The Machine Stops
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The main character's son is a bit eccentric and decides to venture out beyond the confines of the machine controlled environment where there has been ecological disaster which is viewed as criminal. Finally, the 'machine' begins to breakdown, but by this time, no one is competent to repair and at the same time totally unprepared for a machineless lifestyle.
I admit I have read few stories contemporary to The Machine Stops, mostly in two anthologies curated by Asimov. So far I think this story could precede and inspire a whole important thematic inside the science fiction literature: the one of illusory post-apocalyptic utopias where mankind has lost its essence trading it for the dependence to the intelligent machines meant originally to help us.
Good read. Oh, and it’s only 40+ pages long.
Top international reviews
Awesome and troublesome and so close to today that it amazes