For a Breath I Tarry

For a Breath I Tarry

Zelazny, Roger

language: English

Publisher: Underwood Miller

Publishing date: Sep 1, 1966

Words: 11244
Pages: 44


[From Wikipedia] "For a Breath I Tarry" is a highly-regarded 1966 post-apocalyptic novelette by Roger Zelazny. Taking place long after the self-extinction of Man, it recounts the tale of Frost, a sentient machine ("...a silver-blue box, 40x40x40 feet,... featured in whatever manner he chose.") Though Man has disappeared, his robotic creations (and their creations in turn) continue to function. Along the way, the story explores the differences between Man and Machine, the former experiencing the world qualitatively, while the latter do so quantitatively. "A machine is a Man turned inside-out, because it can describe all the details of a process, which a Man cannot, but it cannot experience that process itself as a Man can." This is illustrated by a conversation Frost has with another machine named Mordel.