The Machine Stops - by E. M. Forster
The Machine Stops, written by E. M. Forster and narrated by Richard Rieman, was likely the inspiration for the movie epic from George Lucas, THX 1138, which bears many similarities to the characters and plot.
This science fiction short story is set in an underground world where a monolithic machine provides for all human needs. Forster’s story is prescient about a number of technologies that would not be available for the next several decades, including the Internet and instant messaging.
Forster’s extensive body of work includes many noteworthy novels that have been made into movies, such as Howard’s End, A Passage to India, and A Room with a View. For more on his life and work, visit Wikipedia.