Like a Lovecraft story, but without the amusing over-reliance of bad adjectives, this one presents seemingly geocentric aliens running around town in a big cylinder. The vast majority of the story is the exploration of the cylinder. Things happen therein.
The more interesting parts are at the United Planets, which appears to govern the solar system in the future. But these bits are few in comparison to the explorer narratives, wherein the suspense kinda builds toward something, maybe.
Many references to Captain Cook and other colonialists indicate that, even though geocentric aliens have come to our place, we still treat them as though we were taking over, even to the point of wiping them out with nukes. And if nothing is nuked, the explorers still manage to steal things, dissect inhabitants, and so on. It's all fairly embarrassing.
Recommended for superchimps, surly hermeans, and practitioners of the art of triple redundancy.