* SubspaceAnsible: Averted. Much of the story deals with the fact that vital information can't travel FTL unless using an unmanned vessel that goes FTL itself. The Amnion do briefly try to use some sort of experimental "symbiotic crystalline resonance device" as an FTL Radio, which becomes an important PlotPoint. ²* ToBeLawfulOrGood: Min Donner struggles with this the entire series. [[spoiler:She eventually sides on "good", since that will lead to better law.]]²* WhamLine: "We're facing a total crisis here. An outright '''apotheosis'''... Are you ''listening'', Angus? Vestabule has his guns aimed at Suka Bator. If we don't do what he wants, he's going to give us a super-light proton '''vasectomy'''."[[note]]"Apotheosis" opens up every single database in Angus' memory, while "vasectomy" gives him free will.[[/note]]²* WhoWantsToLiveForever: Inverted. [[spoiler: Holt's main motivation is immortality, and ''everything'' he does in the books is to unlock the Amnion's secret to it.]]²----

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