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The Machine Stops (Penguin Mini Modern…

The Machine Stops (Penguin Mini Modern Classics) (1909)

by E. M. Forster

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This small volume contains two stories; 'The Machine stops' (1928) and 'The Celestial Omnibus' (1911).

"The Machine stops" is a dystopian tale of humanity's underground automated future life, isolated from each other save via telecommunications; and what happens when they turn their collective backs on human interaction and the pursuit of what might in those days have been called the "practical arts". In the end, society breaks down, the Machine stops, and all die (except for isolated groups of humans who actually live on the surface). In 1928, this probably seemed like almost pure fantasy; today, it's not difficult to read it as a cautionary allegory of our modern situation.

'The Celestial Omnibus' is a slight tale of a little boy who discovers a mysterious bus that takes him to a realm of fantasy where the figures of myth and art live and have discourse. A doubting adult accompanies him, and his doubts are his downfall (literally). It is slightly reminiscent of Saki, with whom it was contemporary. ( )
  RobertDay | Dec 3, 2012 |
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This is the Penguin Mini Modern Classics edition that only contains two short stories, The Machine Stops and The Celestial Omnibus. Please do not combine with any other collections of the same name.
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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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