Arthur Porges: The Ruum

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.


4 Responses to Arthur Porges: The Ruum

  1. Ganesh says:

    Thanks for linking us to the story. Nice read, a bit long. I had to print it out for reading.

    The ‘questions’ at the end of the story in the provided (maybe it is extracted from a school textbook?) enabled further insights and analysis.

  2. cgrishikesh says:

    Actually the machine froze twice as the pdf file was D/Ling. For the third time I waited patiently not doing anything for it to hang and ensured that the entire text was there. But I didn’t see the questions.

    Yes, as you say the PDF may be of a school textbook as there were illustrations too.

    I am glad that a couple of readers are taking the trouble of reading the stories that I mention.

  3. Well..mmm..I am an old-fashioned, never-grow-up kid with an ardent admiration for Grimm and Hawthorne! Fairy tales please me far better than these new-fangled stories!

  4. Nicki says:

    Thank you so much for linking this story- I first read it years ago in the eighth grade and had been searching for it ever since. It has long been a favorite.

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