John Madera reviewed Midnight Picnic in The Collagist. Cool.
Have you ever seen Stalker? It's a Tarkovsky film about a man--a "stalker"--whose job is to guide people illegally into cordoned-off zones where aliens have visited. The aliens have left, and now the Visitation Zones are off-limits because the laws of physics don't apply there anymore and there are bizarre, incomprehensible dangers. It's a great premise and a fascinating movie, but not a great one.
It's based on a Russian novel called Roadside Picnic by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky. Here's the Wikipedia page. The novel has roughly the same premise but is tonally and structurally completely different. It's also, apparently, out of print. But if you Google it, you can get the .pdf of the manuscript online for free. I read it recently on my computer. It's quite short, and kind of great. I'd love to adapt this into a script. How do I find out who has the rights?