Andromeda: a Space-Age Tale

( Russian - Tumannost' Andromedy ( Туманность Андромеды ) - 1958 )

novel by Ivan Yefremov

translated by George Hanna

Published: Foreign Languages Publishing House - hardback - 1959
ISBN: none

Progress Publishers - hardback - 1980
ISBN: 0828518564 / 9780828518567

Raduga Publishing - paperback - 1990
ISBN: 550028280 / 9785050028280

Fredonia Books - trade paperback - 2004 ( POD )
ISBN: 1410106853 / 9781410106858

This is a classic communist utopia set in a distant future. Throughout the novel, the author's attention is focused on the social and cultural aspects of the society; there are several principal heroes (a historian, an archeologist, a starship captain) involved in several plot lines. Though the world shown in the novel is intended as ideal, there's an attempt to show a conflict and its resolution with a voluntary self-punishment of a scientist whose reckless experiment caused damage. There's also a fair amount of action in the episodes where the crew of a starship fight alien predators.

Several civilizations of our Galaxy, including Earth, are united in the Great Circle whose members exchange and relay scientific and cultural information. Notably, there's was no faster-than-light travel or communication in this world before events, described in novel.2 Moreover, interstellar missions sent by Earth are few because of very costly fuel used by interstellar (but not planetary) spaceships, and the Great Circle civilizations almost never meet in person. The Great Circle radio transmissions are pictured as taking the energy of the whole Earth and therefore infrequent; one such transmission is a lecture on the history of the Earth civilization which gives the author an opportunity to put his world into a historic context.


The Andromeda Nebula ( 1967 )