As I recall it, it's about an (amnesiac?) low-tech man that meets and avoids the destroyer-wheel and tries to figure out what his world is all about. The Wheel(s?) rolls leisurely around the planet in some kind of random search and is seen only periodically. I don't remember how the Wheel destroys, but I THINK a beam lances out and fries nearby stuff? Low-tech people are sparsely dotted here and there, living by subsistence agricultur and hoping to avoid being noticed by the Wheel. At some point, the wandering wondering man comes upon a woman with a smallholding and stays with her for a while. Memory grows dim after that.

That's all the detail I have. This PRINTED work must be at least 40 ears old. Thanks.

I'm not making this easy, am I? It's probably going to take another old geezer like myself to identify this one. If you know a likely expert, pass on this query. I want a title and author. Please notice the parameters: old and printed, printed and old. Thanks.

  • 1
    Wow this sounds alot like 'Rubber' m.imdb.com/title/tt1612774 but sounds subtlety different. But cant think of any other wheel related movies? They are definitely a niche genre ;)
    – BadMike01
    Commented Nov 11, 2013 at 22:59
  • 1
    Was this a movie, a book, a short story, a TV show, or what?
    – user14111
    Commented Nov 12, 2013 at 3:02
  • 1
    A little more detail would help us. Commented Nov 12, 2013 at 10:10
  • Possible duplicate of 33902 ?
    – Stan
    Commented Nov 12, 2013 at 16:51
  • Thanks Stan. Nice try. The setting seemed more desolate and the planet inhabited but more primitive.
    – Jon W.
    Commented Nov 13, 2013 at 4:05

3 Answers 3


I believe you are talking about "The Wheel" by Jeff Kraus and Sue Zizza. Seeing Ear Theater did an acted version of this. More info here: http://www.sffaudio.com/?p=19883

Search the text of that page for the wheel and you'll see more info.

  • What could be a more logical title for this story than "The Wheel"? I listened to this production. It wasn't the story I'm trying to find, but Seeing Ear Theater is a lot of fun. Thanks for turning me on to it!
    – Jon W.
    Commented Dec 4, 2013 at 15:30
  • 1
    I was mistaken! I listened to the wrong story at first. THIS IS IT! Thanks very much. Robert.
    – Jon W.
    Commented Dec 4, 2013 at 16:39
  • 2
    @JonW. You can click the checkmark next to this answer to accept it.
    – SQB
    Commented Sep 22, 2014 at 6:47

There was a short story years ago about a piece of equipment left behind when an alien race visited prehistoric Earth. The thing's job was to collect live specimens which it stunned and kept in suspended animation till the aliens came to collect. But they never returned. The thing has been left on an island/in a desert somewhere, where people don't go.

One day a man comes across it. It starts to pursue him, and he can easily run faster but can't shake it off, it keeps coming, and he knows it'll run him down at last. Finally it corners him, but then stops and does nothing. What's happened is, it was set to capture specimens of a certain weight? And with all the running, he lost enough weight to fall below its limit. The thing had a name and that was the title of the story...but I can't remember it! It began with 'R' I think, like 'the Ruon' or something. Forgotten the author.

Just looked it up, The Ruum by Arthur Porges. Probably not the one.

  • "The Ruum" is a good tale, but not the one. Thanks.
    – Jon W.
    Commented Nov 13, 2013 at 4:21

Even though I have commented above, I feel that this 'Rubber' could be what you are looking for http://m.imdb.com/title/tt1612774/ as even though it was made in 2010, the look and feel of movie is very retro, when I watched it a while back, I did believe it to be older then 2010.

Unless you can clarify what else happened in this movie? This was just a regular rubber tire that has some sort of power to kill people using a sort of kinetic energy it generates, as it wheels itself around a desert a group of onlookers hiding in the desert observe it through binoculars. Its a very surreal and goofy movie.

  • This was never specified as being a movie... Commented Nov 12, 2013 at 1:01
  • True, there was more detail in the title then the question which made me jump to conclusions I guess, story does imply a book rather then movie.
    – BadMike01
    Commented Nov 12, 2013 at 1:25
  • Not a TIRE, a WHEEL. Tires can be mounted on wheels (or RIMS) but are not themselves wheels. Just so you understand.
    – Jon W.
    Commented Nov 13, 2013 at 4:20

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