Certain he is on the verge of a major scientific discovery, astrophysicist Dmitri Malyanov is happy that his wife has gone out of town so he can work home alone on the project he's sure will win him the Nobel Prize.
But then a beautiful woman shows up at his door, claiming to be an old friend of his wife's and saying she needs a place to stay. Then someone delivers a crate of vodka and caviar. Then his neighbor comes over and wants to tell him a personal secret. Then several of his friends—also scientists—show up, too. Their problem? They all felt they were on the verge of a major discovery when ... they got distracted ...
Is there some ominous force that doesn't want scientific knowledge to progress? Or could it be something more...natural?
In one of their most important works, offered here for the first time in an uncensored edition, the legendary Strugatsky brothers bravely and brilliantly question authority. It's a book that's not so much brilliant science fiction, as it is simply brilliant literature.