|Andromeda: A Space-Age Tale|
Illustration of book cover
|Original title||Туманность Андромеды|
|Cover artist||N. Grishin|
Foreign Language Publishing House
|Published in English||1959|
|Media type||Print (Hardcover)|
|LC Classification||PG3476.E38 T83 1950z and PG3476.E38 T83 1980|
Andromeda: A Space-Age Tale a.k.a. Andromeda Nebula (Russian: Туманность Андромеды, Tumannost' Andromedy) is a science fiction novel by the Russian writer and paleontologist Ivan Efremov, written and published in 1957. The novel was made into a film in 1967, The Andromeda Nebula.
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 was no faster-than-light (FTL) travel or communication in this world before events, described in the novel. 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.
Literary significance & criticism
Critics have accused this novel of being dry and illustrative, its heroes being more of philosophical ideas than live people. Nevertheless, the novel was a major milestone in Soviet sci-fi literature, which, in Stalin's era, had been much more short-sighted (never venturing more than a few decades into the future) and primarily focusing on technical inventions rather than social issues (the so-called "short aim" SF). Boris Strugatsky wrote,
Yefremov was an ice breaker of a man. He has broken the seemingly unbreakable ice of the "short aim theory". He has shown how one can and should write modern SF, and thus has ushered a new era of Soviet SF. Of course those times were already different, the Stalin Ice Age was nearing its end, and I think that even without "Andromeda," Soviet SF would soon start a new course. But the publication of "Andromeda" has become a symbol of the new era, its banner, in some sense. Without it, the new growth would have been an order of magnitude more difficult, and a thaw in our SF wouldn't have come until later. 
Crew of the First Class S.S. Tantra
(37th Space Expedition)
- 1. Erg Noor, chief of the expedition, spaceship commander
- 2. Niza Crete, astronavigator-I
- 3. Pel Lynn, astronavigator-II
- 4. Kay Bar, electronic engineer I
- 5. (?), electronic engineer II
- 6. Ingrid Dietra, astronomer-I
- 7. Pour Hyss, astronomer-II
- 8. Taron, mechanical engineer I
- 9. (?), mechanical engineer II
- 10. Eon Thal, biologist
- 11. Beena Ledd, geologist
- 12. Louma Lasvy, ship's physician
- 13. Ione Marr, teacher of gymnastics, dietary supervisor, storekeeper
- 14. (?)
Characters of Earth
- Grom Orme, President of the Astronautical Council
- Diss Ken, his son
- Zieg Zohr, music composer
- Thor Ann, son of Zieg Zohr, Diss Ken's friend
- Mir Ohm, Secretary of the Astronautical Council
- Darr Veter, retiring Director of the Outer Stations
- Mwen Mass, successor to Darr Veter
- Junius Antus, Director of the Electronic Memory Machines
- Kam Amat, Indian scientist (In a former age)
- Liao Lang, palaeontologist
- Renn Bose, physicist
- Cart Sann, painter
- Frith Don, Director of the Maritime Archaeological Expedition
- Sherliss, mechanic to the expedition
- Ahf Noot, prominent surgeon
- Grimm Schar, biologist of the Institute of Nerve Currents
- Zann Senn, poet, historian
- Heb Uhr, soil scientist
- Beth Lohn, mathematician, criminal in exile
- Embe Ong, candidate for Director of the Outer Stations
- Cadd Lite, engineer on Satellite 57
- Evda Nahl, psychiatrist
- Rhea, her daughter
- Veda Kong, historian
- Miyiko Eigoro, historian, Veda's assistant
- Chara Nandi, biologist, dancer, artist's model
- Onar, girl of the Island of Oblivion
- Eva Djann, astronomer
- Liuda Pheer, psychologist (in a former age)
- Goor Hahn, observer on the diurnal satellite
- Zaph Phthet, Director of External Relations of the planet of 61 Cygni
- Sergey Klimanov's Home Page. Ivan Yefremov's Works Revised 2004-08-10. Accessed 2006-09-08.
- One of the plot lines describes physical experiment, that demonstrates possibility of FTL travels, and in later novels FTL space ships and travels are described.
- Jameson, Fredric. "Progress Versus Utopia; or, Can We Imagine the Future?" Science Fiction Studies 9.2 (1982): 147-158.
- Suvin, Darko. "Three World Paradigms for SF: Asimov, Yefremov, Lem." Pacific Quarterly (Moana): An International Review of Arts and Ideas 4.(1979): 271-283.
- Yefremov, Ivan. Andromeda: A Space-Age Tale translated by George Hanna. Moscow: Foreign Language Publishing House, 1959, 444 pp. LCCN: 95207661.
- Yefremov, Ivan. Andromeda: A Space-Age Tale translated by George Hanna. Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1980, 397 pp. ISBN 0-8285-1856-4. LCCN: 82206351.
- Yefremov, Ivan. Andromeda: A Space-Age Tale. NL: Fredonia Books, August 30, 2004, 384 pp. ISBN 1-4101-0685-3.
- Andromeda: A Space-Age Tale by Ivan Yefremov in the Udmurt mirror of the Maksim Moshkow's Library
- Andromeda: A Space-Age Tale by Ivan Yefremov full text
- Andromeda at the Library of Congress