The Possessed is a novel by Fyodor Dostoevsky about a group of intellectual political radicals in 19th-century Russia. Pyotr Verkhovensky, obsessed with the mysterious Nikolai Stavrogin, convinces him and others to join his revolutionary organization. They plot to kill Shatov, whose views are opposed to theirs and, after Pyotr kills Shatov and the suicide, Kirillov, takes the blame, the police arrest them and Nikolai commits suicide. The novel grapples with the tension between the idealist and Slavophile intellectual and political movements in Russia at the time.
The Dispossessed is the story of the inhabited worlds of Tau Ceti and their invention of the instant interstellar communication device known as the Ansible. The Ansible reconfigures relations between two inhabited worlds, rough analogues for the United States and the Soviet Union at the time of the Cold War. The two begin a proxy war triggered by these changes and soon events spiral out of control in a parable for the fragility for Statehood.