"They called him Frost. Of all things created of Solcom, Frost was the finest, the mightiest, the most difficult to understand. This is why he bore a name, and why he was given dominion over half the Earth."
For those of you unfortunate enough to not be acquainted with this literary giant, Roger Zelazny was one of the best science fiction writers of all time. His magnum opus, arguably, is the Chronicles of Amber series, as well as the novel Lord of Light.
If these bodies of work seem a bit too meaty for first time readers, however, then you are in luck! One of the gems I have found over the years is his story--actually a novelette-- "For a Breath I Tarry. I must say, this novelette had a more profound emotional effect on me than most of the full length novels I have read, an effect which has scarcely lessened with each rereading.
The premise is that man has destroyed himself in some unnamed conflict, but the machines he built to serve him are still trying to fulfill their duties to their deceased creators. One of these, Frost, is different from the other machines.
"He was a processor of data, and more than that. He possessed an unaccountably acute imperative that he function at full capacity at all times. So he did. You might say he was a machine with a hobby. He had never been ordered _not_ to have a hobby, so he had one. His hobby was Man."
You can read the ENTIRE story here: Full Text
I promise you, it is well worth the 15 minutes it takes to read!