Ken's Reviews > Machine of Death: A Collection of Stories About People Who Know How They Will Die

Machine of Death by Ryan North
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it was amazing
Recommended to Ken by: Kickstarter

A machine that tells you how you die, in vague yet accurate terms. It is never wrong, and your fate cannot be avoided. This anthology collects individual stories of people who encounter this machine. Although all the tales have the machine's functionality in common, there is no one persistent world: sometimes the machine is dismissed as a novelty; other times, an entire society will remodel itself around the predictions. For one couple, the machine means doom; for another, it brings hope.

I loved the variety of these 33 stories, each starting with an illustration and a prediction that somehow relates to the story, serving as its title. My favorite was "Almond", followed by:

Torn Apart and Devoured by Lion
Despair
Suicide
Aneurysm
Nothing
Miscarriage

and, of course, "HIV Infection from Machine of Death Needle".

There was honestly not a bad story in the lot, but my least favorites were "Not Waving but Drowning", "Improperly Prepared Blowfish", "Love Ad Nauseum", and "Drowning".

Each story left me a degree of chilled. What would I do if faced with such an opportunity? Would I learn of my fate, or leave it unknown? How would I react to knowing how I'd die? Would my actions to avoid the prophecy serve only to fulfill it? Would I take up arms in protest of the machine? I hope I never need to know.
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Reading Progress

January 13, 2014 – Shelved
January 27, 2014 – Started Reading
January 28, 2014 – Shelved as: to-read
February 6, 2014 – Finished Reading

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