by Fritz Leiber. Preface by Eric Flint. My reaction when I first read this story, somewhere around the age of fifteen, was perhaps bizarre. “A Pail of Air”is a story. My first encounter with Fritz Leiber’s short story “A Pail of Air” was in March via the X Minus One radio show. At the time, I could still not read or write and. Given such a setting, the story is naturally dedicated to Fritz Leiber and his famous “A Pail of Air.” I remember reading that story as a child.
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A Pail of Air
Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. A Pail of Air by Fritz Leiber. Reprint of paperback. Od the short stories: Hardcoverpages. Published December 1st by Amereon Limited first published March 28th To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
To ask other readers questions about A Pail of Airplease sign up. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. It can either be charming or cringe-worthy. Most of this is unfortunately the latter. Although there are a few gems in here too. Probably the best is the opening and title story, A Pail of Air. Much more timeless than the others, and much more engaging. As a short story, I would rate it 4. As tritz collection, I would rate it 2. Mar 17, EggSalad rated it really liked it.
A classic story — found on gutenberg. I remember reading this as a kid and thinking about it for days. Holds up pretty well. Jun 27, Gendou rated it it was amazing Shelves: This is a wonderful short story about survival in the face of cosmic cataclysm.
The setting is super neat and deserves to be a full-on novel. This story is good for getting a better understanding of paill our atmosphere really is and dispelling some common lieber about living in the vacuum of space. Mar 10, Gary rated it really liked it. Great take on a possible end of the world. Reminds me of Bradbury. Disturbing concept, but failed to give me a good scare by the end. This is the short story only. Not a collection of short stories. A classic SF short story. Jan 04, Kyle Dougherty rated it really liked it.
I really liked this depiction of what might happen if the Earth was snatched away from the Sun, though I think Leiber’s take on things off maybe a bit optimistic.
The man’s imagination is truly incredible! This story clearly attempts to fall into the category of hard science fiction, but a few scientific inaccuracies make it a bit flawed, even for the fifties.
I like the overall idea — the ‘Big Jerk’ event during which the Earth was ejected from its system by an extinguished nomad star or maybe a o hole, so the temperatures dropped to the point where the planet’s atmosphere freezes. Some details are pretty elaborate — long-distance radio communications are rendered impossible since the ionosp This story clearly attempts to fall into the paill of hard science fiction, but a few scientific inaccuracies make fitz a peiber flawed, even for the fifties.
Some details are pretty elaborate — long-distance radio communications are rendered impossible since the ionosphere no longer exists, the stars in the sky do not twinkle, the Nest’s residents suffer hallucinations caused by inhaling toxic fumes from the coal, etc. I expected the Nest to be some sort of airtight room with air-locking systems that would prevent any air leakage from the room.
But no, it’s insulated leibrr by blankets, and it even has a chimney. I’m not a physicist, but I’m pretty sure the air in such room would be sucked out into the outside vacuum in no time without proper air locks. They bring in frozen air in buckets by simply scooping it from the ground.
Actually, it’s pure oxygen, since oxygen has the lowest freezing point of all air components, so it apparently froze and snowed last. Once they are inside the room, they frita it to melt and boil, thus providing the necessary breathable gas.
A Pail of Air – Wikipedia
But how do they regulate air pressure in such conditions? Besides, one does not simply put a bucketful of frozen oxygen into a room with normal temperature; liquid oxygen’s expansion ratio is 1: Not to mention its combustibility, pall there’s a s in the room.
Just after the black hole arrived to the Solar system, people reported seeing stars ‘blotted out’, obscured by the black hole. However, due to the effect of gravitational microlensing, the stars would actually look magnified during the black hole’s transit. The narrator also says that the lfiber layers of carbon dioxide, nitrogen and oxygen oxygen snow being on top were ‘neatly separated’, which I’m sure is impossible because strong winds and torrential rains would inevitably coincide with the solidification of the atmosphere, constantly stirring whatever there is on the ground.
I don’t think any type of primitive hand-made suit could protect a person from such low temperatures. Plus the snow would not be white, but blue. Nevertheless, I liked the story. It’s entertaining and creepy at the same time. And I liked the subtle antiwar themes.
I read the short story A Pail of Air in a few minutes while waiting for a lecture to start. I’m not usually into short stories, but I saw it pzil on Reddit and I guess I was curious!
More fiction than science, this sci-fi short story sets up a mood more than a plausible reality, and a part of me wondered about whether reality would actually play out the way Mr Leiber claims, but suspension of belief is central to reading any fictional account, so I gave him his due.
I don’t know what it says I read the short story A Pail of Air in a few minutes while waiting for a lecture to start. I don’t know what it says about the story that I was fine with it only being 90 pages long – does it mean that I wasn’t especially gripped? Or was it just a really well-contained tale? Probably a bit of both. Aug 03, Tim rated it it was amazing.
I’ve always found Fritz Lieber’s works enjoyable and since they date back to before I was born even with me being OLD LOLI’ve been reading them spread out over more than four decades – his sword and sorcery books when I was a wee lad. I know this isn’t for everyone and some less than others. To really embrace the old, classic SF from the 50’s you have to first get past the Hollywood idea of SF being about technology and predicting the future – something it was never intended to.
Rather, it i I’ve always found Fritz Lieber’s works enjoyable and since they date back to before I was born even with me being OLD LOLI’ve been reading them spread out over more than four decades – his sword and sorcery books when I was a wee lad. Rather, it is about exploring the nature of Man by putting him into strange environments and then seeing how he reacts.
To those who complain about scientific inaccuracies – give me a break. You’re hindsight and benefit of knowing the ‘future’ from to today only feeds a false sense of superiority. It doesn’t do anything to lessen the value of old works.
Things from the past have to be judged versus their own time period, not today. Otherwise, you might as well just buy the latest popular book and follow the herd, because anything older is just so ‘dated.
Set aside your ‘s goggles and look with undated and unspoiled eyes. May 11, Jane Olsen rated it really liked it. This is a fascinating story that captures one facet of the science-fiction response to the advent of nuclear weapons and the possibility that human beings could in fact destroy their own planet. Although this story envisions a different cause, the “post-apocalyptic” scenario easily follows any armageddon-type event.
I love some of the writing and the way the This review is just for the story, “A Pail of Air,” which I read in the outstanding collection, Tomorrow’s Children, edited by Isaac Asimov.
I love some of the writing and the way the author imagines a father sharing simple wisdom with his son. A person can hold it only so long, and then he’s got to toss it to someone else. When it’s tossed your way, you’ve got to catch it and hold it tight — and hope there’ll be someone else to toss it to when you get tired of being brave.
It has a lovely texture, like some rich cloth or fur, or the petals of flowers, and everything else worthwhile. And that’s as true for the last man as the first.
These few pages made a very deep impression on me as a child, and I continue, 50 years later, to be touched by the world the author imagines. Mar 11, K.
I looked every where for A Pail of Air after hearing about it on the radio. I thought the synopsis was fascinating paip couldn’t wait to read it. Pwil, after finally coming across a copy, and reading the very short story, I felt highly disappointed.
After a rogue planet, or black hole, or something, pulls earth out of its orbit, it freezes. Now, I read this a few years ago, so I can’t remember exactly what happened, but I’m assuming they had no air, because the ozone and everything was I looked every where for A Pail of Air after hearing about it on the radio.
Now, I read this a few years ago, so I can’t remember exactly what happened, but I’m assuming they had no air, because the ozone and everything was frozen. The family that this story revolves around, would go out with a small pail, scoop the frozen ozone layer into the pail, and then return to their tiny living room lined with blankets to defrost the snow.