Don't put off till tomorrow the book you can read today!
Add this book to bookshelf
Grey
Write a new comment Default profile 50px
Grey
Read online the first chapters of this book!
All characters reduced
The Machine Stops - cover

The Machine Stops

E.M. Forster

Publisher: Sheba Blake Publishing

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0

Summary

The Machine Stops is a science fiction short story by E. M. Forster. After initial publication in The Oxford and Cambridge Review (November 1909), the story was republished in Forster's The Eternal Moment and Other Stories in 1928. After being voted one of the best novellas up to 1965, it was included that same year in the populist anthology Modern Short Stories. In 1973 it was also included in The Science Fiction Hall of Fame, Volume Two. The story, set in a world where humanity lives underground and relies on a giant machine to provide their needs, predicted technologies such as instant messaging and the Internet. The story describes a world in which most of the human population has lost the ability to live on the surface of the Earth. Each individual now lives in isolation below ground in a standard room, with all bodily and spiritual needs met by the omnipotent, global Machine. Travel is permitted, but is unpopular and rarely necessary. Communication is made via a kind of instant messaging/video conferencing machine with which people conduct their only activity: the sharing of ideas and what passes for knowledge. The two main characters, Vashti and her son Kuno, live on opposite sides of the world. Vashti is content with her life, which, like most inhabitants of the world, she spends producing and endlessly discussing secondhand 'ideas'. Kuno, however, is a sensualist and a rebel. He persuades a reluctant Vashti to endure the journey (and the resultant unwelcome personal interaction) to his room. There, he tells her of his disenchantment with the sanitised, mechanical world. He confides to her that he has visited the surface of the Earth without permission, and that he saw other humans living outside the world of the Machine. However, the Machine recaptured him, and he has been threatened with 'Homelessness', that is, expulsion from the underground environment and presumed death.

Other books that might interest you

  • Vampires Are Forever - An Argeneau Novel - cover

    Vampires Are Forever - An...

    Lynsay Sands

    • 5
    • 14
    • 0
    Inez Urso is beginning to have her doubts. Her business associate Thomas Argeneau has some interesting traits, like an allergic reaction to the sun, excellent night vision, and not much of an appetite for food. And to top it all off, he just tried to bite her neck . . . but maybe that was a sign of passion. If so, she'd be happy to experience more, despite her determination not to mix business with pleasure. 
    Well, if not forever, at least two hundred years. Inez is the most beautiful woman he's seen in centuries. Those luscious lips, seductive curves, and her elegant neck . . . he just couldn't resist the temptation of one little bite. Now Thomas will do anything to convince her that only an immortal like him can satisfy her all night long . . .
    Show book
  • Holidays Are Hell - cover

    Holidays Are Hell

    Kim Harrison, Lynsay Sands,...

    • 1
    • 5
    • 0
    This holiday, spend quality time with family and loved ones—living and dead . . . 
    There's no place like home for the horrordays—unless you'd prefer a romantic midnight walk through a ghost-infested graveyard . . . or a haunted house candlelight dinner with the sexy vampire of your dreams. The (black) magical season is here—and whether it's a solstice séance gone demonically wrong with the incomparable Kim Harrison, a grossly misshapen Christmas with the remarkable Lynsay Sands, a blood-chilling-and-spilling New Year's with the wonderful Marjorie M. Liu, or a super-powered Thanksgiving with the phenomenal Vicki Pettersson, one thing is for certain: in the able hands of these exceptional dark side explorers, the holidays are going to be deliciously hellish!
    Show book
  • Shattered Echo - cover

    Shattered Echo

    Alex Westmore

    • 0
    • 5
    • 0
    For fourteen years, she lived as an unwanted Jane Doe.
     
    But when her empathic powers suddenly and violently kick in, she becomes a supernatural empath who is as much a risk to herself as to others. Fleeing both her old name and the new nightmare her life has become, Echo Branson seeks a mentor deep in the Louisiana Bayou who can help her control her newfound abilities.
     
    Re-emerging four years later into a world where she must hide her supernatural talents, Echo begins a career as an investigative reporter and immerses herself in a story that will rock the city of San Francisco. Fearing persecution—and worse— because of her paranormal abilities, she quickly learns to keep everyone at arm’s length. She must protect, at all costs, her true self and the family she has come to love.
     
    Can someone so different find safety and friends, let alone love, in a society that denies her very existence?
    Show book
  • Forever and a Day - A Sexy Gay M M Vampire Short Story from Steam Books - cover

    Forever and a Day - A Sexy Gay M...

    Steam Books, Dara Tulen

    • 2
    • 6
    • 0
    Landon Reed had lived for three centuries, shunning the human world and  maintaining a safe distance. In all his years, he'd never considered  taking a human as a lover. Then, one night, he is drawn to an alley  where he finds Sean Caffrey, a college student, left beaten and bloody.  Unable to leave the handsome young man, Landon takes Sean home and finds  that he may have gotten more than he bargained for  WARNING: This 3,942-word story is a steamy read that features passionate  gay M/M lovemaking and may be too much for some readers to handle!
    Show book
  • Vampire Interrupted - An Argeneau Novel - cover

    Vampire Interrupted - An...

    Lynsay Sands

    • 3
    • 12
    • 0
    After seven hundred years of life, Marguerite Argeneau finally has a career. Well, the start of one, anyway. She's training to be a private investigator, and her first assignment is to find an immortal's mother. It seemed simple enough, until Marguerite wakes up one evening to find herself at the wrong end of a sword. Now she realizes she's in way over her head. 
    Julius Notte wants to protect Marguerite, and not because someone just tried to take her head off. She doesn't know it yet, but she's his lifemate and he's determined to woo her. It's been over five hundred years since he last courted a woman, but surely the techniques haven't changed. Now if only he can keep her alive—so to speak—so they can have that happily-ever-after.
    Show book
  • Final Flight - A Clockwork Dagger Story - cover

    Final Flight - A Clockwork...

    Beth Cato

    • 0
    • 2
    • 0
    Another breathtaking short story from the author of The Clockwork Dagger and The Clockwork Crown, set in the same world… 
    Captain Hue hoped he was rid of his troubles once Octavia Leander and Alonzo Garrett disembarked from his airship Argus. But he was quickly proved wrong when his ship was commandeered by Caskentian soldiers. He is ordered on a covert and deadly mission by the smarmy Julius Corrado, an elite Clockwork Dagger. 
    Now Captain Hue must start a mutiny to regain control of his airship, which means putting his entire crew at risk—including his teenage son Sheridan. As the weather worsens and time runs out, it’ll take incredible bravery to bring the Argus down….perhaps for good.
    Show book