Set in Stone

by Roger Russell

The convention center was full. People of all sorts were walking between stalls, chatting with each other or just walking around people watching.

The science fiction annual convention was looking to be successful, and most people appeared to be having a great time there.

Entering a side door two men quietly walked the corridor between two rows of exhibits. The non descript clothes weren't like anyone elses, but close enough to pass unnoticed. The two paused here and there listening to conversations, but something held them back from entering in.

Then spotting one author in a crowd, one man nodded to the other, and they approached his group.

"Have you thought about introducing a better propulsion system in one of your books?" He watched the writer closely.

"No!" The author's face grew red, and he squinted at the fellow for a moment, the continued.

"True science fiction has to have sound science, or it would ruin the whole story.

He puffed his chest out, and took a big breath, warming to the rant.

"That's why it's harder to write science fiction that a science textbook."

The two looked at each other, shrugged and the other tried again.

"But what if you could explain a plausible function of a plasma drive, so that it could make sense to your readers?

"You never know, they may develop one some day."

The author glared at him, affronted beyond belief.

"You wouldn't know how to write science fiction, I've read a book with a poor plasma drive that just didn't work at all.

"I don't even want to discuss this any more,"

Picking up his notebook the mifted man stomped towards his editors display.

The two men shook their heads and walked back towards the door they entered at.

"If he started writing in the 50's he'd say that transistors were impossible and violated the laws of physics.

The other nodded and added,

"They would never have made it into his books, that's for sure."

"Our portal to our year in 2437 will be open in 20 seconds, you ready to go home?"

In the distance the outraged author was still ranting,

"Science fiction with implausable mechanics, they might as well watch Harry Potter if they want junk science!"

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