An Introduction to the Complete Works of David Blume (Part 2)

"What, am I King Midas, trusting only the reeds bobbing about in the wind to whisper the secret that I have ass’s ears? And did not the wind and the reeds divulge this secret to all anyway? So do I understand that when I write, even these lines, unless I burn them, they will be read, perhaps not in my lifetime, but nonetheless by someone."

An Introduction to the Complete Works of David Blume (Part 1)

If you presume to study English literature, even a little, at this technical institute (then first of all, get better at math or god help you, but never mind that for now), you will inevitably cross paths with Dr. Jonathan Stanton, and when you do, like the old Dickens tale everyone likes, you must understand two things, or nothing that will follow will seem wondrous: one, that the recently-tenured Dr. Stanton is the leading scholar in the world on the eighteenth-century English wit and memoirist David Blume, whose impressive collection of personal diaries and letters comprises his sole literary output. And two, obviously, that David Blume doesn’t exist, and never did.

Frank and Gordon in: Crushed by a Falling Meteorite (A Machine of Death story)

—Hey Frank, wouldn't it be great if there was a machine that could predict someone's death? Where you would give the machine a sample of your blood and it would spit out a paper that would accurately reveal the cause of your own death on a little sheet of paper? But it wouldn't tell you when or where it happens, so people spend their whole lives worrying about it? And this machine would delight in ironically vague deaths, so you could never really know exactly how you would die? Like if your prediction said “natural causes,” you could still die from like a wild koala bear attack or something like that? Wouldn't that really be something? —I guess so, Gordon. But why are we wearing these dinosaur costumes?