The Forever Machine

Frank Riley, Mark Clifton
The Forever Machine Cover

The Forever Machine


This novel won the second Hugo award. It is also famous for being the worst book to ever win a Hugo. Considering the fact that there was some heavy competition that year, such as Mission of Gravity by Hal Clement, I am Legend by Richard Matheson and Brain Wave by Poul Anderson, I can see how its choice may have had some grumbling, but to tell the truth, I enjoyed it.

What would happen if there was a machine that had the capabilities of a super computer that had the potential of fixing all of the world's problems, oh and as a side effect it could make you immortal. Naturally there would be some intrigue and power races. There is a small catch, in order to become immortal, you would need to let go of all your prejudices and beliefs. You see Bossy (the name of this super computer) can only deal with facts, undeniable hard line truth. Most people are comfy believing that they are the pinnacle of creation. If only the whole world could think like me! But all beliefs are nothing but another word for prejudice or opinions. If you couldn't let go and accept the truth of science, than Bossy could not help you attain immortality.

The novel is also known by its serialized title as it ran in a magazine before book publication. That title is "They'd rather Be right" Think about it, if you had to be willing to let go of all that you believe in, could you do it?