The Machine Stops (version 2)

E. M. Forster (1879 - 1970)

Published in 1909, this science fiction short story takes place in a future where mankind, seemingly no longer able to survive on earth's surface, exists in a vast underground civilization known as "The Machine". Each individual lives in an isolated, fully-automated cell-like room, connected to global information and communication systems, but cut off from all direct experience. The narrative focuses on Vashti, an "advanced" mother whose total dependence upon The Machine has led her (like most others) to increasingly reverence and even worship it; and her "untechnological" son, Kuno, who has begun to deny The Machine's omnipotence and even seeks to escape if possible. Kuno's radical views are validated as the The Machine's systems begin to malfunction and eventually fail completely.

The story has proved to be far ahead of its time, with remarkably accurate predictions of modern technologies, and paints a chilling picture of over-dependence on them. This recording marks the 100th anniversary of the original publishing. (Summary by Jerome Lawsen)

Genre(s): Science Fiction, Short Stories

Language: English

Section Chapter Reader Time
Play 01 01 - The Air-Ship Jerome Lawsen
Play 02 02 - The Mending Apparatus Jerome Lawsen
Play 03 03 - The Homeless Jerome Lawsen