Arthur Porges: The Ruum

May 6, 2009

The story that I reread today is Science Fiction.

During the prehistoric period aliens visiting the earth accidentally leave behind a spheroid/robot whose work is to collect specimens and array them in a paralysed but also preserved state.

FF to a much later period when a man is dropped in a North American wilderness on a scientific expedition with the understanding that he would be picked up a few weeks later after he has fulfilled his task.

The man comes upon the robot’s collection and fears that he too would be caught and added to the existing collection – a specimen of humanity, perhaps? He starts running as he notices a stirring in the robot.

A relentless pursuit begins.

Is the man caught? If so, how? Does the fellow-scientist find him upon return on the appointed day?

Good prose. A little difficult to understand if you don’t pay close attention (foreshadows are cleverly given). So find a quiet, undisturbed hour to read the SS.

I have this highly anthologised 1953 story in The Stars & Under: A Selection of Science Fiction edited by Edmund Crispin (Faber and Faber, 1968) , which also has an excellent introduction. 


After some intense search, I found a PDF of this story here:

(Wait patiently until the file is fully D/Ld.)

Friends: In Comments, please don’t reveal the end. Any remarks relating to your understanding of it (or the lack of it!) may be sent to me by email.