the machine stops


 
The Machine Stops is a science fiction short story or novella by E. M. Forster, first published in 1909. Here is the story’s setting as Wikipedia’s plot summary has it:

The story describes a world in which most of the human population has lost the ability to live on the surface of the Earth. Each individual now lives in isolation below ground in a standard ‘cell’, with all bodily and spiritual needs met by the omnipotent, global Machine. Travel is permitted but unpopular and rarely necessary. Communication is made via a kind of instant messaging/video conferencing machine called the speaking apparatus, with which people conduct their only activity, the sharing of ideas and knowledge.

Sounds familiar? Remember: The story was originally published in 1909!
    In 1966 the BBC aired a television adaptation (see above) as the first episode of the second season of the science fiction series Out of the Unknown.’ The episodes listing shows that for the series stories by an impressive roster of New Wave Science Fiction authors were adapted.

FORSTER, EDWARD MORGAN. 1909. The machine stops. The Oxford and Cambridge Review 8.
SAVILLE, PHILIP. 1966. The machine stops [TV series episode]. Out of the Unknown 2(1). London: BBC.
found by SAS—tnx!
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