Places to Tesseract To

Posted by Nick Beard

In Madeleine L’Engle’s classic A Wrinkle in Time, the characters quickly come to realize the advantages of using a tesseract (the titular wrinkle in time) in order to travel instantaneously to other planets. The Newbery Award-winning novel tells the story of the Murry children as they rescue their father from Camazotz, a dark planet of conformity. But as sequels to A Wrinkle in Time demonstrate, tesseracting can take the Murrys anywhere or anytime, from the farthest reaches of the galaxy into the tiniest cells.  Since the Murrys have unlimited frequent flyer miles to tesser to any time and place, we’ve got some recommendations for their next vacations!


Alex Murry, the USS Enterprise

Dr. Alex Murry, the father of the Murry clan, has long been interested in faster than light travel.  It seems natural that Dr. Murry would want to visit one of the pioneers of warp drive engineering and transporting: Montgomery Scott, the chief engineer of the USS Enterprise.  Scotty comes from a long line of Scottish technological pioneers, and unlike his generic red shirt accomplices, he’s also wise and calculating.  He created an innovative form of transwarp transporting and would doubtless be eager to work with Dr. Murry in order to make tesseracting more accessible not only to humans, but to all species within the United Federation of Planets.

Dr. Murry, whose alien encounters resulted in his imprisonment on Camazotz, would be thrilled to see the way that the United Federation of Planets have been able to build a successful interplanetary government, with democracy and human rights – a dream of the socially-minded Murrys.


Calvin O’Keefe, Serenity

Ah, Calvin: an early crush of generations of middle schoolers.  He starts off as a popular athlete, but he has a firm sense that he’s different from everyone else. Upon meeting the Murry family, Calvin falls in love with Meg, a relationship which later leads to the two of them marrying and working to improve the human immune system (through experimental research with starfish, no less.)  Calvin, with both an MD and PhD, is an idealist determined to use medicine to improve the human body and humanity. He brings to mind another good-looking doctor who uses his precocious genius to enhance lives: Dr. Simon Tam from Firefly.  Dr. Tam is also a prodigy interested in medicine, and eventually becomes a trauma surgeon.  But when the governing Alliance tortures his beloved younger sister, River, until she escapes, Simon is forced to abandon his dreams and go on the run in order to protect River and her prodigious mental gifts. Along the way, he becomes a frontier doctor as part of the Serenity crew.

Simon still maintains an interest in medical developments, and would likely enjoy comparing his high-tech surgeries with Calvin’s experimental procedures. After all, both Simon and Calvin would benefit from exchanging their techniques. Inter-dimensional bonding in the name of science and progress: what’s not to love? Ah, the bromance that would result!


Polyhymnia O’Keefe, Westeros

To put it mildly, Polly O’Keefe is an adventurous sort. She travels to Greece, South America, Portugal, and even the distant past before the arrival of white settlers in modern-day Connecticut.  Polly attempts to be culturally aware, and she has a knack for foreign languages. When meeting the People of the Wind, the indigenous residents of her grandparents’ farm in Connecticut (three thousand years before her birth), she works to communicate with them, understand their traditions, and improve their irrigation systems to reduce droughts. The logical place for her to tesseract to? Westeros, where Polly can explore to her heart’s content.

Just imagine these scenarios: Polly analyzing the egalitarian culture of Dorne with its strong female rulers, Polly taking in the beautiful natural charm of the Eyrie, Polly exploring the cosmopolitan city of King’s Landing. She would study historical lore with the maesters in Oldtown – if she could manage to override their prejudice against female apprentices, of course (and if anyone can manage that, it’s Polly). Westeros is chock-full of new cultures and adventures, so a place where she can ride with lady knight Brienne or train as an assassin with Arya Stark would certainly meet Polly’s need for excitement and exploration.


Charles Wallace Murry, Rivers of London

The most mysterious and offbeat of the Murry siblings, Charles Wallace has the most extreme adventures – from having his mitochondria attacked by supernatural beings to journeying through time on the back of a unicorn.  Later in the series, his niece Polly mentions that Charles Wallace has departed the family home for a top-secret government job.  The implication: he’s continuing his father’s work with space travel and tesseracts – and his own experiences with magic.

Charles Wallace would enjoy the challenge of dealing with the various fae, unicorns and magic practitioners of London’s demimonde (although no aliens – yet.)  In Rivers of London, Detectives Thomas Nightingale and Peter Grant run the Folly, the London Metropolitan Police department unit which handles all “unusual” cases. These range from an underground group of people living in the London Underground to a missing changeling in Herefordshire.  Charles Wallace’s experience with unicorns would certainly be helpful (even if the unicorns of the fae are carnivorous and invisible), as well as his scientific background and interest in proving hypotheses. After all, the Folly was founded by Sir Isaac Newton! While Charles Wallace’s previous work has been focused on pure theoretical science, he would seem to be open to combining this with the more practical effects of magic. Detective might be his next – and greatest – calling.