What If

It is true that science fiction emerges from the imagination of specific premises, the imagined responses to what if? The elaboration of those premises through compelling characters makes good fiction. Sawyer is quick to observe that characters should not fit their premises too comfortably. Again, a character always will embody some kind of contradiction. Here is where the robot metaphor falters. Our characters' contradictory impulses are not always progammable. And as we have discussed, many writers feel their characters take on lives of their own. Hmm, might be a premise for a science fiction story. Perhaps, it's further evidence that characters are robots. Certainly, plenty of sci fi stories feature robots or machines bent on coming to "life."

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