Machine Man (novel)

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Machine Man
Author Max Barry
Cover artist Matt Roeser
Country Australia
Language English
Genre Novel, Thriller, Science Fiction
Publisher Vintage
Publication date
9 August 2011
Media type Print Paperback & E-book
Pages 288 pp (Paperback)
ISBN 0-307-47689-8 (Paperback)
OCLC 687652342
813/.54 22
LC Class PS3552.A7424 M31 2011
Preceded by Company
Followed by Lexicon

Machine Man is a novel written by Max Barry. Published in 2011, it is Barry's fourth novel, following 2006's Company. It was originally released as an online serial, but was then updated and published as a book.


  • Dr. Charles Neumann – mechanical engineer
  • Dr. Angelica Austin – Charles Neumann's medical doctor
  • Lola Shanks – Physical Therapist and Charles Neumann's love interest
  • Cassandra Cautery – A middle manager, Better Future
  • Carl LaRussos – Security Guard, Better Future
  • The Manager – Better Future's CEO


Charles Neumann is a mechanical engineer working at Better Future, a military research company. After losing one of his legs in a hydraulic clamp, he begins to tinker with leg prosthetics. The replacements he builds are so advanced that he amputates his remaining leg in order to make full use of them. Better Futures provides him with his own research division in cybernetics, first aimed at selling medical prosthetics, then at augmentations for private customers and finally at creating augmented soldiers. This eventually leads him to accidentally cut off his hand. Meanwhile, his assistants invent all new things involving the body. He falls in love with Lola, and befriends his body guard Carl.

Over the course of events, Neumann gradually replaces more body parts with machinery, suffering various psychological side effects in the process. After first being rebuilt from the neck down as a machine soldier, his mind is eventually uploaded into a computer.