The Machine Stops, by E.M. Forster

If you have never read this classic short story… DO!
Written in 1909, it is a classic piece of science fiction which accurately presages the Internet and computer technology.
Despite some of the imagery being couched in High-Victorian terms — “The room was filled with the noise of bells, and speaking-tubes” and “pneumatic post”–, the story is amazingly accurate in its description of the use of technology that would have been unthought-of at the turn of the last century.
The main character, Vashti, lives her life in isolation, even from her son, living in cocooned comfort in her own cubicle within a honeycombed society hidden beneath the earth. She is, like all humans of the day, unused to and offended by the touch of another human being, has rarely traveled from her cubicle, and dependent entirely up on “The Machine”.
I would recommend that rather than buying the book “The Machine Stops, and other stories”, you read the online text. The other stories, mired in Victorian imagery unredeemed by credible stories, fall seriously short of the quality or visionary impact of the title story. They remain seriously outdated.
There is a tendency in science fiction to “explain” how futuristic technology works rather than simply letting our imaginations do the explaining. Unfortunately, contemporary explanations often serve to “date” something. It is, in fact, precisely because Forster managed to avoid over-describing the technology and thus avoided embedding in the reader’s mind what he was perhaps seeing in his own mind when writing that “The Machine Stops” succeeds where his other stories (seriously) fail.

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