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Original Essays | September 15, 2014

Lois Leveen: IMG Forsooth Me Not: Shakespeare, Juliet, Her Nurse, and a Novel

There's this writer, William Shakespeare. Perhaps you've heard of him. He wrote this play, Romeo and Juliet. Maybe you've heard of it as well. It's... Continue »

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Machine of Death: A Collection of Stories about People Who Know How They Will Die

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Machine of Death: A Collection of Stories about People Who Know How They Will Die Cover

ISBN13: 9780982167120
ISBN10: 0982167121
Condition: Standard
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Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

gawm, January 3, 2011 (view all comments by gawm)
While all 30-plus stories in this anthology have the same premise - a world in which a machine can vaguely but accurately predict anyone's cause of death - there is an incredible variety. All are well-crafted, entertaining, and illustrated by web-comic artists to boot! Death has never been so much fun.
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Astraea162, January 2, 2011 (view all comments by Astraea162)
Machine of Death is an anthology of speculative short stories all based around the question: what if there was a machine that could accurately predict your cause of death? The resulting stories are hilarious, touching, disturbing, and philosophical. It was by far the most enjoyable book I read all year. I've been recommending it to friends, family, strangers on the elevator...everyone!

Best book of 2010!

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Simone, January 1, 2011 (view all comments by Simone)
It is not often that I would put a mixed-author anthology up as a "best of the year" book, but this extraordinary collection of linked works about a world in which a machine can tell you--somewhat enigmatically but always correctly--how you are going to die was thrilling and tender. The different voices of the authors enhanced the feeling of the world, rather than fighting one another. The gamut of emotions and understandings and struggles in the face of inevitable mortality were actually uplifting, rather than grim or depressing, even though the stories ranged from humor to horror.

This little independent book also has the strange claim to fame of being the number one selling new book on Amazon.com on its release day--in spite of the fact that it came out on the same day as a Glenn Beck screed, causing the man to public melt down and villify speculative fiction readers and fans as un-American members of a "culture of death." :-) That just makes my day. Come on, you know you want to read this now.
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Product Details

Ryan North and Matthew Bennardo and David Malki
Bearstache Books
North, Ryan
Malki, David
Bennardo, Matthew
Beaton, Kate
Munroe, Randall
Anthologies (multiple authors)
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
35 BandW illustrations
9 x 6 x 1 in

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Anthologies » American » Literature
Fiction and Poetry » Anthologies » General
Fiction and Poetry » Anthologies » Miscellaneous Literature
Fiction and Poetry » Graphic Novels » General
Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » Anthologies

Machine of Death: A Collection of Stories about People Who Know How They Will Die Used Trade Paper
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$12.50 In Stock
Product details 464 pages Bearstache Books - English 9780982167120 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Machine of Death is a lot of fun....Highly engaging, interestingly crowd-sourced, and crafted with a great deal of care. You'll be thinking about it long after you're through reading."
"Review" by , "But where this collection could have merely skated by on its own cleverness, it turns out to be a lot deeper than that. A lot more intelligent. A lot less predictable."
"Review" by , "Machine of Death is a marvelous collection, riddled with intelligence, creative reach, and a frankness that makes the best use of the central gimmick."
"Synopsis" by ,
Machine of Death tells 34 stories about people who know how they will die. The machine doesn't give the date or specifics; using only a blood sample, it just spits out a sliver of paper upon which are printed, in careful block letters, words such as drowned, cancer, old age, or choked on a handful of popcorn. The realization that we could now know how we are going to die changes the world: people became at once less fearful and more afraid. For every possibility the machine closes, it seems to open several more, with varying degrees of plausibility. Over time the machine is reverse-engineered and duplicated. Eventually there are machines in every doctors office and in booths at the mall. People can pay someone or perhaps get it done for free, but the results are the same no matter which machine is used — they are, at least, consistent.

Machine of Death features stories by Randall Munroe, Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw, Tom Francis, Camille Alexa, Erin McKean, Jeff Stautz, and many others. The book also features illustrations by Kate Beaton, Kazu Kibuishi, Aaron Diaz, Jeffrey Brown, Scott C., Roger Langridge, Karl Kerschl, Cameron Stewart, and many others.

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