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DarlingRhadamanthus's avatar

Does anyone know the name/author of this futuristic story/novel? (Details)

Asked by DarlingRhadamanthus (11250points) June 2nd, 2011

A few years ago, a friend of mine forwarded a short story/novella written by a well-known writer of the past (as in early 20th century.) I cannot remember if it was H.G. Wells, Huxley, Orwell…it was a well-known writer similar to them (as I recall.) This was not a science-fiction writer per se just someone who had written a novel set in the future. (But I’m not even sure of that entirely.)

Anyway, the thing that stood out for me was that it opened by describing something that was exactly like a laptop and how a laptop functions today even though this was written a long time ago.

I set this story aside and when I got time to read it, I could not find it. So, I am hoping that someone can shed light on this story/author. For some reason, I keep remembering the word “Sunday” and “October”....but I am absolutely not sure of this, I may be thinking of another story altogether when I mention those words.

I would like to tell you what the story is about…but I never finished it…the only thing I remember is how strange it was that in a story written decades ago, someone could have so uncannily described a laptop computer.

Any ideas at all, anyone? I know this is a longshot but thank you soooooooooo much!

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5 Answers

FluffyChicken's avatar

Inherit the Stars by James P. Hogan

WasCy's avatar

My own thought was The Last Question by Isaac Asimov, but that’s about a giant computer (the way everyone in 1956 who knew anything about computers figured they would be… bigger and bigger, not smaller and smaller).

FluffyChicken's avatar

Inherit the Stars mentions a computer that is like a briefcase.

DarlingRhadamanthus's avatar

Hi, Everyone…

Sorry to get back to you a bit late. I found the story…it is called: “The Machine Stops” by EM Forster (Author of Passage to India). It was written in 1909. I knew it was a much earlier work than what you mentioned…but I needed to make sure of it before I posted anything. It was first published in the Oxford/Cambridge Review.

Thank you anyway for your help (lurve coming to you)....this is, by the way, a very interesting, evocative story.

dialectical1's avatar

Ha, I opened this because of interest in sci-fi… and am so impressed to learn that Em Forster, who wrote stuff that’s the basis of the best historical costume dramas (films) out there came up with such an astonishing idea (for the time & for my apparently limited conception of his thinking/writing)! That’s by far the coolest thing I learned today! :D

I can’t wait to read this with my late dinner!! :D

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