The Machine by James Smythe

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Shortlisted for the Arthur C Clarke Award 2014, this is a Frankenstein tale for our time from one of the UK’s brightest new literary talents.

Vic returned from war tormented by his nightmares. His once happy marriage to Beth all but disintegrated. A machine promised salvation, purging him of all memory.

Now the machines are gone, declared too controversial, the side-effects too harmful. But within Beth’s flat is an ever-whirring black box. She knows that memories can be put back and that she can rebuild her husband piece by piece.

A Frankenstein tale for the 21st century, The Machine is a story of the indelibility of memory, the human cost of science and the horrors of love.


About James Smythe

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A native of London, James Smythe holds a Ph.D. from Cardiff University. He has taught creative writing and is currently writer/narrative designer for a major forthcoming video game. He lives on the grounds of a boarding school in West Sussex. Folow him on twitter @jpsmythe.
Published April 11, 2013 by Blue Door. 328 pages
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Machine


From the very outset of this nightmarish tale, she systematically puts into action the plan she’s dreamed of since the day the Machine took her husband away: she’s going to evict Vic from the care home he’s been wasting away in, and simply rebuild him, memory by individual memory… using a treasur...

Mar 22 2013 | Read Full Review of The Machine

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