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Extended Audio Sample The Machine Stops Audiobook, by E. M. Forster Click for printable size audiobook cover
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: Jerome Lawsen Publisher: Author's Republic Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: December 2016 ISBN: 9781518939464
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The Machine Stops is a science fiction story. It describes a world in which almost all humans have lost the ability to live on the surface of the Earth. Each individual lives in isolation in a ‘cell’, with all bodily and spiritual needs met by the omnipotent, global Machine. Most humans welcome this development, as they are skeptical and fearful of first-hand experience. People forget that humans created the Machine, and treat it as a mystical entity whose needs supersede their own. Those who do not accept the deity of the Machine are viewed as ‘unmechanical’ and are threatened with “Homelessness”. Eventually, the Machine apocalyptically collapses, and the civilization of the Machine comes to an end.

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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.