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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I’ll be twenty in only ten years.

Book Review: A Pail of Air, Fritz Leiber (1964)

So we were all settled around the fire in a wink, and Ma pushed up some cans to thaw for supper, and Pa began. My only previous exposure to Pai, Leiber was his enjoyable and highly experimental Hugo-winning novel The Big Time — an unusual story evoking a one-act play whose characters are soldiers recruited from all eras of history relaxing in between missions during a vast temporal war.

Or was it just a really well-contained tale? But the place got rfitz in the last earthquakes and all Pa’s friends were killed then and in the Big Jerk. Aug 03, Richard added it.

A Pail of Air – Wikipedia

This is a wonderful short story about survival in the face of cosmic cataclysm. There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Habit, I guess, and then there’s no denying that this time I was a bit scared.


Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: We were all sitting very still. But then the blanket actually did move and lift. And now they’d been giving our city a look, not really expecting to find anything. I found myself wondering whether there mightn’t be something on the dark star that wanted us, and if that was why it had captured the Earth. Pa says air is tiny molecules that fly away like a flash if there isn’t something to stop them.

Once a week he goes up on the roof to check if it’s working all right. And it is too much.

Yeah, I would have loved it as a ov. At this Pa let out a second whoop, waking Ma from her faint. I could feel it, too.

Although this story envisions a different cause, the “post-apocalyptic” scenario easily follows any armageddon-type event. First off they thought it would hit the Sun, leber then they thought it would hit the Earth. I could tell from the way they wrinkled their noses that they found the Nest a bit smelly, but they never mentioned that at all and just asked bushels of questions.

But, an unfortunate error means the puffy loaves are fritzz than ever and all float away!

A Pail of Air

I began to hear the tick-ticking of the clocks in the Nest and knew I was getting back into air, because there’s no sound outside in the vacuum, of course. Nevertheless, I liked the story.

Want to Read saving…. It’s been watching us all this time, and now it’s coming after us. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. The strangers marveled at everything and praised it to the skies.


He managed to construct a smaller, makeshift shelter called the “Nest” for his family, where they maintain a breathable atmosphere by periodically retrieving pails of frozen oxygen to thaw over a fire. Paul rated it liked it Aug 15, The letter causes the sorter machines and various attendant machines to expire or go mad…. Views Read Edit View history. A person can hold it only so long, and then he’s got to toss it to someone else.

One of us must always watch it. Fritz Leiber “A Pail of Air” Holds up pretty well. The strangers were puzzled like anything at first, but then they got the idea. 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.

As a short story, I would rate it 4. This is just one hell of a cool story. The old peace was gone. And that destroys your ability to like this text.

Now that it was inside the Pali, you could really feel its coldness. We know that everything is dead out there. A classic story — found on gutenberg. Soon unexplained winds of time whisk him one hundred years in the future. But mind your hands. And still the steps kept shuffling closer. I don’t know what it says I s the short story A Pail of Air in a few minutes while waiting for a lecture to start.