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Machine of Death: A Collection of Stories About People Who Know How They Will Die
by Ryan North
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The machine had been invented a few years ago: a machine that could tell, from just a sample of your blood, how you were going to die. No dates, no details. Just a slip of paper with a few words spelling out your ultimate fate -- at once all-too specific and maddeningly vague.A top ten Amazon Customer Favorite in Science Fiction & Fantasy for 2010, The Machine of Death is an anthology of original stories bound together by a central premise. From the humorous to the adventurous to the mind-bending to the touching, the writers explore what the world would be like if a blood test could predict your death.But don't think for a moment this is a book entirely composed of stories about people meeting their ironic dooms. There is some of that, of course. But more than that, this is a genre-hopping collection of tales about people who have learned more about themselves then perhaps they should have, and how that knowledge affects their relationships, their perception of the world, and how they feel about themselves.Features thirty-four stories by Randall Munroe, Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw, Tom Francis, Camille Alexa, Erin McKean, James L. Sutter, David Malki !, Ryan North, and many othersFeatures illustrations by Kate Beaton, Kazu Kibuishi, Aaron Diaz, Jeffrey Brown, Scott C., Roger Langridge, Karl Kershl, Cameron Stewart, and many others ReviewMachine of Death is a lot of fun.... Highly engaging, interestingly crowdsourced, and crafted with a great deal of care. You'll be thinking about it long after you're through reading. --Chris Greenland, Tor.comBut 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... -- Hannah Strom-Martin, Strange Horizons"Machine of Death is a marvelous collection, riddled with intelligence, creative reach, and a frankness that makes the best use of the central gimmick." — Tasha Robinson, The Onion A.V. Club"For an anthology that deals with the inevitability of death, Machine of Death is a lot of fun. The editors knew not to start off heavy, nor does the tone of the anthology lean too long in any direction, providing a lot of singular entertainment for the reader . . . Highly engaging, interestingly crowdsourced, and crafted with a great deal of care. You’ll be thinking about it long after you’re through reading." — Chris Greenwood, TOR.com"The only consistent entity is the presence of the Machine of Death; the appearance of the machine, the depth of its integration into culture, and peoples’ responses to it and its predictions vary from story to story. This is both wonderful and frustrating — each story offers up a uniquely interesting take on the Machine of Death, which is impressive, but sometimes I found myself so taken in by one writer’s universe that I wanted it to serve as canon to the rest of the book. It’s not a bad complaint to have, and it’s the only one I can muster . . . The book is just too good to pass up." — Andrew Cunningham, Charge Shot!!!"Picking just one good story in the Machine of Death anthology is like any of its characters escaping their foretold deaths — impossible." Rating: 4/4 — Christine Cabalo, Hawaii Marine"Recalls the best writings of Harlan Ellison and Charles Beaumont and easily one of the most engaging slices of short stories I’ve had the pleasure to read in quite a long while. After all the years of picking up short story collections that inevitably disappoint, Machine of Death brought me laughs, terror and tears . . . Highly recommended." — Maurice Greenwood, Paradox MagazineAbout the AuthorRyan North is an author who lives in Toronto. He writes a comic strip called "Dinosaur Comics" which you can pick up in book form at your local bookstore, or which you can just read for free at Qwantz.com. They're pretty okay!Matthew Bennardo has lived in Cleveland for the past twenty years. His stories have previously been published in Asimov's Science Fiction and Strange Horizons, among other markets. David Malki ! is the author of the Eisner-, Harvey- and Ignatz-nominated comic strip "Wondermark." His latest collection is Dapper Caps & Pedal-Copters, published by Dark Horse Books. He lives in Los Angeles and he likes to fly airplanes. Read his comics at Wondermark.com.Randall Munroe, a cartoonist from southern Virginia, is the creator of the webcomic "xkcd" (xkcd.com), one of the most popular comics on the Internet. Formerly a roboticist at NASA, he now makes a living writing comics. He spends his time drawing, traveling, and training computers to beat humans at Rock-Paper-Scissors. He lives in Massachusetts.Kate Beaton draws men in fancy hats for a living. On an exciting day she'll draw a character with epaulets. Visit her at Harkavagrant.com.
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- EPUB format
- ISBN: 9780982167120