I recently saw, as did I suspect about 175% of all of sf fans, the Alfonso Cuarón film Gravity, a story about astronauts on the International Space Station dealing with a catastrophic accident. It’s a riveting piece of filmmaking, simultaneously epic and claustrophobic, graceful and harrowing and beautiful in small things and large.
A few days later, Jonathan Strahan said on Twitter <bit.ly/NYRSFGravityTweet>, “Interested that there is a question over whether Cuarón’s Gravity is sf.” On its face, I find this question predecided—the makers of Gravity did their best to make everything in the film not merely possible (the hallmark of a certain flavor of sf) but actual. There’s no thing in Gravity that is a novum, nothing (absent some scientific errors) that couldn’t happen today, or yesterday, to the actual crew of the actual ISS. In this sense, calling Gravity a “science fiction” film makes no more sense than calling The Pelican Brief “alternate history” on the basis that no one has actually assassinated a Supreme Court justice.