Curse you, you mysterious orb.
November 19, 2011 1:45 PM   Subscribe

Story-about-orbs filter: in my eighth grade English class, I read a sci-fi story about an extraterrestrial orb that was collecting specimens from Earth. I'd love to find out its author and name (and, optimally, a copy of the story itself on the web.)

The story involved a man who was (maybe?) lost in the woods somewhere in the US. An orb had been left on the planet a long time ago, and its home planet had (maybe?) died. It had been charged with collecting specimens of a certain weight. It starts to hunt the man, and chases him over the course of several days.

The orb eventually catches the man, but only touches him with some sort of sensor. Then, it zooms away. Shortly after, the man is rescued by a friend in a helicopter, who comments that he looks like he's lost quite a bit of weight. (The punchline is that he lost enough weight while being chased so that he's now outside the orb's parameters.)

I contacted the school I went to, but my teacher is gone and they can't/won't find out the textbook we had back then. This was back in the late nineties, and I read it again when my little brother was in middle school in the mid-2000's, so it could still be in the textbook.

I'm hunting this down for a friend; apparently she's been looking for the story for the past five years or so, and hasn't found it.
posted by punchtothehead to Writing & Language (5 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: The Ruum! By Arthur Porges. Very creepy. You can read a copy of it here (slow to load, but it works).
posted by Rhaomi at 2:08 PM on November 19, 2011 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Yes!! That's it, and you're awesome.
posted by punchtothehead at 2:23 PM on November 19, 2011

Link to actual story in this comment.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 4:20 PM on November 19, 2011

Gosh, I was thinking about this story the other day and wondering where I'd read it!
posted by ninazer0 at 5:17 PM on November 19, 2011

This was actually asked before on AskMe here.
posted by OmieWise at 6:25 AM on November 21, 2011

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