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The Machine Stops and Other Stories

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The aim of the Abinger Editions is to provide a new, properly edited library of the literary works of E.M. Forster that does justice to his literary genius. This collection provides an intriguing glimpse into E.M. Forster's abiding interest in paganism and mythology , the mysteries of nature, fantasies of the afterlife, and the possibility of magical transformation. The aim of the Abinger Editions is to provide a new, properly edited library of the literary works of E.M. Forster that does justice to his literary genius. This collection provides an intriguing glimpse into E.M. Forster's abiding interest in paganism and mythology , the mysteries of nature, fantasies of the afterlife, and the possibility of magical transformation.


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The aim of the Abinger Editions is to provide a new, properly edited library of the literary works of E.M. Forster that does justice to his literary genius. This collection provides an intriguing glimpse into E.M. Forster's abiding interest in paganism and mythology , the mysteries of nature, fantasies of the afterlife, and the possibility of magical transformation. The aim of the Abinger Editions is to provide a new, properly edited library of the literary works of E.M. Forster that does justice to his literary genius. This collection provides an intriguing glimpse into E.M. Forster's abiding interest in paganism and mythology , the mysteries of nature, fantasies of the afterlife, and the possibility of magical transformation.

30 review for The Machine Stops and Other Stories

  1. 5 out of 5

    Carlin

    "The Machine Stops," a classic piece of science fiction by E. M. Forster, is an ode to original thinking, to the expressiveness of the human body, and to the difficult work of articulating individual identity and the mechanics of insight. It is, at heart, the story of a mother and her son, Vashti and Kuno, who live in the age of the Machine, a time when humans have retreated to beehive-like structures below the surface of the earth, each person occupying a single room, which, by design, meets th "The Machine Stops," a classic piece of science fiction by E. M. Forster, is an ode to original thinking, to the expressiveness of the human body, and to the difficult work of articulating individual identity and the mechanics of insight. It is, at heart, the story of a mother and her son, Vashti and Kuno, who live in the age of the Machine, a time when humans have retreated to beehive-like structures below the surface of the earth, each person occupying a single room, which, by design, meets their every need. Vashti is immersed in her culture. She communicates with “several thousand people” through a network of tubes that bring those anonymous voices into her room. If she is hungry, she presses a button and the Machine delivers food to her table. If she needs to sleep, she presses a button and a bed appears. If she needs the doctor, she presses a button and a mechanical one drops from the ceiling. Vashti is a music expert, delivering lectures to crowds of listeners, each tuning in from his own room, the communications system having made assemblage obsolete. She has the sense, constantly, that if she shuts out the voices she will miss something. She believes in life inside the Machine. Kuno, in contrast, wants to know what exists beyond it, on the surface of the Earth, up in the “poisonous” air. The society’s rules forbid surface exploration without a permit; Kuno goes anyway. He asks questions. He has ideas. He suffers for them. As Forster’s story unfolds we recognize the degradation of human culture this new society has wrought, and we see the coming of the end. We feel, by the last paragraph, an odd elation at the ruin of these humans’ depersonalized, machine-driven existence. The destruction of the Machine reads as a moment of triumph, but this triumph fades in the face of details that give us pause — the plethora of voices seeking constant contact with other voices; the anxiety Vashti feels when the stream is interrupted; her sense, away from it, that she has missed something wonderful. We learn that unmediated interaction creates a discomfort Vashti cannot abide. In time, the Machine debases her impulse to question, to create, to understand the relation of space to time, to discern original ideas. We pause at these details because we recognize in them analogs to the present — we understand Vashti’s rising anxiety, faced with a kind of information overload of our own; we identify with her desire for technology-mediated experience; we recognize our own discomfort with uncertainty and risk. “‘Beware of first-hand ideas!’ exclaimed one of the most advanced of [the lecturers]. ‘First-hand ideas do not really exist. They are but the physical impressions produced by love and fear, and on this gross foundation who could erect a philosophy? Let your ideas be second-hand, and if possible tenth-hand, for then they will be far removed from that disturbing element — direct observation.’” —E. M. Forster, “The Machine Stops” The Internet in concept, if not in physical execution (i.e. a collection of spaces connected by tubes), resembles Forster's Machine. The Pew Research Center found that in 2009 “over 99% of the stories linked to in blogs came from legacy outlets such as newspapers and broadcast networks. And just four — the BBC, CNN, the New York Times and the Washington Post accounted for fully 80% of all links.” Is the Internet an extended echo chamber in which to hear the reverberations of familiar ideas? If this is the way it’s tending, Forster's story offers a cautionary tale. If we settle for what has already been created, if we do not push ourselves to imagine new ideas, if we do not engage with our world, then, in the belly of the Machine, what is most beautiful about human beings will become as misshapen as Vashti herself, her body "a lump of flesh" and her face “as white as a fungus,” and will, eventually, self-destruct.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Anneke Dubash

    My rating was really on the strength of "The Machine Stops" which I first read many years ago in grade school, when it was on the high school English curriculum that my mother taught. That story made such an impact on me then, even though at the time (circa 1967), PCs and the internet were unknown to us. Then, what impacted me was the vision of the flying "train" and monstrous cities underground, the Earth too toxic to live upon. I don't think that I even thought about WHEN the book was written a My rating was really on the strength of "The Machine Stops" which I first read many years ago in grade school, when it was on the high school English curriculum that my mother taught. That story made such an impact on me then, even though at the time (circa 1967), PCs and the internet were unknown to us. Then, what impacted me was the vision of the flying "train" and monstrous cities underground, the Earth too toxic to live upon. I don't think that I even thought about WHEN the book was written and how unbelievable that vision of the future would have seemed at the turn of the last century, let alone how "speculative" it was to us in the late 1960s! Certainly, we were living in the "Jet Age" and in the midst of some of the technology depicted in the book, albeit in it's high Victorian styling. Someone reading it for the first time, now, would have a different grasp of parts of it that I certainly couldn't, in the late 60ss. My vision of the screens in which one could directly communicate with others, conduct and participate in lectures and concerts, speak directly with distant relations, was that of a glorified closed-circuit television system. A year or so later, the film "2001: A Space Odyssey" (1968) provided a much more contemporary and visual version of the technology described in "The Machine Stops". It may well have been the moment when the possible reality of the technology began to occur to me. There were, of course, speculations on "video" phones and futuristic modes of televising but even they seemed far too "in the future" to be real. I remembered the book, but certainly not the details of the story. The only vivid recollection, beyond the basic plot, was the journey by Vashti on the airship which was, to me, so vividly constructed. Several years ago, I found I could order the book of short stories, and did so. The other stories seemed to me more Victorian ... less visionary, than "The Machine..". They left me cold. "The Machine...", on the other hand, was riveting. Perhaps it is the older, more worldly me that was able to grasp more of the visionary brilliance that enabled Forster to create the "world" that surrounded Vashti. As well, I found the concept of the "trust in the machine" which was quite literally the world of the future but, in a sense, was very Victorian. The Industrial Revolution brought about a love of the machine, a love of time-saving devices, technology which could free man (more specifically, the "upper" classes of Man) to involve themselves in expanding the mind and "better Mankind". It was the age of the patent. Machines and devices, fantastic and practical were being invented and the Victorians were mesmerized by them. There were, of course, also movements away from the world of the machine. The Arts and Crafts movement began in reaction to the soullessness of the machine-made and sought to regain the Human-ness in art and design. While proponents weren't necessarily anti- machine or anti-industrialization. Some saw the machine as a device which could be used to relieve the worker and still allow him to produce works of quality. Others saw the machine as undermining creativity and individuality of products and of the craftsman. As demonstrated in "The Machine...", total dependence on the machine and the perceived "freedoms" it allowed (the possibility of interaction of all users, the presentation of ideas on a world-wide scale, and the ability of the individual to be heard) actually inhibited human creativity and thought. Humans were reduced to solitary entities in a homogeneous society, discussing old ideas in physical isolation from each other. It is difficult for the reader, now, not to see "The Machine" in action. While elements of our "Machine" allow us as individuals to create and to present our creations on a world-wide scale, the world we live in is choosing to become that homogeneous society of the book. As we open our world to each other, more and more societies are choosing to become more like "us", casting off the cultural works of their own, in order to seek out the machine-made society they see us to be. In China, in order to appear more modern, traditional neighbourhoods called Hutongs are being torn down and replaced by "modern housing", their inhabitants evicted in order to "modernize". Three neighbourhoods are being preserved for posterity, but the traditional communities will be lost. Bushmen youth, exposed to television and MTV, want the latest sneakers, ball caps, and Hip Hop gear. We vie for individuality by becoming more and more alike. In "The Machine...", Vashti struggles with her dependence on the machine, her perception of herself as an individual, and her realization that, though she thought of herself as an individual, she was indistinguishable from the mass of humanity, despite her physical isolation. And yet, it was her son, who had been so completely out of touch who still valued her as the individual... as his mother. It is the bond of motherhood that enables her to finally struggle free of "The Machine"; though at what cost, and, ultimately, whose benefit?

  3. 5 out of 5

    Chelsea

    I checked this book out because I specifically wanted to read The Machine Stops. I skipped ahead to the story and was not disappointed. For a story first published in 1909, it seems like it could have been written today. I really liked the story- a bit dark and a bit hopeful. I will give some of his other stories a shot- will update review again later.

  4. 5 out of 5

    booklady

    If I was to go by the book blurb, I'd never have read this book--obviously I don't believe in paganism. However, a young English Lit. major I work with, Chara, told me about the story, The Machine Stops which to my chagrin I had never read. Groan! The booklady's pride kicks in again--yet another classical gap in her reading education. Ha! So I read The Machine Stops. And that is probably all I will read from this collection of stories. TMS is, however, intriguing and well-worth reading. I do not If I was to go by the book blurb, I'd never have read this book--obviously I don't believe in paganism. However, a young English Lit. major I work with, Chara, told me about the story, The Machine Stops which to my chagrin I had never read. Groan! The booklady's pride kicks in again--yet another classical gap in her reading education. Ha! So I read The Machine Stops. And that is probably all I will read from this collection of stories. TMS is, however, intriguing and well-worth reading. I do not agree with the premise that machines cause us to lose our free will, nor that machines will ever take over the world. I'm sure there are people who are 'addicted' to computer games and other things to do with computers and/or the Internet, and I know it is very easy to fall under their spell. The value in stories like "The Machine Stops" is that they can be used to raise awareness of the dangers of allowing oneself -- or one's children/grandchildren -- to become obsessed with screens and little boxes. There is no doubt computers affect human cognitive abilities; it's not that we don't think while operating a machine but we do think differently. Forster looked at turn of the century British society, saw its burgeoning dependence on mechanized industry and projected a bleak future of more machinery and less intelligence. Indeed, some of his insights are eerily prophetic, but others are a bit far-fetched. All-in-all a thought provoking and insightful read.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

    When I think E.M. Forster, science fiction and fantasy is not the genre that springs to mind. Yet this collection of twelve short stories is very much fantasy and science fiction, along with a heavy dose of the occult and spiritualism. I didn’t love any of these stories – and I do think they have to be read as a whole to truly appreciate them – but they were thought provoking and creative. The collection is most famous for its titular work, “The Machine Stops,” which has gotten some attention in When I think E.M. Forster, science fiction and fantasy is not the genre that springs to mind. Yet this collection of twelve short stories is very much fantasy and science fiction, along with a heavy dose of the occult and spiritualism. I didn’t love any of these stories – and I do think they have to be read as a whole to truly appreciate them – but they were thought provoking and creative. The collection is most famous for its titular work, “The Machine Stops,” which has gotten some attention in recent years because of its prescient, eerie commentary on modern technology. But the entire collection is interesting. Out of the other stories, “The Celestial Omnibus” lingered in my head the longest, due to its premise and arc. The collection is a relatively quick read, doubly so since the twelve stories make it easy to pick up at a reader’s leisure. Recommended.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Zoe

    Oct 25th p.87-p.119 The Machine Stops I wanted to read The Machine Stops because of having read The Little Paris Bookshop. It was mentioned within the novel itself and also suggested as one to read at the back of the book in the appendix 'literary apothecary' November 19 ( realizing I've had this book in my possession since April 28, 2017 ... Now November) The reason to read a book or story is to get to the point in which the name of the story in mentioned. On p. 112 The Machine does indeed begin Oct 25th p.87-p.119 The Machine Stops I wanted to read The Machine Stops because of having read The Little Paris Bookshop. It was mentioned within the novel itself and also suggested as one to read at the back of the book in the appendix 'literary apothecary' November 19 ( realizing I've had this book in my possession since April 28, 2017 ... Now November) The reason to read a book or story is to get to the point in which the name of the story in mentioned. On p. 112 The Machine does indeed begin to stop. Took a while to get through this very slow paced story. ( initially this section was deleted somehow after I has typed it out so take 2...) Once getting to the second part however it's more fast-paced. With just a focus on the deterioration of the machine and Vashti's disapproval becoming ambivalence - we see how the machine has taken over the cognizant ways of thought within this society. Interestingly many focus on the Reilly's aspects of the story - like the attributions to the book being that of such fervor that history that they try to avoid from thousands of years earlier gets repeated by zealots towards the word of the book acting the same way. There's also the component of reliance of technology which is what makes this novel applicable regardless of how long it's been since it was written. Although from the early 1900s there was a thought of what the future may be with a technological revolution, Forster imagined a world way far off in which interpersonal human connection becomes obsolete . I once read a text called The Decline and Fall of Personality by Kenneth Gergen in which he laments that the photocopier will be the end of the written era. In this text, if you change the word photocopier to any other technological item that 'plagues' the modern zeitgeist ; it applies perfectly. Pages of interest Part 3 p.109 there's an interesting idea suggested here that first hand knowledge is to be considered untrustworthy of unreliable because it doesn't relate to the world of those living within the machine. Instead of reading historical first person accounts of events going beyond second and even tenth-hand makes for a better version. This is someone's interpretation of a interpretation made by an interpretation and so on. This is better because you will be able to tell your children your version after 10+ other people have gone through it and your future generations will therefore be better off for having had many previous minds consider what had at one time been considered new. To those relying on the machine, this is better because why focus on the history of the past when It is not relevant to the machine. Better to interpret how the event would have happened , or likely not happened - thanks to the machine. P.112 - only concerned with the breaking of the amenities within the machine (and even growing used to these new changes) people refuse to see the error in the machine. It is all good and all knowing as written in the book and so even upon failure we shouldn't judge it, for it can do no wrong and has done only wonders for us in the last hundreds of years. Wen the omnipresent mending apparatus breaks - what fixes the fixer. I have to say this story didnt bring me joy to read - more that I did it because I was I intrigued. No regret in reading it and I would suggest it as a "primary resource" if someone were to be doing an english paper on our technological societal reliance. Some good quotes in there that can be well integrated as support for a stance in a argumentative essay form. As a story on its own it works as a cautionary tale of sorts. As it was written in a different time and society it's interesting in a similar way that the Jetsons cartoon looked at the future or that Back to the Future hoped our technology would have advanced by 2017. As a story on its own dont expecting dystopian fiction nerds of the modern day to be impressed. (He's not even allowed to procreate since he isn't considered optimal for the future of the machine - so there certainly isn't a love triangle to speak of). It's a man who's perceived as crazy for thinking and wanting for more beyond the world he's always known and those around him assume to be true and for that reason it's seamless and timeless with the dystopian fiction stories of today. (November 26th) When I was once and for all finished with this book last week, I ended up giving it a once over quick skim through again. Now reading through the whole thing and not pausing I saw it differently and took down some comments. -We hide what scares us behind the metal blinds for they don't give us ideas. (These ideas must be in relation to life within the confines of the Machine and so travel and seeing different countries above the ground do not provide opportunity for ways to better serve the machine.) -People don't touch anymore - touching has been made obsolete thanks to the the machine. To touch someone is considered rude. Old geography is irrelevant as people trying to race the setting sun by flying west as the earth spun faster to the east: this was eventually considered wrong and futile. However travel is still exceptionally fast if archaic. -Sunlight is terrifying and things like snow are not understood because there is no need to for it. People only travel if they must ; like if they were called to propagate the population : hardly ever leaving their hexagonal rooms with buttons for everything by choice. -There is a chance people live above the earth but the society of the machine must end. There is no risk of it being turned back on- because people have learned their lesson and the state in which the world created the machine initially does not exist, and must not be allowed to exist, again in order for human life to move onward. Read this book slowly over the course of months - taking pauses in between. But as a whole enjoyable though slightly tedious. The second speed through read actually proved useful as I understood better what was going on and the intention. Would recommend to the intellectual sort intrigued by the ideas that fears of the past are the same as those now - computers ruling us.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Janet

    Not the type of stories I expected to see from EM Forster! My bad for not realizing he also wrote fantasy/sci-fi. Mostly very enjoyable. I wavered between 3 and 4 stars for my rating, but ended up on the higher side because nearly all the stories in this collection were well-crafted and thought-provoking.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Deborah-Ruth

    To be honest, I haven't read a collection of short stories in years, but in the spirit of the #readharder challenge this is the book I chose for "A Classic of Genre Fiction." The stories were a collection of writings to make us think on deeply philosophical terms. They centered around the afterlife, fantasy, scifi and dsytopia. It made for a nice, light read on the bus :) To be honest, I haven't read a collection of short stories in years, but in the spirit of the #readharder challenge this is the book I chose for "A Classic of Genre Fiction." The stories were a collection of writings to make us think on deeply philosophical terms. They centered around the afterlife, fantasy, scifi and dsytopia. It made for a nice, light read on the bus :)

  9. 4 out of 5

    Susie Q

    Spookily prescient !!!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Walter Underwood

    The fist and last storyteller are very good. The rest are disposable follies. The edition is a bit of a mess with some spelling errors and paragraph breaks mid-sentence.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Joseph

    The Machine Stops by E.M. Forster; Is Good-Enough Good Enough? Before computers, when I would answer my ringing phone, it wasn’t unusual for the response to be, ‘Oh, you’re there. I was hoping to get your machine.’ Email relieved the awkwardness of accidentally being forced to confront another human being. It wasn’t perfect but it was good-enough. Imagine a scale that runs from unacceptable to perfect. Along this scale is poor, fair, mediocre, passable, good-enough, good, better, perfect. Sears us The Machine Stops by E.M. Forster; Is Good-Enough Good Enough? Before computers, when I would answer my ringing phone, it wasn’t unusual for the response to be, ‘Oh, you’re there. I was hoping to get your machine.’ Email relieved the awkwardness of accidentally being forced to confront another human being. It wasn’t perfect but it was good-enough. Imagine a scale that runs from unacceptable to perfect. Along this scale is poor, fair, mediocre, passable, good-enough, good, better, perfect. Sears used to use a scale in its catalogue of good, better, best. They never would have considered calling them good-enough, better and best. But good-enough is the standard now. Think of the Wikis. The best that can be said about them, on their best day, is good-enough. CGI movies, good-enough, or is it that we are amazed that these things can be done at all that permits them to be considered acceptable? Is Toy Story better animation than Roadrunner? Are these things that are good-enough really good enough for you? Don’t you want more? This is the crux of the idea behind The Machine Stops by E.M Forster. In it, The Book Of The Machine is the stand-in for Wikis and other know-it-all sources. If you have a question, in this future dystopia, you turn to this Book for the answer. No matter that The Book is often wrong and always misleading, it is the source of knowledge and the guide for its people. This idea was lifted to comic heights in The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, another Book with all the answers that could not be relied on to be correct or even helpful. Are humans destined to need some kind of Book to guide their lives? Like these examples, the internet and the information explosion presents itself as an entity that appears to be expanding while it is actually shrinking. It contracts and encompasses the life around it. First impressions no longer exist. Each thought is a derivative of a learned thought, each behavior an imitation. In Forster each person lives in a controlled room. Their senses are manipulated, through the environment, to provide the Machine’s misguided definition of perfection. He uses the sense of smell as an example. People in his world are appalled and uncomfortable, it all smells so different. They prefer the stimuli in their own room, not the smell, taste or touch of the outside world or others of their own kind. Look around you. Are things so different now? How many television commercials concerned with alerting you to the intolerable aromas around you do you see each week? How far removed from actual experience do the commercials say you have to be in order to be happy? Read On.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jenn

    More like 3.5 stars. I really enjoyed some parts, but there are some things that stuck out in a bad way. The whole "other kingdom" story annoyed me, because all of the characters were incredibly pompous, I didn't find the plot compelling at all, and the woman who was the focus of the story embodied every damn aspect of the "manic pixie dreamgirl". I suppose since it was written well before a lot of the modern pieces that made that trope into what it is today, she was one of the original MPDGs... More like 3.5 stars. I really enjoyed some parts, but there are some things that stuck out in a bad way. The whole "other kingdom" story annoyed me, because all of the characters were incredibly pompous, I didn't find the plot compelling at all, and the woman who was the focus of the story embodied every damn aspect of the "manic pixie dreamgirl". I suppose since it was written well before a lot of the modern pieces that made that trope into what it is today, she was one of the original MPDGs... but it was still annoying. As for the title piece, I really really enjoyed it until it got near the end. I like my sci-fi/dystopian stories to have social commentary, but I don't feel like it needs to be outright stated -- I want to be able to recognise it for myself, no need to be told. In "the machine stops," the commentary was made very clear, but then nearing the end it was also just stated outright. Which I really felt was unnecessary. [SPOILERS] I was also pretty confused by the ending of that short story. I understand that some people fell into the train tracks and got electrocuted, but why did EVERYONE die immediately? I felt like it wasn't a very strong ending, I would have enjoyed being left to think about the consequences for the survivors, to think about how they would have to adjust to the failure of the machine and learn how to survive.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Hayes

    78/100: Considering this book was written over a hundred years ago, it's actually quite decent. It was reasonably paced, well worded, and in all, a nice concept which has been well executed. In the book, all of humanity lives in a giant machine, which eventually breaks, and kills everyone except the few people above ground. It's like a dystopia, hidden in a utopia. You'll have to read it to fully understand. All in all, it's a good book. Give it a go. 78/100: Considering this book was written over a hundred years ago, it's actually quite decent. It was reasonably paced, well worded, and in all, a nice concept which has been well executed. In the book, all of humanity lives in a giant machine, which eventually breaks, and kills everyone except the few people above ground. It's like a dystopia, hidden in a utopia. You'll have to read it to fully understand. All in all, it's a good book. Give it a go.

  14. 4 out of 5

    No

    What a surprising offering from Forster. Of course it's due to my lack of knowledge about his work, but I didn't know that he wrote science fiction stuff with such flair and, in hindsight, rather prophetically too. This collection of short stories is laden with social commentaries both of its time and his foresight of the future version - peppered with topics such as class system, female empowerment, theology and philosphy. What a surprising offering from Forster. Of course it's due to my lack of knowledge about his work, but I didn't know that he wrote science fiction stuff with such flair and, in hindsight, rather prophetically too. This collection of short stories is laden with social commentaries both of its time and his foresight of the future version - peppered with topics such as class system, female empowerment, theology and philosphy.

  15. 4 out of 5

    {erika}

    The Machine Stops is just...phenomenal. It really struck a cord with me. One of my favorite books on the dystopian shelf of my bookcase, this story in particular is both moving and chilling at the same time. Looking back now, it sort of reminds me of how I felt when I first read Bradbury's There Will Come Soft Rains. Moved and wanting to have others read it to feel the same. The Machine Stops is just...phenomenal. It really struck a cord with me. One of my favorite books on the dystopian shelf of my bookcase, this story in particular is both moving and chilling at the same time. Looking back now, it sort of reminds me of how I felt when I first read Bradbury's There Will Come Soft Rains. Moved and wanting to have others read it to feel the same.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Zu

    I like his reflections on Machines, Technologies and the human-nature relationships. Although I think the short stories are not a good format for such deep and complex issues, but I have to admit that he did a pretty good job on sketching out human dilemmas and inspire us to reflect deeper into those issues.

  17. 5 out of 5

    M

    I found some of the stories interesting, especially "The Machine Stops", a dystopic metaphor of hive mentality, and "The Celestial Omnibus", describing the indescribable: an innocent's travels to Heaven. The rest were mostly commentaries on Victorian morality at work in the Englishman abroad in Mediterranean countries, much like "A Room With a View". Not a well liked collection for me. I found some of the stories interesting, especially "The Machine Stops", a dystopic metaphor of hive mentality, and "The Celestial Omnibus", describing the indescribable: an innocent's travels to Heaven. The rest were mostly commentaries on Victorian morality at work in the Englishman abroad in Mediterranean countries, much like "A Room With a View". Not a well liked collection for me.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Shannon

    Chilling story about monolithic technology aiding and abetting humanity's natural inclination toward comfort-seeking and self-deception. Can be read online: http://brighton.ncsa.uiuc.edu/prajlic... Chilling story about monolithic technology aiding and abetting humanity's natural inclination toward comfort-seeking and self-deception. Can be read online: http://brighton.ncsa.uiuc.edu/prajlic...

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kenny Chaffin

    This rating is based on the Title Story only as I've not read the entire book at this point. Great story given the publication date. I understand the story was something of a backlash against H.G. Well Utopian society type stories. This rating is based on the Title Story only as I've not read the entire book at this point. Great story given the publication date. I understand the story was something of a backlash against H.G. Well Utopian society type stories.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Janet

    What can I say? My favorite author not only wrote beautiful novels about european society in the early 1900s but he also later wrote shorter works about dystopian future societies! Amazing body of work.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Vivienne

    The Machine Stops is fantastic example of science fiction writing. It inspires me greatly with my own writing and its influence is seen in many modern stories both film and fiction such as Wall.e and Ready Player One. A must read.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth Fuller

    Amazingly prescient work that completely predicts the internet...despite being written in 1909.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jill

    "The Machine Stops" is a brilliant story-especially now, especially if you haven't touched someone you love recently... "The Machine Stops" is a brilliant story-especially now, especially if you haven't touched someone you love recently...

  24. 5 out of 5

    Alex

    Read "The Machine Stops"... a very vivid statement about the danger of living a complicit life. Read "The Machine Stops"... a very vivid statement about the danger of living a complicit life.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    The machine stops was so unexpected for me. Unlike all the other Forster I've read. Excellent sci-fi and appropriately chilling. The machine stops was so unexpected for me. Unlike all the other Forster I've read. Excellent sci-fi and appropriately chilling.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Terry

    Those loving irony need read this on a computer screen while alone in the room.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    I loved this book and the themes it represented. I'd love to see a really good director take hold of this in the present climate of world society. I loved this book and the themes it represented. I'd love to see a really good director take hold of this in the present climate of world society.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jeni

    The Machine Stops story was excellent, but the rest was rather mediocre.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Dobberfuhl quinlan

    Fun read, nice change of pace.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Maxine Box

    Who would've thought something written so long ago, would reflect what is slowly happening now. Who would've thought something written so long ago, would reflect what is slowly happening now.

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