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Bettie's Books

A Stuga On the Cusp of the Orust Riviera, tucked away next to a hobbit hole in the woods.

The Machine Stops by E.M. Forster

The Machine Stops - E.M. Forster

bookshelves: shortstory-shortstories-novellas, sci-fi, published-1909, summer-2014, e-book

Recommended to ☯Bettie☯ by: Richard, Laura
Read on July 09, 2014

 

Opening: Imagine, if you can, a small room, hexagonal in shape, like the cell of a bee. It is lighted neither by window nor by lamp, yet it is filled with a soft radiance. There are no apertures for ventilation, yet the air is fresh. There are no musical instruments, and yet, at the moment that my meditation opens, this room is throbbing with melodious sounds. An armchair is in the centre, by its side a reading-desk-that is all the furniture. And in the armchair there sits a swaddled lump of flesh-a woman, about five feet high, with a face as white as a fungus. It is to her that the little room belongs.

Read here

A short story full of knobs, apparatus and equipment because authentic scientific terminology hadn't yet been needed when Forster penned this. He made one glaring mistake about human nature though; that bit where the son was wanting human contact with his mother. For the last thirty plus years we have learnt a lesson, the yearning has most certainly been the other way around: mothers behoving some quality time with their geekish off-spring.

Not sure how I feel about this; Forster was no Orwell, Karel Čapek, Verne, yet who wouldn't want a stab at trying another genre. Just the two airships for this.