Arkady and Boris Strugatsky 1977 (in Russian; Penguin edition 2020). One Billion Years to the End of the World. Penguin Classics Science Fiction. 159 pp

Several scientists in different fields simultaneously arrive at the brink of major breakthroughs when an unnmaed alien force - evidently allegorical aliens - interferes by distraction. Weird in a uniquely Russian and Strugatskyish way, written with a dark humour and with a strange naivete which may in part be a property of the translation. Yet the reader enters a novel alternate reality - the real reason for reading fiction.