If a machine could predict how you would die, would you want to know? This is the tantalizing premise of This Is How You Die, the brilliant follow-up anthology to the self-published bestseller, Machine of Death.
THIS IS HOW YOU DIE
Stories of the Inscrutable, Infallible, Inescapable Machine of Death
The machines started popping up around the world. The offer was tempting: with a simple blood test, anyone could know how they would die. But the machines didn't give dates or specific circumstances-just a single word or phrase. DROWNED, CANCER, OLD AGE, CHOKED ON A HANDFUL OF POPCORN. And though the predictions were always accurate, they were also often frustratingly vague. OLD AGE, it turned out, could mean either dying of natural causes, or being shot by an elderly, bedridden man in a botched home invasion. The machines held onto that old-world sense of irony in death: you can know how it's going to happen, but you'll still be surprised when it does.
This addictive anthology--sinister, witty, existential, and fascinating--collects the best of the thousands of story submissions the editors received in the wake of the success of the first volume, and exceeds the first in every way.
This sequel to Machine of Death presents more tales and comics about the infallible contraption that tells you how you will die, but not when or where. The predictions are often cryptic "old age" could mean getting gunned down by an angry senior citizen but always enlightening. Sherlock Holmes encounters an MoD in John Takis's "Apitoxin," while another is preserved into the far future in Erika Hammerschmidt's "Furnace." An intrepid PI uses MoD result slips to hunt a serial killer in Daliso Chaponda's "Screaming, Crying, Alone, and Afraid." Richard Salter's choose-your-own-adventure-styled "Your Choice" lets the reader select an ending. Not every story ends with death, but each does an interesting job of presenting characters' reactions resignation, defiance, joy to acquiring this incredible knowledge. This fun, thoughtful, and sometimes dark anthology will stir readers to wonder about their own "results."