Thumbs up for Roadside Picnic by Arkady Strugatsky and Boris Strugatsky. Science fiction.
A short gem of Soviet science fiction that should be far more widely available than it is. The aliens came to Earth – and went without talking to anyone, leaving behind a bunch of semi-magical trash; the human “stalkers” sneak into the forbidden zones, risking life and limb, to fetch out said trash (and make a pretty penny from it). Not strong on plot – rather more like a series of connected vignettes – but good writing and good ideas make it well worth a read.
“Bah, your zombies. Richard, you should be ashamed of yourself. You are an educated man, after all. First of all, they are not corpses. They are moulages – reconstructions on the skeletons, dummies. And I assure you, from the point of view of fundamental principles, your moulages are no more amazing than the eternal batteries. It’s just that the so-so’s violate the first law of thermodynamics, and the moulages violate the second. We’re all cave men in one sense or another. We can’t imagine anything scarier than a ghost. But the violation of the law of causality is much more terrifying than a stampede of ghosts. And all the monsters of Rubenstein, or is it Wallenstein?”
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