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What Else Are You Reading? > Machine of Death - Thoughts and Stuff

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message 1: by Anne (new)

Anne Schüßler (anneschuessler) | 834 comments Since a lot of people here seem to read or have read (or plan to read) Machine of Death: A Collection of Stories about People Who Know How They Will Die, I thought it would be a nice idea to open a thread for the book.

I first heard about when Veronica mentioned it on the podcast and since I didn't have anything better to do I thought I would see what it was about and whether I could come up with something for a submission. I would love to get a bit back into writing and it sounded like a nice premise to do something with with an actual deadline which is great for procrastinators.

I read the first three or four stories before writing my own just to get an idea about how the topic was approached. I didn't want to be too influenced by the other stories, so I stopped after that and wrote what I could come up with (no spoilers here!) before continuing to read.

I really enjoyed the stories and I think it's amazing how different they are with the basic premise being to clear and (kind of) fixed.

I just went through the stories trying to come up with my favorites, but I realized, I really liked them all. LOSS OF BLOOD painted on of the grimmest pictures and I liked what the author imagined as the consequences of the machines.

Anyway, I was wondering what others thought of the collection, whether you have any favorite stories, and of course - cards on the table - if any other S&L members submitted (or plan to submit) a story. So?


message 2: by Been (new)

Been | 125 comments I was pleasantly surprised by it. I originally thought it would be a series of stories set in the same world about how people end up meeting their untimely demises in unexpected ways, but there were very few stories that were actually like that. I ended up loving the ones that focused more on the social changes than anything else.

I'd struggle to choose a single favourite, but I think the first one, "Flaming Marshmallow" was probably it. Although some of my other favourites were "Torn Apart and Devoured by Lions" for a more enthusiastic perspective on death, "Starvation" for the sense of fear it managed to generate and "Miscarriage" for a very different take on how the machine could be used. I also liked the more optimistic reaction that "Firing Squad" showed, although the story itself wasn't particularly happy. And of course "HIV Infection from Machine of Death needle" made me chuckle, although I did feel a little bad afterwards.

Considering how many of the stories I really liked I should probably reconsider the rating I gave it. In fact I just might do that.


message 3: by Jim (new)

Jim (kskryptonian) | 202 comments My wife is submitting to the second book in the series. She still hasn't told me how it ends.


message 4: by aldenoneil (new)

aldenoneil | 1000 comments I haven't read the original, but given the subject matter, can't we safely assume that someone meets a timely end?


message 5: by Joe (new)

Joe Deisler | 50 comments I am currently about halfway through the book and am enjoying it a great deal. I would say my current favorite is ALMOND, but there really hasn't been one I haven't enjoyed yet.


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