The Machine Stops

If we ever launch an anthology of classic literature with an Escapological flavour (which we might!), E. M. Forster’s short story, ‘The Machine Stops’ would be at the forefront.

The story describes a future society in which—natural resources having been squandered—the citizens live inside a gigantic life-giving machine. In the tradition of such tales, a man grows tired of this simulated life and seeks escape.

You can read the story online or enjoy a public domain audiobook version. There’s even a faithful 1960s television adaptation:

Thanks to Tim for the recommendation.


Robert Wringham is the editor of New Escapologist. He also writes books and articles. Read more at

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