Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Short Story: For a Breath I Tarry, by Roger Zelazny

"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!


  1. ima check him out thanks bro very cool

  2. I love the Chronicles of Amber. One of my favorite book series.

  3. very nice blog
    i like your post!
    supportin & follow you ;)

  4. What an epic story!

  5. Thanks for the positive feedback! This is definitely one of my favorite works of literature in general.

    Helldozer, that's superb! I love it as well. Though that last book...well, the series overall was great!

  6. Deep Thought and Slumph: It certainly is epic! There's another short story I love that is even more epic; I'll make a post about it soon. ;)

  7. 15 minutes... well i need something to read before bed, thanks man ;P

  8. Oh ok, I might have to check this guy out

  9. kool stuff, imma go google him, haha. and followed.

  10. I really enjoy the serious value to your blogs. And what great reads they all seem to be. Why I keep coming back Touch and Feel :)

  11. Thanks Andromeda! It makes us feel great that you appreciate our posts. We certainly put effort into them!

    Also, hope you find that special Halloween mask that's just for you ;) I haven't decided what i want to be yet; should really get on that.

  12. Conference Call USA Toll Free 866-874-5030, Meeting Number 2781615

  13. I really need to get back into reading some more. I used to read stuff like this all the time, but have gotten too lazy recently.

    You inspired me to start doing it again.


  14. That's awesome, sforest! I myself have gotten out of the habit of reading, so sharing the stories i loved is helping me get back into it. Thank YOU (and everyone else!) for your support!