Thursday, August 18, 2016


Pros and Cons
By Matt Hollingsworth

Pros and cons of downloading my consciousness into a robot replica
1. Pro: robots are awesome.
2. Pro: Aunt Jennie is already a robot.
3. Pro: not dying (that’s a big one).
4. Con: excruciating pain/possible death.
5. Con: I’ll go to Hell. At least that’s what the guy on the street told me.
6. Con: No sex. Like ever.
7. Con: will it really be me? Maybe I will die with my body leaving only a machine with my memories who thinks it’s me. Maybe I shouldn’t have taken that philosophy class back in college
8. Con: Every morning for the rest of her life, my wife will have to go to bed alongside a metal husk, to wake up with him, to be comforted by him, to grow old while I stay the same.

Pros and cons of telling my wife that I’m dying and may need to download my consciousness into a robot replica
1. Pro: My wife is my best friend and I should talk to her before making any major life decisions.
2. Pro: She’d probably be more help making this decision than a pro and con list.
3. Pro: This will affect her life too and she deserves to know.
4. Pro: I love her and all that jazz.
5. Con: …I really wish I had something to put here

Pros and cons of seeking other treatment
1. Pro: radiation poisoning is sometimes survivable…
2. Pro: They have that new treatment that I heard about on the news. No, not the one that was recently discovered to turn people into flesh eating zombies, the other one.
3. Pro: I can get a clone. True, I’ll die but Emily will have a copy of me with a dick that isn’t made of cast iron. She doesn’t even have to know it isn’t me. Doesn’t she deserve that?
4. Con: Yeah, about that clone thing. Should I lie to someone to make them happy? Should we seek the truth even when it’s unpleasant? Damn it Mr. Fredrickson, I really shouldn’t have taken your class.

Pros and cons of taking that philosophy class with Mr. Fredrickson
1. Con: It’s not making this decision any easier.
2. Con: Waste of money.
3. Con: Existential angst, anyone?
4. Pro: I’ve already taken it so it’s useless talking about it now. Nice try, subconscious, you Freudian bastard, but I’m not getting distracted that easily.

Pros and cons of getting distracted that easily and not dealing with this
1. Pro: I might actually get some sleep tonight.
2. Con: I still have to make a decision.
3. Con: Emily is starting to suspect that something is wrong. She caught me wandering around the house last night after she’d gone to bed. When she asked what was upsetting me, I said something to her that I really shouldn’t have and she stormed off in tears.

Pros and cons for apologizing to Emily
1. Pros: Plus ten points to relationship status.
2. Pros: Make-up sex (it’s heavenly).
3. Con: She’d still want to know what was upsetting me and I’d have to tell her.

Pros and cons for jumping off the roof of my apartment
1. Pro: Wouldn’t have to make this decision.
2. Pro: I’m already here so I might as well.
3. Con: I’m not seriously thinking about jumping off my roof but, man, do I feel like shit right now. I serve my country in the Colony Wars and this is what I get. I should never have signed up but 18-year-old me wanted to go gallivanting about the cosmos. I wish I could go back in time and tell my past self not to sign up.

Pros and cons for using time travel to warn my past self not to sign up for the military
1. Con: I’s illegal.
2. Con: Paradoxes, I think. Real time travel is so confusing.
3. Con: I wouldn’t have met Emily and as much as this situation pains me, she is still the best thing to ever happen to me and I wouldn’t give her up for anything.
4. Con: That’s it. I can’t deal with this anymore. I’m telling her.

Pros and cons of telling my wife that I’m dying and may need to download my consciousness into a robot replica (reflecting back)
1. Pro: Well, we’ve reached a decision. As it turns out I wasn’t the only one hiding something

Pros and cons of my life after finding out that my wife also had a terminal disease and we both downloaded our consciousnesses into robot replicas.
1. Pro: Start of a robot army?
2. Pro: We now have something to talk with Aunt Jennie about at our family reunions.
3. Pro: I’m not dead.
4. Pro: Fuck that guy on the street. I don’t believe in a God that would ask a man to leave his wife a widow when he didn’t have to.
5. Pro: You know that you can get these fancy robot genitals now? It’s less weird than it sounds.
6. Con: Are we still us? Maybe we’re just robots who think they used to be human? Who the hell cares?
7. Pro: Every relationship goes through changes, transitions. I was scared about what this procedure would do to our relationship but I didn’t have to be. Emily and I promised to be there for each other, to love and cherish each other so long as we both shall live. Nothing about that has changed. I am still her husband and she is still my wife and even though things are different now, we can face that change together.

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Matt Hollingsworth is a writer of science fiction and fantasy. Read his blog at

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