Machine Stops (version 4)
By: Edward M. Forster (1879-1970)
"The Machine Stops" is a science fiction story by E. M. Forster. After initial publication in 1909 the story was republished in Forster's The Eternal Moment and Other Stories in 1928. After being voted one of the best novellas up to 1965, it was included that same year in the populist anthology Modern Short Stories. In 1973 it was also included in The Science Fiction Hall of Fame, Volume Two. The story is particularly notable for predicting new technologies such as instant messaging and the Internet. In the preface to his Collected Short Stories (1947), Forster wrote that "The Machine Stops is a reaction to one of the earlier heavens of H. G. Wells." Although not all Wells's stories were optimistic about the future, this implies Forster was concerned about human dependence on technology.