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This review is from: Machine of Death: A collection of stories about people who know how they will die (Kindle Edition)The simple but fascinating premise of all these stories is that a machine exists which can sample your blood and then predict how you are going to die: not in great detail, but just in an all-caps short sentence or even single word such as CANCER or DROWNING or SHOT BY SNIPER or VEGETABLES or IMPROPERLY PREPARED BLOWFISH or even TORN APART AND DEVOURED BY LIONS. All of those are story titles from this collection which ranges in tone from deeply satirical to the sweet and touching, via some full-blown dystopias and works of brilliantly funny black comedy.
How would life be different if you knew how you were going to die (or thought you did)? These stories look at every aspect of society: teenage cliques based on how cool your predicted death is; unemployed astrologers who no longer have a trade to peddle; dinner party games matching the prediction to the guest; fearless pilots who fly dangerously knowing that a crash is not how they are fated to go. The style of writing varies tremendously and some stories feel more professional than others but there's a fascinating range of responses here and overall this is a thought-provoking and entertaining collection. Highly recommended.