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Hard to Be A God (Russian: "Трудно быть богом") is the fourth novel by the Strugatsky Brothers to be set in the Noon Universe.

The protagonist Anton is an Earthling observer (not a "progressor", the institute of progressors was only created later) on a Dung Ages planet going through a Renaissance and a religious backlash, just starting to border on a full-blown Inquisition. He angsts, borderline violates the Alien Non-Interference Clause and achieves what is probably the most Downer Ending in any Strugatsky novel. Notable as an exploration of the Alien Non-Interference Clause concept and because the (arguably equivalent to) Why Don't You Just Shoot Him? solution with which a typical action hero might have ended the story is presented as a horrible failure for everyone involved. Two films and a computer game Inspired By the book followed.

Tropes found in the novel:

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