Pattern Recognition Science Fiction?
I don't think so. Of course Science Fiction is already a fairly ill defined genre. However, I would define Science fiction as having a What if? Statement that is explored in the novel. For example, The Left Hand of Darkness asked what if there was a planet of androgynies. Neuromancer asked what if there were a world wide information network and AIs in habiting it. Pattern Recognition doesn't make any such supposition to me. It seems like a perfectly acceptable story that could really happen in real life, and for me that means that it is just fiction. Everything in Pattern Recognition was based in reality in a way that Science Fiction doesn't seem to be. The most far fetched thing was Cayce's allergy to trademarks and brands, but as a psychosomatic disorder, it seems like it could happen. The rampant use of email can be used as an example of science in the fiction, but it appears just like normal life. Had this book been set 10-15 years ago, I could see email being as ubiquitous as it is in the novel as a argument for science fiction, but because people actually use email as often as it is used in the book it no longer seems out of the ordinary. Meeting people from forums is also old hat. The story of people meeting online, dating, and then falling in love and marrying is now a common place story. Pattern Recognition is a good book, but I can't consider it science fiction.