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 EndA Passage to India, and A Room with a View. For more on his life and work, visit Wikipedia.


I suggest that the only books that influence us are those for which we are ready, and which have gone a little further down our particular path than we have yet gone ourselves.
— E. M. Forster