The Machine Stops by E.M. Forster
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I was honestly surprised as hell to learn from my GR buddies that this old classic fantastic traditional fiction author wrote an SF novella. EM FORSTER???
Well, yeah! Contemporary of Wells, this particular novel seems to be a rather delightful stick to poke at the culture that spawned it.
Fear of the Machine, perhaps only Bureaucracy, but probably a lot more as in the kind of AI the world has become, I was more impressed with the snide comments it had about eschewing primary sources over a constant rehash of old ideas. :)
Now, of course, this came out in 1909 so I have to wonder if it inspired so many similar tales to come after. I'm reminded of Morlocks, but better than that... there's a little gem of a film that came out 20 years later called Metropolis that seems to be the best fit. :)
Never mind Tolkien and his condemnation of machinist thinking in The Ring, or even the Truman Show to break out of his virtual shell to see the world by first principles and first experience. :)
Honorable mention in the novella goes to the ideas of the videophone and the internet and AI's. :) Yes. 1909. :) And machine overlords, of course. :) Pretty awesome. But that's just for the ideas.
The writing, alas, is not quite as evocative as his traditional fiction. Oddly enough. Still, quite good. :)
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