Noon: 22nd Century (Russian: "Полдень, XXII век") is the first novel in and the namer of the Noon Universe created by the Strugatsky Brothers. Introduced a number of characters that would reappear in many later novels (though rarely all at the same time). By far the most idealistic novel in the series.
The format is best described as a collection of short stories, set in various locales on the utopian Earth in the early 22nd century, featuring several recurring characters. There is no overarching plot per se. This allowed the authors to add additional chapters in later editions. The original 1961 edition included ten stories. The 1962 edition included sixteen stories. The 1967 edition included twenty stories. No stories were added following this point.
Tropes found in the novel:
- Badass Pacifist: Leonid Gorbovsky. In-universe he is sort of Memetic Badass Pacifist.
- Brain Uploading: The Great Encoding.
- Catchphrase: Gorbovsky's "May I lie down?" (he spends most of his time on spaceships, so he cherishes every opportunity to rest a little) suffered from In-Universe Memetic Mutation so much, Komov sarcastically suggests it be listed as the first question to ask at any First Contact that Gorbovsky conducts.
- Cool Starship: Gorbovsky's Tariel.
- Crystal Spires and Togas: Well, kinda. The setting was to the Soviet readers the shiny clean utopia that Crystal Spires and Togas represent to the Westerners.
- Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: Pol Gnedykh in Langour of the Spirit.
- Fish out of Temporal Water: The Taimyr crew.
- Giant Squid: The marauding sperm whale was replaced with one in the second edition of the novel.
- Literary Allusion Title: The title is a play on the novel Daybreak: 2250 A.D. (1954) by Andre Norton, an After the End story.
- Perfect Pacifist People
- Rousseau Was Right