Viktor Pelevin (or Victor, in his English translations) was born in 1962, so grew up during the period of Stagnation. He attended aviation college in Moscow but has been a full-time writer since 1991. He is the first post-modern writer on our syllabus, and you'll see difference, though Omon Ra presents its questions about reality in a pretty realistic style. In her article about Pelevin in Neil Cornwell, ed., Reference Guide to Russian Literature (1998), Sally Dalton-Brown notes that his work is "characterized by fragmentation, conscious artificiality (i.e. the construction of 'hyperrealities'), and game-playing." Interesting to note that one of his stories is entitled "The Ninth Dream of Vera Pavlovna" - referring back to Chernyshevsky. Omon Ra was written in 1992, making it one of his earlier works; before 1991 he was better known as a writer of short stories. He often chooses to write science fiction, and you'll see the references to earlier (Soviet) SF in this book; he also moves into adjacent genres (fantasy, etc). He has written 14 novels or novellas, plus lots of essays. One short novel has the title "Prince StatePlan" (Принц Госплан), so this is not the only place where a character is named for a piece of Soviet realia - a name that no one would ever give a child.
OMON (Отряд милиции особого назначения) is the acronym for a branch of the Russian police - "Special Purpose Police Unit." This branch of the police was founded in 1988, making the name Omon an anachronism for someone who would be old enough to participate in the Soviet space program. Various units of the OMON were involved in violent incidents connected with the coming-apart of the Soviet Union, giving the name a resonance somewhat like that of the Cossacks, once upon a time. (His brother OVIR was named for the Office of Visas and Registration - thanks to foreign words the acronym is the same in English and Russian.)
Questions for reading: