I re-read Charles Stross’s novella "Missile Gap" recently. It’s an outstanding horror science-fiction story on literally a global scale. A fast read – I re-read the whole thing in one evening.
And this time I think I figured out what’s going on.￼
Here’s the gimmick: In a single instant in 1962, highly advanced aliens skin the surface of the Earth like peeling an orange, and transport the surface of the Earth and all its inhabitants to the surface of a disk the size of the Solar System, located 200,000 light years from Earth’s former location, and 800,000 years in the future.
It’s now 1976, and the US and USSR are in a cold war to figure out who moved the Earth, why, and how, and to explore the billions of worlds similarly transported.
Read it here for free: Missile Gap by Charles Stross. Have a dictionary and Wikipedia handy when you read it; Stross uses a lot of obscure words, he doesn’t explain them, and they’re important.