Extended Audio Sample

Download The Machine Stops Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample The Machine Stops (Unabridged) Audiobook, by E. M. Forster
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (1,152 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: E. M. Forster Narrator: Jim Roberts Publisher: Jimcin Recordings Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2009 ISBN:
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E. M. Forster is known primarily as a great English novelest of such books as A Passage to India, A Room with a View, and Where Angels Fear to Tread. In 1909, he wrote his only science-fiction story, and it proved to be a shocker. It describes a world of the future in which humans all remain in their cubicles while all their needs are met by a supercomputer called The Machine. They communicate with each other and attend online classes and meetings through the Machine, and people seldom meet face to face. A problem arises when one man, Kuno, decides he is not satisfied with staying in his room and decides to explore outside.

The story has proved to be far ahead of its time, with remarkably accurate predictions of modern technologies such as TV, online chat, and the Internet. This is a truly remarkable story and one that has many lessons of caution for today.

After being voted one of the best novellas up to 1965, it was included that same year in the populist anthology Modern Short Stories and in 1973 was also included in The Science Fiction Hall of Fame. Download and start listening now!

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Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jd | 2/12/2014

    " Some reasonably goofy early sci-fi, with strangely annoying prose. Still, a quick and fun read as a period piece. There's a great bit about how the scholars of the future avoid any first-hand knowledge because people are scared of interacting with each other or leaving their rooms. So, of course, they decide that first-hand knowledge is less valuable, and that knowledge becomes better as you become further removed from your subject. The best work is a commentary on a commentary on a commentary to the tenth power. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bill H | 2/5/2014

    " A compact little novella on man's future in the technological world he's created but perhaps cannot control. With many now-familiar tropes we know from THX-1138, The Matrix, Logan's Run and the like -- but this one was published in 1910! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jan | 1/28/2014

    " The book gives a good view of what the current path of development of the dependency on machines could lead to. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Katlyn | 1/16/2014

    " so cool, thought-provoking "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marcus | 1/16/2014

    " Really interesting early science fiction. As good as Howards End but so different! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Freddie | 1/11/2014

    " I need to investigate sci-fi further "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Emily | 1/3/2014

    " Jarring. Well written. At one time it was wicked creative, now it is a bit too close for comfort. Made me want to cancel my Facebook account and take a long walk outside. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Terri | 12/29/2013

    " I just find it amazing that the story was written in 1909 and the technology that author writes about is the technology we use today. What did he know about items that works like a web cam and instant messaging?? "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Steve | 12/16/2013

    " Solely for the time, this is an interesting book. The characters are extremely uninteresting, but the general concepts and experiences described are worth reading. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tigergoose | 11/27/2013

    " I'm not a fan of dystopian novels, but I enjoyed it considering I had to read it for class. It was definitely interesting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Buzz | 11/18/2013

    " Written in 1909? Just wow! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Luke Burrage | 11/13/2013

    " Fun short story, written so long ago, but could have been written last year. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rene Spector | 10/23/2013

    " written in 1909!!! wow, seriously...bananas! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pam Vlieg | 7/5/2013

    " That was some good readin'. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jono | 5/23/2013

    " Pretty brilliant. And the second story is enjoyable. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Erik Similkier | 8/8/2012

    " Short story that was very interesting. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ishani | 7/31/2012

    " oh wow! I was Superflabberghasted when I read this... ANYone and EVERYone who experiences or has experienced cyberspace, should read this. Before you do, check the year of first publication.. and don't forget to breath.. :) "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Karen | 12/13/2011

    " Prescient! Now let me get off the internets and be human. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Emme | 11/30/2011

    " Dejlig old school dystopi "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Shinynickel | 1/29/2011

    " Often considered the first post-apocalypse/dystopia story. Actually pretty good (there's some interesting detail of experience, and some interesting extrapolation going on!). "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rebecca | 10/6/2010

    " It is terribly ironic that I am writing anything about this essay in this medium. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Clare Tanner | 11/18/2009

    " A prophetic story. E M Forster was truly ahead of his time. "

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About the Author

Edward Morgan Forster (1879–1970) was born in London and raised by his mother and paternal aunts. He pursued his interests in philosophy and classics at Cambridge and there began his writing. He wrote six novels, short stories, essays, and other nonfiction. He is known for his liberal humanism, notably exemplified in his greatest novel, A Passage to India.

About the Narrator

Jim Roberts is a published author, illustrator, and a narrator of children’s books.