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Grove, William

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author.

Pseudonym of Reginald Colebrooke Reade (1853-1891), UK architect, surveyor, school administrator and author of two novels of genre interest: A Mexican Mystery (1888) and its sequel, The Wreck of a World (1889). In the first volume, a brilliant Mexican engineer, descended from Montezuma, designs a self-feeding locomotive which, after his death, turns into a kind of Frankenstein Monster: malign; essentially indestructible; worshipped by savages in the deep mountains. (Hints that it/He is a kind of avenging spirit of the ancient Aztecs are implicit only.) In the sequel, set in the twentieth century, the locomotive has infected all sorts of engines with consciousness, leading them to revolt against the human race, which has become extremely dependent upon them. By 1950, humanity has been driven from the continental USA; the protagonists of the tale settle in Hawaii, where they create a Utopia. The Wreck of a World is an extremely early example of the Revolt of the Machines tale (see Paranoia; Robots; Technology), and merits more attention. [JC]

Reginald Colebrooke Reade

born Datchet, Buckinghamshire: 25 August 1853

died Dartmouth, Devon: 29 June 1891



Revolt of the Machines


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