My gateway drug into science fiction was this book: Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time. I was 7 or 8 years old when I picked it up in the school library, and I was hooked forever. It had words like tesseract and mitochondria, and maybe even physics. It was my first experience traveling to another planet and my first introduction to the speed of light.
A Wrinkle in Time is probably why I’ve never been satisfied that Einstein, brilliant though he was, is the last word in faster than light travel. Because as soon as the story introduced the concept of a light year, it also showed a way around the speed limit. Quite literally showed it, for the book had an illustration: a woman holding two ends of her skirt in her hands and demonstrating how far it would be for an tiny insect to travel across her skirt from one hand to the other. The next picture showed her bringing her hands together, thus “folding” the skirt (a wrinkle), and sure-as-I’m-breathing, the insect had arrived at the other point.
That was just so cool.
I did not know that a movie was made in 2003, but last night I rectified my ignorance and watched it. It’s always an uncertain proposition when Hollywood does movies like this. Would it be a “B” or “C” budget film with cheap puppets and stilted voice-overs? I was pretty sure it wasn’t top-notch all the way or I would have heard about it. But I was quite happy with it – good actors, good screenplay, good cinematography, good editing. Not-so-hot special effects. It had a 60’s Star Trek kind of feel in that regard. But it wasn’t bad enough to detract from my enjoyment.
Here’s a trailer. You might want to rent this on your next home movie night.