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Kurt Loder’s “Lost in Space” Is Cool as the Other Side of the Pillow

In response to Kurt Loder’s 679‑word review of Gravity on Reason Online

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Kurt Loder’s “Gravity: Bullock and Clooney lost in space” is as cool as the other side of the pillow, showcasing the skills of a veteran who’s totally in charge of his work.

Lost in Space is less sprawling epic than it is down-to-earth storytelling: Loder is found making sense of some gripping and ominous subject matter without losing his sense of directness. In fact, where some reviewers this season have made much of the which-way-is-up dynamic, Lost in Space is more to the point: the “customary notions of up and down,” scuttled though they may be, are left to be experienced rather than belabored upon.

This type of cool storytelling, a sort of hallmark of Loder’s work, doesn’t lack intensity.  Lost in Space is awash in a sense of austerity, the effort measured against the glut of over-exuberant nonsense that crowds the review world.  

With summary expertly handled in the piece’s first half, Loder leaves the reader without any further conclusion, as Lost in Space moves into “metanalysis”: his characters are cameras and concepts, ideas and their indurate representations. There’s finesse and subtlety that fiercely contrast the portion of story he’s afforded his audience.

When Lost in Space returns to a plot point, it forebodes rather than offering answers outright. Readers will balance nervousness with optimism at its fine conclusion.

The gambit is successful in nearly every way.  Lost in Space offers story, character, analysis, and careful attention to detail in a nearly spoil-free voyage that never overstays its welcome—a crowd-pleaser to be sure.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation