He was not alone.
There was nothing to indicate the fact but the white hand of the tiny gauge on the board before him. The control room was empty but for himself; there was no sound other than the murmur of the drives — but the white hand had moved. It had been on zero when the little ship was launched from the Stardust; now, an hour later, it had crept up. There was something in the supply closet across the room, it was saying, some kind of a body that radiated heat.
It could be but one kind of a body — a living, human body.
That is how the Cold Equations starts. Everything that happens next is driven by the terrible, awful math of space.
The Cold Equations still makes me cry. It is a very emotional story about how unfeeling equations determine all, that everything in space is defined by math.
That effects of that math can be devastating.
Nothing we think of as necessary to live on Earth means as much as math does in space.
Everything about the movie Gravity indicates it understands exactly this. The plot is almost exactly what one would expect from a Golden Era science fiction story – taut, emotional and all about the equations.
Those cold equations.