Curiosity seeks remorseless inexorable robot for long walks in countryside.
January 3, 2010 6:39 PM   Subscribe

Identify an old sci-fi short story - unstoppable robot slowly hunting a man across wilderness?

Can you identify a sci-fi short story that I remember reading perhaps 20-25 years ago. A robot hunting a man across a wilderness - unusual as the robot moves very slowly, walking pace only. The the man can avoid it and get clear but whenever he stops to sleep/rest/eat etc it gains on him.

Memory is vague, but robot may have been spherical and I'm pretty sure was silvery and reflective - allowing the man to spot it at long distances (such as seeing it on the horizon when waking in the morning?)

The wilderness I think was just - woods, mountains etc, not a post apocalyptic desert. I don't think there were any other characters other than the man and robot and no communication between the man and his hunter.

Can't remember any more than that but the idea of an inexorable pursuit by a robot came up in conversation the other day and day and it's bugging me that I can't remember the name/author or how it ended!
posted by Leud to Media & Arts (9 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
The slow-motion chase by unstoppable killer robot through a planet's wilderness is a good fit to Kate Wilhelm's "The Killer Thing", but it's a sci-fi novel (copyright 1967) and not a short story.
posted by mdevore at 7:07 PM on January 3, 2010

Oh, I could also tell you how it ended because I have the novel right here, but since it might not be your killer robot, I shall refrain from the spoiler.
posted by mdevore at 7:13 PM on January 3, 2010

Was it Westworld (1973) maybe? Not shinny or spherical though
posted by tke248 at 7:22 PM on January 3, 2010

Best answer: The Ruum by Arthur Porges. Great story.
posted by wam at 7:31 PM on January 3, 2010

There's something like that in a short story by Robert Sheckley called "The Minimum Man", but I'm sure it's not what you're thinking of.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 7:41 PM on January 3, 2010

If it's The Ruum, there's a PDF here.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 7:41 PM on January 3, 2010 [6 favorites]

This is a stretch, but Mary Shelley's Frankenstein ends with the monster (who is not Frankenstein, but the creature made by Dr. Frankenstein) chasing Frankenstein, I believe across a snow field.

Like I said, a stretch.
posted by bluedaisy at 8:22 PM on January 3, 2010

It is the Ruum.
posted by procrastination at 10:00 PM on January 3, 2010

Response by poster: It is 'The Ruum' - just reading the wiki synopsis confirms that, well done :)
posted by Leud at 2:42 AM on January 4, 2010

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