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Machine of Death by Ryan North

Machine of Death

by Ryan North (Editor), Matthew Bennardo (Editor), David Malki ! (Editor)

Other authors: Camille Alexa (Contributor), John Allison (Illustrator), Kate Beaton (Illustrator), M. Bennardo (Contributor), Brandon Bolt (Illustrator)67 more, Vera Brosgol (Illustrator), Jeffrey Brown (Illustrator), Scott Campbell (Illustrator), Dalisa Chaponda (Contributor), John Chernega (Contributor), Mitch Clem (Illustrator), Danielle Corsetto (Illustrator), Chris Cox (Contributor), Ben Croshaw (Contributor), Alexander Danner (Contributor), Aaron Diaz (Illustrator), Rene Engström (Illustrator), Jess Fink (Illustrator), James Foreman (Contributor), Tom Francis (Contributor), Rafa Franco (Contributor), Dorothy Gambrell (Illustrator), Shaenon K. Garrity (Contributor), William Grallo (Contributor), KC Green (Illustrator), C. E. Guimont (Contributor), Matt Haley (Illustrator), Christopher Hastings (Illustrator), Paul Horn (Illustrator), Sherri Jacobsen (Contributor), John Keogh (Illustrator), Karl Kerschl (Illustrator), Kazu Kibuishi (Illustrator), Adam Koford (Illustrator), Douglas J. Lane (Contributor), Roger Langridge (Illustrator), K. M. Lawrence (Contributor), David Malki ! (Contributor), Les McClaine (Illustrator), Erin McKean (Contributor), Brian McLachlan (Illustrator), Kevin McShane (Illustrator), Dylan Meconis (Illustrator), Camron Miller (Contributor), Carly Monardo (Illustrator), Randall Munroe (Contributor), Nation of Amanda (Illustrator), Ryan North (Contributor), Ramón Pérez (Illustrator), Pelotard (Contributor), Brian Quinlan (Contributor), T. J. Radcliffe (Contributor), Jesse Reklaw (Illustrator), Katie Sekelsky (Illustrator), Gord Sellar (Contributor), Kean Soo (Illustrator), Jeff Stautz (Contributor), Cameron Stewart (Illustrator), Kris Straub (Illustrator), James L. Sutter (Contributor), Marcus Thiele (Illustrator), Kelly Tindall (Illustrator), Ryan Torres (Book Designer), Dean Trippe (Illustrator), J Jack Unrau (Contributor), Justin Van Genderen (Cover designer), Bartholomew von Klick (Contributor), Julia Wainwright (Contributor), Jeffrey C. Wells (Contributor), David Michael Wharton (Contributor), Shannon Wheeler (Illustrator), Kit Yona (Contributor)

Series: Machine of Death (1)

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5813217,082 (3.96)41

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English (28)  French (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (30)
Showing 1-5 of 28 (next | show all)
First, I have to say that it wasn't what I expected, but it was better than what I expected. For whatever reason I expected more stories dealing with the actual death of people. Instead it was more about the reactions of people to the concept itself or their particular reading.

My two favorites in the book are very very different, yet at the core have the same sort of bias towards the machine. Torn Apart and Devoured by Lions and Miscarriage are those two. Neither of them actually contain the death and one is both completely accurate for the story it titles, yet isn't the way someone dies or is slated to die.

The stories are so varied and there are even several from the point of view of the "creators" of the machine. None of the stories in this collection take away anything from any of the others and they all seem to fit very well together. I went in only being familiar with the work of two of the editors and one of the writers in the collection as they all write webcomics that I love and read whenever there is a new one available. Those three webcomics (Dinosaur Comics, Wondermark, and xkcd) showcase the variety of perceptions, views, and entertainment type you can find on the internet and that really translates into the entire book.

I'm very impressed overall with not only the variety of stories, but the collection as a whole is very well put together. ( )
  DuchessofHazard | Nov 29, 2015 |
A very uneven collection, and unfortunately the premise - "here is a concept, we turned the Internet loose to write stories about it" - does tend to generate a lot of sameiness. I was thoroughly weary of "ironic" misinterpretations by the end. There were a few standouts, though - I liked "Cocaine and Painkillers" a lot, and "Not Waving but Drowning." ( )
  jen.e.moore | Oct 10, 2015 |
I love the concept of this collection; what would happen if there was a machine that could tell you how you would die.

Flaming Marshmallow - 5/5
Fudge - 4/5
Torn Apart And Devoured By Lions - 3/5
Despair - 3/5
Suicide - 4/5
Almond - 5/5
Starvation - 3/5
Cancer - 3/5
Firing Squad - 3/5
Vegetables - 3/5
Piano - 3/5
HIV Infection From Machine Of Death Needle - 5/5
Exploded - 3/5
Not Waving But Drowning - 4/5
Improperly Prepared Blowfish - 4/5
Love Ad Nauseum - 5/5
Murder And Suicide, Respectively - 4/5
Cancer - 3/5
Aneurysm - 4/5
Exhaustion From Having Sex With A Minor - 4/5
After Many Years, Stops Breathing, While Asleep, With Smile On Face - 3/5
Killed By Daniel - 3/5
Friendly Fire - 3/5
Nothing - 3/5
Cocaine And Painkillers - 3/5
Loss Of Blood - 4/5
Prison Knife Fight - 3/5
While Trying To Save Another - 3/5
Miscarriage - 4/5
Shot By Sniper - 3/5
Heat Death Of The Universe - 3/5
Drowning - 3/5
? - 3/5
Cassandra - 3/5 ( )
  knowledge_lost | Dec 21, 2014 |
I liked the story lengths in this collection; a nice size to read in a chunk. The concept is a fascinating idea and I liked the approach each author made with their story. In a collection it is often to difficult to love every single story and this was the case in this one for me; there were one or two I didn't enjoy as much as the others and one I ended up skipping through completely. Although they are separate stories I did feel like they linked well as there always seemed to be references made that I'd picked up before in someone else's story. I'd imagine in a physical book as opposed to the kindle that the illustrations would be excellent but even in the kindle they were good. All in all it is a book I'm pleased I came across. ( )
  SmithSJ01 | Jul 20, 2014 |
Really, this deserves a 4.5; I was torn between giving it a 5 and a 4 and only opted for the 4 because a 5 really should be, "I would retrieve this from a burning building." A comment which I realize is unintentionally apropos... ( )
1 vote dcunning11235 | Jul 12, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 28 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
North, RyanEditorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bennardo, MatthewEditormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Malki !, DavidEditormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Alexa, CamilleContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Allison, JohnIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Beaton, KateIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bennardo, M.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bolt, BrandonIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brosgol, VeraIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brown, JeffreyIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Campbell, ScottIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Chaponda, DalisaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Chernega, JohnContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Clem, MitchIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Corsetto, DanielleIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cox, ChrisContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Croshaw, BenContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Danner, AlexanderContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Diaz, AaronIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Engström, ReneIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Fink, JessIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Foreman, JamesContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Francis, TomContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Franco, RafaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gambrell, DorothyIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Garrity, Shaenon K.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Grallo, WilliamContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Green, KCIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Guimont, C. E.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Haley, MattIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hastings, ChristopherIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Horn, PaulIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Jacobsen, SherriContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Keogh, JohnIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kerschl, KarlIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kibuishi, KazuIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Koford, AdamIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lane, Douglas J.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Langridge, RogerIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lawrence, K. M.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Malki !, DavidContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
McClaine, LesIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
McKean, ErinContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
McLachlan, BrianIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
McShane, KevinIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Meconis, DylanIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Miller, CamronContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Monardo, CarlyIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Munroe, RandallContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Nation of AmandaIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
North, RyanContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Pérez, RamónIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
PelotardContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Quinlan, BrianContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Radcliffe, T. J.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Reklaw, JesseIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sekelsky, KatieIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sellar, GordContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Soo, KeanIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Stautz, JeffContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Stewart, CameronIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Straub, KrisIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sutter, James L.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Thiele, MarcusIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Tindall, KellyIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Torres, RyanBook Designersecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Trippe, DeanIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Unrau, J JackContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Van Genderen, JustinCover designersecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
von Klick, BartholomewContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wainwright, JuliaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wells, Jeffrey C.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wharton, David MichaelContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wheeler, ShannonIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Yona, KitContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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I'm going to write the best story ever.
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Book description
Machine of Death is published under a Creative Commons license, rather than traditional copyright. The specific license is BY-NC-ND (Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives 3.0 license).

Information about the creation of the book and access to podcasts of the individual stories can be found at http://machineofdeath.net

Several free ebook editions are available as well: http://machineofdeath.net/a/ebook
Haiku summary
You know how you'll die
But none of the specifics.
How does that change things?

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0982167121, Paperback)

The machine had been invented a few years ago: a machine that could tell, from just a sample of your blood, how you were going to die. No dates, no details. Just a slip of paper with a few words spelling out your ultimate fate -- at once all-too specific and maddeningly vague.

A top ten Amazon Customer Favorite in Science Fiction & Fantasy for 2010, The Machine of Death is an anthology of original stories bound together by a central premise. From the humorous to the adventurous to the mind-bending to the touching, the writers explore what the world would be like if a blood test could predict your death.

But don't think for a moment this is a book entirely composed of stories about people meeting their ironic dooms. There is some of that, of course. But more than that, this is a genre-hopping collection of tales about people who have learned more about themselves then perhaps they should have, and how that knowledge affects their relationships, their perception of the world, and how they feel about themselves.

Features thirty-four stories by Randall Munroe, Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw, Tom Francis, Camille Alexa, Erin McKean, James L. Sutter, David Malki !, Ryan North, and many others

Features illustrations by Kate Beaton, Kazu Kibuishi, Aaron Diaz, Jeffrey Brown, Scott C., Roger Langridge, Karl Kershl, Cameron Stewart, and many others

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:02 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

"The machine had been invented a few years ago: a machine that could tell, from just a sample of your blood, how you were going to die. It didn't give you the date and it didn't give you the specifics. It just spat out a sliver of paper upon which were printed, in careful block letters, the words 'DROWNED' or 'CANCER' or 'OLD AGE' or 'CHOKED ON A HANDFUL OF POPCORN.' It let people know how thye were going to die"--From introduction.… (more)

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