The Machine Stops

The Machine Stops

By

4.3846153846154
(26 Reviews)
The Machine Stops by E. M. Forster

Published:

1909

Pages:

36

Downloads:

47,380

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The Machine Stops

By

4.3846153846154
(26 Reviews)
The Machine Stops is a short science fiction story. It describes a world in which almost all humans have lost the ability to live on the surface of the Earth. Each individual lives in isolation in a 'cell', with all bodily and spiritual needs met by the omnipotent, global Machine. Most humans welcome this development, as they are skeptical and fearful of first-hand experience. People forget that humans created the Machine, and treat it as a mystical entity whose needs supersede their own. Those who do not accept the deity of the Machine are viewed as 'unmechanical' and are threatened with "Homelessness". Eventually, the Machine apocalyptically collapses, and the civilization of the Machine comes to an end. --Wikipedia

Book Excerpt

Inside, her anxiety increased. The arrangements were old-fashioned and rough. There was even a female attendant, to whom she would have to announce her wants during the voyage. Of course a revolving platform ran the length of the boat, but she was expected to walk from it to her cabin. Some cabins were better than others, and she did not get the best. She thought the attendant had been unfair, and spasms of rage shook her. The glass valves had closed, she could not go back. She saw, at the end of the vestibule, the lift in which she had ascended going quietly up and down, empty. Beneath those corridors of shining tiles were rooms, tier below tier, reaching far into the earth, and in each room there sat a human being, eating, or sleeping, or producing ideas. And buried deep in the hive was her own room. Vashti was afraid.

"O Machine!" she murmured, and caressed her Book, and was comforted.

Then the sides of the vestibule seemed to melt together, as do the passages that we see in dreams, the l

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Average from 26 Reviews
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Wow. Excellent prediction by Forster and it is unbelievable that he was able to see this decadence in human social development, even in 1909.

Well. We have almost reached that stage. Mom talking to kids far away through facebook and skype is a reality. People do not have time to see friends and they prefer talking to them through social media. We no longer move out most of the time. Soon we will all be 'lumps of flesh' in hexagonal cubicles.

Humans. Wake up from this disastrous nightmare. Fight net addiction. Let us all meet real people in real time in the good old fasioned way.
4
This story was quite unnerving. I can see elements of this happening already in our society. Interestingly enough there was a Star Trek episode that had parallels to this story.

Although I had to read this story three or four times to fully appreciate it's implications, it is a story we must all take to heart.
This short story, without a doubt, is worth a 5 star rating! Written in in the early 20th century, it is hauntingly prophetic of today's times, and for that reason leaves the reader with quite a chill! Download it now.
Required reading in Eng Lit class in high school in 1956. It made such an impression on me and I think of it often when I think of our dependence on computers in this age of technology. We are losing our ability to have alternatives when one system breaks down. Should be required reading for ALL high school students!!
Our English teacher provided this book for our class in the 60\'s and we spent some time discussing the issues raised. Not required reading at the time but it should have been. It may not have wonderful prose or structure, but it provides an insight to the concerns of the possible consequense of the pace of change the Edwardians had just begun to guess at before WW1.
Considering that this story was written in 1909, it's amazingly prophetic. I can see us getting to this point. Good story, easy reading. I recommend.
4
A fantastic story. Its hard to believe back in 1909 that the author predicted an internet of sorts. Pity this was never made into a film like Metropolis was.
I can't fault the story, it's a favourite!
The typos in this downloaded version however are an unpleasant distraction!
Matthew s. Cox - Creating Science Fiction and Fantasy Worlds
FEATURED AUTHOR - Originally from South Amboy NJ, Matthew has been creating science fiction and fantasy worlds for most of his reasoning life. Since 1996, he has developed the "Divergent Fates" world in which Division Zero, Virtual Immortality, The Awakened Series, The Harmony Paradox, the Prophet of the Badlands series, and the Daughter of Mars series take place. His books span adult, young-adult, and middle-grade fiction in multiple genres, predominantly science fiction, cyberpunk, post-apocalyptic, and… Read more