Sex in space is still more
a matter of science fiction than public record -- and soon it might even
be award-winning science fiction.
The Uranus Experiment:
Part 2, an adult film produced by Barcelona-based Private Media Group,
is up for a Nebula award, science fiction's highest professional honor.
Private Media referred to
the nomination for best script from the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers
of America (SFWA) as "prestigious," and issued a press release commemorating
"It's great to get recognition,"
Private President and CEO Berth Milton told SPACE.com in an exclusive
"Y'know, in some ways there
are similarities between how people perceive our industries. Some people
watch science fiction movies, enjoy them, but then turn around and make
fun of 'Trekkies' or Star Wars fans. In much the same way, people enjoy
our products and services, but often don't admit to it in public."
Close encounter of a unique
Writer-director John Millerman
looked back to classic science fiction trilogies like Star Wars
and Foundation for the Uranus Experiment saga, allowing his
epic story of sex in space to unfold over the course of three films.
Whether it wins the Nebula
on Saturday or not, the series will retain a unique place in cinematic
history thanks to the first installment, which boasts the first explicit
sex scene shot in zero gravity conditions.
The scene was filmed by flying
an airplane to an altitude of 11,000 feet. The plane, containing performers
Sylvia Saint and Nick Lang, then went into a steep dive, creating the momentary
illusion of weightlessness.
Insiders described the filming
process as particularly messy from a technical and logistical standpoint.
Budgeting constraints allowed
Saint and Lang, who portray astronauts, only one shot at a perfect zero-G
take, leaving the actors with only a narrow 20-second window of time in
which to launch themselves toward one another and complete the scene.
Protest, joke or achievement?
Despite the technological
innovations involved in the series, some high-ranking members of the SFWA
were not amused by the Nebula nomination.
"The Uranus Experiment
Part Two was placed on the Nebula ballot by a bloc of writers who were
(1) protesting the fact that the SFWA members voted to re-institute the
Dramatic Nebula award, and (2) thought it would be 'fun' to put a hardcore
porn film on the ballot," said Ann C. Crispin, SFWA vice president.
"Not my idea of a joke, but
perhaps I'm humor-impaired."
Crispin added that the SFWA
"is not happy" about the choice, but "we're not in the business of censoring
our members' choices."
She did not expect the film
to win the award.
The other films nominated
for the Nebula are The Matrix, The Sixth Sense, The Iron Giant and
Showtime original The Devil's Arithmetic.