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Literature / Great Ring

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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.
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  • 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.
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  • No Poverty: It's Utopia.
  • Utopia: The Earth society itself.


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