“There Will Come Soft Rains” is a short story by science fiction author Ray Bradbury which was included in the collection The Martian Chronicles. The story takes place in the city of Allendale, California, which is uninhabited during the course of the story as well as the house in the story, which is the only one left standing. The story details the daily tasks of a robotic house after its inhabitants have died in a nuclear war. The title comes from Sara Teasdale‘s poem, “There Will Come Soft Rains“, which also treats a post-apocalyptic setting.
The house is undamaged, it has no life, it’s fully automated and sensitive to its owners and their requests and needs. It continues to serve the dead family, unaware of their absence, though aware of other external and internal disruptions such as the weather and birds attempting to land on it. Throughout the story, the house makes breakfast, disposes of it uneaten, and performs various domestic tasks day after day, until a storm and subsequent fire destroys it. As it smolders, the house computer continuously recites on the morning after.
- In 1984, Soviet studio Uzbekfilm produced “There Will Come Soft Rains” as a short animated film.