Today dear reader I am reviewing Machine Journey (Published paperback – 23 Mar. 2022) By Richard Doyle. A big thank you to Isabelle from Kenyon Author Services for sending me a copy to read and review, always appreciated.
Machine Journey is a pamphlet of prose poems and flash fictions. Travel the road from Slough to Mars. Discover wild visions, strange tales and machine futures. Scramble your way to the perfect swimming stroke. Doyle leads us through museums, galleries and cobbled towns with a touch of Science Fiction and dark humour…
About the Author
Richard Doyle is an old-school SF fan who began writing seriously in 2001. He has a Diploma in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia and collaborated on a book in 2006. He has had poems published in the UK poetry magazines Orbis and Sarasvati and is a regular member of the Bristol Stanza Poetry Group. His debut pamphlet “The death of the sentence” was published in 2020. Two of his poems appear in the Bristol Stanza pamphlet “The Weather Indoors” (2021).
Prepare to travel to the depths of space, galaxies far and wide, mysteries unknown, oh and the streets of Slough. Discover a collection of prose poems and flash fictions within this pamphlet dear reader that will give you cause for pause.
These poems make the reader think and have a sci-fi feel to them. They speak of stone computers and the trouble with spaceships. Doyle adds a dash of humour to keep things lighthearted, one must never take oneself too seriously in this day and age.
In Music on her Mind a batch of CDs are being sold on Gumtree for £20,000. The poem speaks of how since the Blackout the demand for original music recordings has shot through the roof. The seller wishes to be rid of them, they have been tampered with and could not be restored. The seller would have to visit an AI clinic to sort out the mess. It takes the reader back to the times before digital music was a thing, everything was on vinyl, cassette or CDs, and allows them to envision a future where music is no longer a comfort but a tool to earn money. A scary comparison to how the music industry today is quickly becoming a numbers game where the music is just a tangled mess.
I enjoyed The Stone Computer as it made me think about how much our lives revolve around a screen. How our fast typing is like music in ways and asking ourselves why did we spend so many hours staring into the luminous void. Because dear reader when you think about it, if you take away the content that is being shown on the screen, we are just gazing into a screen, zombified. We are free to leave our computers whenever we want but there is always that urge to stay. To resist leaving a little longer, we become addicted to it. Doyle shows the reader how in the future devices such as computers, iPhones, will be on display in museums much like typewriters and the like are. It is strange to think that future generations will look back and wonder what we found so wonderful on the blank screen in front of us, why we spend hours upon hours devoted to it rather than living in the moment. It baffles me now dear reader, we all need to limit our screen time for our mental health.
Doyle explores themes of the human condition in The Perfect Stroke. The poem dives into how the best thing about swimming is that sense of freedom you feel. You have no clothes, money or shoes and work is far from your mind. It’s just you and the water. This poem plunges into how swimming is the connection with our ancient past, that our bodies were meant to swim. It’s fascinating to read and makes you think about evolution and how we once had webbed hands and feet. It boggles the mind but is a interesting place to discover.
I give Machine Journey By Richard Doyle a Four out of Five paw rating.
Alluring and intriguing Doyle takes you on a journey of wild visions and strange tales that will leave you with all the questions.
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