Menace of the Machine


A collection of rare and beloved stories from fiction expert Mike Ashley, containing classic depictions of what we now recognize as the internet from the late Victorian and Edwardian eras to the 60s.

Product details

Technological advance is never straightforward. A man is murdered by an automaton built for chess. A computer system designed to arbitrate justice develops a taste for iron-fisted, fatal rulings. An AI governing what we now know as an internet wreaks havoc on society after removing all forms of censorship.

Assembled with parts from the late 19th century to the 1960s, this new collection of classic stories warns of the possible threats, both comic and severe, of a world in which human and machine live side by side.

A delightfully, and worryingly, prescient selection for today’s world in which robotic coexistence is passing with each day from speculation to reality.

About the editor: Mike Ashley is the author and editor of more than sixty books, and is one of the foremost historians of popular fiction. His books include Adventures in The Strand, Out of This World, and The Age of Storytellers: British Popular Fiction Magazines 1880–1950. His multi-volume history of science fiction magazines is published by Liverpool University Press.

Mike Ashley ed.
British Library Publishing
Publication date
April 2019
190 x 130 mm

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