Three kids let loose with a top-secret magical machine with a mind of it’s own . . . What could possibly go wrong? Olly, Stevie and Bird have just had a very special delivery. It’s a machine that has a name, can speak and is able to print ANYTHING they want it to. How about a never-ending supply of sweets and a cool swimming pool in the shed, for starters? But is getting everything you’ve ever wished for all it’s cracked up to be?
*Publishe by Scholastic
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34069297-the-everything-machine
10 Random Things about The Everything Machine
In my new book ‘The Everything Machine,’ Olly, eleven, gets a wrong delivery. Instead of the rabbit hutch, he gets an ultra-powerful, 3D printing machine. It can make anything. Olly and his siblings go on a wild printing spree, making endless sweets, and a swimming pool. Then they make a robotic replica of their dad. But this robot dad, trying to behave like the real thing, gets it very wrong.
1) The book was nearly called ‘Mister Rob,’ which is the name the children give their dad-bot. But we decided that was too spooky and not catchy enough.
2) The children’s mum has a business called ‘Bloomers’ which makes massive ladies pants. I stole this idea from myself. A few years ago I was poised to start my own business doing the same… I think my children are very relieved we don’t have a van, like Olly’s mum, with *BLOOMERS*WELL MADE* SECURE* GORGEOUS* printed on the sides.
3) The Dad-bot, or Mister Rob is DESPERATE for a mission. So the children give him orders. I was inspired by the idea of a genie giving three wishes to whomever lets him out of the bottle. And, as is so often the case in these stories, as the wishes get bigger, so do the mistakes!
5) I have another character called Bird, which is the nickname of Olly’s techie-sister, in my YA chiller-thriller book ‘Bedlam.’ I didn’t remember this until the book was finished. How thick am I?
6) Mister-Rob, the Dad-bot, overhears the children saying how they wish they could make Mum happy. He is very logical, so he decides that if he destroys MAZZO, the computer game they play all the time then Mum will be pleased. But destroying MAZZO means breaking in to a massive Server Farm and hacking into the machines. The biggest server farm in the world is thought to belong to Google. (look it up!) But Facebook have a giant Server farm on the edge of the Arctic Circle, the cold air means they have to spend less on keeping the machines cool.
7) Mister Rob also decides he can ‘Make Mum Happy’ by taking her to a Welsh holiday cottage. He has to kidnap her however, and when the children’s real dad turns up to help rescue her, he has to convince her, from behind a locked door, that he is not a robot! Mum asks real-dad a series of questions, based on the Turing test of 1950. Alan Turing devised the test to see if a computer was capable of intelligent behaviour, and to see if they could be distinguished from a real person!
8) My husband, Dan, wrote the code in the book. In the story the 3D printer is called Russell, and when he is making the Dad-bot, he buries a technical bug in the code which means every so often there is a ‘thought-leak,’ and a page of code is printed, revealing the Dad-bot’s secret thoughts.
9) Olly and his brother, Stevie, are obsessed with football. I stole this idea from my own sons, and like them, Olly and Stevie cannot resist kicking around anything that comes into their path, be it a football, a school bag, clean washing.. a pebble….. even when the adventure is closing in all around them!
10) In one of the early drafts, Mister Rob gets the printer to make a robot baby, a replica of Olly’s baby sister, Ella, but this was really creepy, so we left it out.
About the Author
Ally Kennen has been an archaeologist, museum guard and singer-songwriter. Her dark and thrilling teen novels have been nominated for over eleven literary awards. She lives in Somerset with her husband and four children.