The Machine Stops

The Machine Stops The Machine Stops is a science fiction short story by E M Forster The story is about a world in which many humans have lost the ability to live on the surface and live underground The story predicted

  • Title: The Machine Stops
  • Author: E.M. Forster
  • ISBN: 9781449570132
  • Page: 299
  • Format: Paperback
  • The Machine Stops is a science fiction short story by E M Forster The story is about a world in which many humans have lost the ability to live on the surface, and live underground The story predicted a few technological and social innovations, such as the cinematophote television and videoconferencing.

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      Published :2019-06-03T10:04:45+00:00


    About “E.M. Forster

    • E.M. Forster

      Edward Morgan Forster, generally published as E.M Forster, was an novelist, essayist, and short story writer He is known best for his ironic and well plotted novels examining class difference and hypocrisy in early 20th century British society His humanistic impulse toward understanding and sympathy may be aptly summed up in the epigraph to his 1910 novel Howards End Only connect.He had five novels published in his lifetime, achieving his greatest success with A Passage to India 1924 which takes as its subject the relationship between East and West, seen through the lens of India in the later days of the British Raj Forster s views as a secular humanist are at the heart of his work, which often depicts the pursuit of personal connections in spite of the restrictions of contemporary society He is noted for his use of symbolism as a technique in his novels, and he has been criticised for his attachment to mysticism His other works include Where Angels Fear to Tread 1905 , The Longest Journey 1907 , A Room with a View 1908 and Maurice 1971 , his posthumously published novel which tells of the coming of age of an explicitly gay male character.



    594 thoughts on “The Machine Stops

    • I don't suggest beginning to read this without first looking at the initial publication date. I was several pages in and scoffing at the oh-so-obvious-it-isn't-even-symbolism-symbolism when I decided to back-peddle and see just how old this story is. My cheeks flamed up a whee bit as I realized that The Machine Stops is just over a hundred years old. *foot placed firmly in mouth* A HUNDRED YEARS AGO Forster was discussing the cyber-agea hundred years ago when the camera was some sort of maddenin [...]


    • My first thoughts on finishing E.M. Forster’s brilliant novella The Machine Stops, is that I cannot believe he wrote and published this in 1909.More of a chronological peer of H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine (1895) than of modern day science fiction, this nonetheless is downright prophetic in its anticipation of a global dependence on technological communication and the ironic social isolation and alienation that results.Forster, better known for his realistic and modernistic contemporary ficti [...]


    • Beware the New ismThe Machine Stops, written in 1909, is certainly a remarkably prescient tale of technological development. Like a proto-Cryptonomicon, it introduces ideas that we can now identify with the internet, the iPad, and even the 3-D production of goods, including food, from information. But its lasting value isn't about technology; it's about the mistakes we make when we start to think in a particular way. The biggest mistake is that of what we have come to call fake news.Fake news is [...]


    • Leonardo da Vinci famously anticipated the advent of helicopters, scuba gear, and automobiles, and had well-laid plans for primitive versions of these things.(Da Vinci also used mirror writing in his notebooks.)The revolutionary astronomer, Johannes Kepler, similarly wrote of the invention of rocket ships traveling outside of the Earth and this was in the 1620's. This can be found in his novella The Dream, which is a work that is widely regarded by literary scholars and historians as the first e [...]


    • Where would you be without the Internet? Can you imagine your life? Can you even remember a time before personal computers?"The machine stops."Disaster! What a thought! Did you breathe a sigh of relief when the Internet seemed to carry on as normal after the millennium date? That computer technology had not broken down because of bad programming after all? Surely there had been just that smidgen of a possibilityThe Machine Stops is a remarkably prescient science fiction short novella by E. M. Fo [...]


    • It is absolutely astonishing to me that something written over 100 years ago can have such relevance in today's society. Whilst short, this science fiction masterpiece manages to create a future society that is not dissimilar to our own, in many respects.This satirical look at a world run by machinery feels like it could quite possibility represent our own bleak future, as we already have apps and technology to make every aspect of our lives easier. This only progresses our current state by maki [...]


    • Future is now; future is then. Old Man Forster decries the cold meaningless of life in the age of the world wide web and automation and being repulsed by another human's touch. He shakes a well-manicured fist at the new millennium, at 2017, except he shook that fist over a century ago, while no doubt wearing an elegant three-piece suit, with ascot, as he held court in his finely wallpapered drawing room. Could Grampa see into now? It sure seems like it. I really get Gramps and his carefully word [...]


    • Rating: 3.5* of fiveThe Publisher Says: The Machine Stops is a science fiction short story (12,300 words) 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. T [...]


    • I was straightforwardly gobsmacked when I first read this story last year. Wow. Here is our world, described one hundred years before it happens. These are just a few samples that particularly appealed to me. I don’t want to give away the story and there are lots of other interesting ideas about the future, including, indeed, the idea of the idea that I will leave you to discover for yourselves,"Who is it?" she called. Her voice was irritable, for she had been interrupted often since the music [...]


    • This book is a three chapters novelette written in 1909 by the author of A Passage to India; probably one of the earliest dystopian works of the 20th century, before Brave New World or 1984.It tells, in a few brush-strokes, the story of a son and his mother in a world, far in the future, where humans on the whole planet live in sterilised and isolated cells underground, that they almost never leave. They rarely and reluctantly meet each other in person and prefer communicating through a network [...]


    • First published in 1909, this science-fiction novella by Forster is a futuristic, dystopian view of society controlled by a machine. Everyone lives underground, the Earths surface no longer habitable, and everything is interconnected by something that sounds like our computers and Internet of today. Forster is trying to tell us not to become to dependent on technology. I imagine he would be shocked at the "progress" we've made in 100 years.


    • “You talk as if a god had made the Machine," cried the other. "I believe that you pray to it when you are unhappy. Men made it, do not forget that. Great men, but men. The Machine is much, but not everything.” E.M. Forster could have been talking about Steve Jobs and iPhones!I don't know how widely read The Machine Stops is but I think it ought to be required reading for all sci-fi aficionados. I don't know this for a fact but I suspect it is very influential; I can see echoes of it in sci-f [...]


    • Written and first published in 1909, it is a slow, but prescient view of the future. So much is today, some whispers of what will be present in Brave New World, and some it yet to come. "I want to see you not through the Machine," said Kuno. "I want to speak to you not through the wearisome Machine."Can be read for FREE HERE


    • 4.0 to 4.5 stars. A classic, haunting short story (more like a novella) written in 1909. The story concerns a world in which humanity (long ago) lost the ability to live on the surface of the Earth (through War, disease, etc.). Now each person lives in almost complete "isolation" below ground in a "cell" where all their needs are taken care of by "the Machine." The Machine is an advanced computer created by humans in the distant past to assist mankind and on which mankind continued to rely on mo [...]


    • Written in 1909, as I read this I couldn't help but thinking of the recent texting fad.Even more horrifying than Bradbury's TV room in Fahrenheit 451, people live in their own room in a hive. They connect only through something very much like the Internet & are tended by The Machine. What incredible insight Forster had! Let's hope he's wrong.


    • Imagine a world -- one that could have been created by H.G. Wells -- in which people live under the earth in comfortable caves in which everything, from food to air to entertainment to sleep, is controlled by a vast machine:Imagine, if you can, a small room, hexagonal in shape, like the cell of a bee. It is lighted neither by window nor by lamp, yet it is filled with a soft radiance. There are no apertures for ventilation, yet the air is fresh. There are no musical instruments, and yet, at the m [...]


    • After I'd read A Rebours last week, it occurred to me to wonder whether this well-known novella was yet another piece that linked to it. The main theme in Huysmans's book is the superiority of the artificial: the engagingly mad des Esseintes tries to construct an entirely artificial world to live in, and constantly explains how much better it is than the real one. For example, steam locomotives are much sexier than women. Huysmans's presentation is completely deadpan, so it's difficult to know h [...]


    • Wow. Seriously, wow. I have to admit I would never have picked this book myself, for I had never even heard about it. I had to read it for an English Literature test this week, and I’m really glad I did, because the book is impressive. I will not say it is a literary masterpiece, artistically speaking, but in terms of creativity and predictive ability it is huge.The first thing you need to know is that this book was written in 1909. It takes place in a future era in which people will live almo [...]



    • Prototype dystopia story that, after a hundred years, reads as freshly, as prescient as anything that has come since.


    • مُقدمة لا بُد منها:يجب الشُكر والثناء على مجهودات "منشورات ويلز" فالحقيقة بعيداً عن إختيارهم للأعمال الجيدة فعلاً والتي تهم كُل مُحبي الخيال العلمي وترجمتها بشكل جيد فالشكل النهائي للعمل مُمتاز الغلاف والورق وخط الكتابة الذي لن تجده في أكبر دور النشر من أجل المكاسب المادية [...]


    • Did this really come from the same man who wrote 'A Room with a View'?. apparently so. Dipping his toes into dystopia/ sci-fi is something I never thought Forster would contemplate. But there you go, what do I know. One thing I am sure of, is that I didn't like this. Wish the machine never even started before it had a chance to stop. And glad it was a short story, any longer and I would have stopped myself. Good job I will remember him for writing about fine English woman in tight corsets having [...]


    • This is an amazing story of a near-future civilization, living below ground and connected by a vast network of video and audio. The people inhabit their own cells, rarely leaving these rooms. Their every need is met by The Machine. Anything they require, they just ask The Machine and it is provided. All forms of communication are through The Machine and all social interaction is through The Machine.Wow, this story was written in 1909. What is scary is that this civilization somewhat resembles ou [...]


    • It's Ur-steampunk! Can you still call a story steampunk when it was written in 1909? I just about fell over backwards when I found out this morning that E.M. Forster (Room With A View, Howard's End, Passage To India) wrote a short dystopic story in 1909. Must. Read. Now. Luckily this story is available for free all over the internet, such as here: feedbooks/book/2073Forster does an amazing job imagining an automated, mechanical future. He describes mass-market airships, even though this was publ [...]


    • 4.25*Civilization is living underground in these single person rooms with many buttons that control The Machine to aid in various functions. Going above ground is now seen as useless. The main character's son asks her to to visit him directly in his room located in another country through a communication device called "a round plate" in which she can see his face. After this point there are 3 chapters to this short story that explores the effects of The Machine on humanity.I was searching someth [...]


    • FAIRLY SPOILER-FILLED REVIEWHow can a book from 1909 be so accurate about the way we live our lives today? OK, so we aren't all trapped willingly in little cells isolated from the outside world and relying on a faceless machine of take care of our every need while we spout our opinions to the world from a screent ALL of us. Enough of us for this to feel very odd indeed.Thanks to this uncanny accuracy in predicting the future, this is easily the most chilling dystopian future story I've read. It' [...]


    • This comes out of the same place as both Wells' The Time Machine and Wall-e: technology will enable people to become apathetic slugs, and boring as all hell. The structure of the story means there's no need to ever explain how this world is supposed to work (what does the Machine need all these people for?) It's interesting that Forster could imagine a world where women could pursue the life of the mind unimpeded by the demands of family, but not one in which people would touch for the sheer ani [...]


    • “All unrest was concentrated in the soul” Kuno the main character in the story is dying inside because of the way in which society lives under the rule of “The Machine”, and this is the essence of the story of dystopia. All dystopia strips man of his humanity and denies freedom (like organised religion, you could say). As with all good dystopia somebody breaks out, sees the truth behind the false wall, and as with all good dystopia, the system fights back (the white worms). The beauty in [...]


    • An interesting read quite different from Forster's other books. It speaks of a time when humanity isolates itself from physical contact with others. Communication is conducted through technology and that is how ideas are spread. People rarely travel as everywhere is the same. But among the bleak landscape there are glimmers of hope as some humans still strive for direct contact and to reconnect with the real world. My experience of the book was diminished slightly by the bad editing of this edit [...]


    • A science ficton short story written by E.M. Foster in 1909. This tells the tale of a world where most of the population can no longer live at the surface and each individual dwells in a 'cell' below the Earth. Here all needs are met via 'the Machine'As the tale progresses the machine begins to mal-functionThe protagonists of the tale are Vashti and her son Kuno.


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