Great Ring is cycle of novels, written by Russian writer Ivan Yefremov. Novels in cycle (in in-world time order) are
- Туманность Андромеды (Andromeda Nebula a.k.a. Andromeda: A Space Age Tale) is a communism utopia, describing the guiding principles of the society and briefly noting a hard way to it.
- Сердце Змеи (The Snakes Heart or Cor Serpentis) is a novella describing the contact between an Earth's spaceship and that of an alien humanoid life form, but based on hydrogen fluoride, instead of hydrogen oxide (water) solutions.
- Час Быка (The Bulls Hour) is a totalitarian dystopia. It describes mission to the planet colonized by humans, who escaped from Earth long before the current society was established.
Tropes the cycle provides examples of:
- Absent Aliens: Averted. There are loads and loads of them. The only problem is that lack of reasonably cheap Faster-Than-Light Travel makes it's a pain in the ass to communicate with them, though it does get invented by the end of the series.
- After the End: Hinted abouth the Earth's society in the first novel, explicitly said in the second.
- Alternate Continuity: Despite describing pretty much the same society on the Earth, as in other books, the Cor Serpentis is explicitly a First Contact story and no Great Circle is ever mentioned.
- Faster-Than-Light Travel: Only quite-slower-then-light (up to 0.8 c) travels in the first novel, near-light in the Cor Serpentis and full FTL (but still very complicated) in the Bull's Hour. All of them require very much effort.
- No Poverty: It's Utopia.
- Utopia: The Earth society itself.