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This Is How You Die: Stories of the Inscrutable, Infallible, Inescapable Machine of Death Paperback – July 16, 2013
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"THIS IS HOW YOU DIE is a brilliantly addictive book that reads like a series of existential, death-obsessed Twilight Zone episodes. It's a book that can somehow make "brain toxoplasmosis" jump right off the page. It's fun and twisted, but also surprisingly deep and almost meditative in parts. Very highly recommended." -Seth Grahame-Smith, New York Times bestselling author of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and Unholy Night
"This volume takes the already cool concept and pushes it in dozens of fantastic new directions." -Brandon Sanderson, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Mistborn trilogy and Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time series
Praise for Machine of Death:
"Machine of Death is a marvelous collection, riddled with intelligence, creative reach, and a frankness that makes the best use of the central gimmick."
--The Onion A.V. Club
"Recalls the best writings of Harlan Ellison and Charles Beaumont.... Machine of Death brought me laughs, terror and tears....Highly recommended."
About the Author
David Malki ! is the Los Angeles-based author of Wondermark, a comic strip available online and in collections from Dark Horse Books, one of which was nominated in 2009 for the Eisner Award (the highest honor in comics) for "Best Humor Publication." He also holds the distinction of having written the longest article ever published by Poets & Writers Magazine.
Ryan North is the Toronto-based author of the online Dinosaur Comics, one of the internet's most popular comic strips. He's also currently the writer of the Adventure Time comic book from BOOM! Studios, based on the television show.
More About the AuthorsDiscover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.
Top Customer Reviews
Whether you've read Machine of Death or not, this is an excellent buy. I can't wait to read the second story tomorrow.
And it's never, ever wrong.
There are a couple of jokers in the deck, of course. It tells you *how* you will die, but not *when*. Also, the invariably-capitalized Machine of Death is an Oracle in the classical sense: its predictions always come true, but are usually open to interpretation and often more than a little ironic. Example: the Machine predicts you will die from "GUNSHOT WOUND," but it turns out that that fatal wound comes from a hang-fire from the gun you're using to try to kill the person you think is going to shoot you. It's a weird but brilliant concept, and the various authors have a lot of fun with it in this book.
The stories in the first MoD collection dealt mostly with the Machine's impact on peoples' lives (and deaths,) and the often darkly hilarious situations that arose from *sort-of* knowing how one would depart this world. This time around the authors take a more sober, insightful look at the societal and practical potential of the Machine's predictions: "The Test" as a teenage rite of passage; collecting and exchanging prediction slips like trading cards (and the terrifying consequences of trying just a bit too hard to gain peer cred by obtaining a truly unique slip); how the job description of your average workaday assassin changes when he can't simply shoot his targets dead anymore; and lots, lots more.
And it *works*. Both collections are worth reading, but the stories in this one are consistently better written, more interesting and thoughtful, if not quite as funny (although it does have its moments.) These are not just good MoD stories, these are good stories, period. Five stars.
This is sequel of very successful "Machine of Death" anthology where the concept of the predicting machine was introduced. But this collection is even better than the last one, because all the writers interpret the idea differently making their worlds around this central idea but with more creativity and few surprises.
The stories are really diverse; some have literary style although for few you will not be sure how to categorize them - in one or more specific genre - as mystery, humor, romance, philosophy, SF... Also main characters are music stars, school kids, police officers, French aristocrats, even aliens.
Beside unusual and very interesting idea, this book is richly illustrated by some of the most famous names in comic world, Aaron Diaz, Braden Lamb. Lexxy Douglass, Carla Speed McNeil to name a few. As bonus, the book also contains exclusive comics made by Kris Straub, Ryan Pequin, Anthony Clark and KC Green. Those familiar with comics will recognize their names.
In the end it's interesting asking ourselves question if a machine could predict how we would die, would we really want to know?
If you want some different reading experience based on intriguing idea, be sure to read "This Is How You Die", you'll enjoy it.
If you haven't read the first Machine of Death book, stop reading and go buy it. Now. Then come back and buy this one.
If you are still reading this I assume you read both already and you know what I am talking about.
Well, I bring this up for the simple reason that it does not apply here. This is How You Die is about as much fun as you can have with a short story collection- dozens of looks into different worlds, but all of them sharing one thing- a Machine of Death that can spit out an infallible and unavoidable prediction of how you will die, but not with a when or details. This little idea offers up, it turns out, endless ways to approach mortality, loss, and fate, which would have been enough to be entertaining, but what I found here was a lot more. The first story made me realize, as I teared up a little, that there would also a lot about life and love, and as I went on I found humor, genre riffing, and just a whole lot of awesome. There are sci-fi stories, a children's book, a choose-your-own adventure, adventure, and quiet moments of contemplation. It's all over the place, but the central idea and the consistently high quality tie it all together. Some stories reminded me of The Twilight Zone, with well-earned twists, while others were downright meditative.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The Machine of Death story anthologies are all bound by one shared topic: in the world of the story, a machine exists that tells you your cause of death. Read morePublished 9 days ago by Thrifty Student
This is an excellent book. It's much better-written and organized than the first one and explores a lot more of the interesting possibilities of the Machine of Death technology.Published 1 month ago by Stephen A Smith
The concept of this book is clever and original. Each author writes a different story about this Death Machine which tells you how you'll die (and depending on the story, some... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Jessica
I love short science fiction stories so I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It can get a tad old by the end because of the recursive element within every story; however, the editors... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Jonathon Sanders
Great story that really makes you question the concept of fate. Each chapter is a different story with different characters, often in a different timeline, but all have one... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Theta Zero
I’m not a huge fan of short stories: I like to really get into the characters lives and the anticipation and the crescendo of a novel. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Haley Mathiot
I loved the first book, but had a harder time getting into this one - it may have just been that the stories in the original book were all about exploring what happens to people... Read morePublished 16 months ago by Ryan W. Mccauley
The follow-up to the original This is How You Die expands the series to whole new reaches. It is amazing the depth and breadth of treatment such a simple original idea has created. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Garrett Mccutcheon