Ah, the difference a single machine can make. The automobile, say. The telephone. Or how about a machine that can always tell when someone is lying — a sort of polygraph that truly works. Now wouldn’t that muck things up.

Such is the world imagined in a novel called The Truth Machine, which may be the first and only pre-publication novel posted on the Web. It won’t be in bookstores until October, but you can read it free by visiting: http://www.truthmachine.com.

Save yourself $22 by reading it on the Internet — and if you don’t like the way the plot thickens or his imagined world turns, click and shoot off a nasty critique to the author.

He is Jim Halperin, one-time Harvard whiz kid (like the book’s protagonist) turned mega-numismatist turned neo-novelist.


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