Perhaps science fiction needs to be saved from the very people who love it the most. Nostalgia for a form can be annihilating to creativity, so while its devotees are swamped in their own canon, trying to mine now-sacred texts for any new material, I wish a great writer or director with no particular affection for the genre would let his imagination loose and see what it yields. It happened 40 years ago, when Stanley Kubrick, following his own ice-cold muse and his fascination with science itself, decided he wanted to create something that “extended the range of science fiction,” a genre that didn’t particularly impress him. What nerve! The result was 2001: A Space Odyssey, which changed the game so completely that in movies, the sci-fi genre immediately vanished for a few years while everyone surveyed an irrevocably altered landscape.

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