Elevate Difference

A Loop in Time

Rowena Wright compiles myth, science and fantasy in her newest novel, A Loop in Time, which details a year in the life of Ericca Ludwig and her friends in post-9/11 New York City. Ericca, the only child of Sophia Ludwig, spends much of her time at home discussing time and space with Albert Einstein and Leonardo Fibonacci, whose personas are manifested in Spike, Ericca’s magical blanket. Eventually, Ericca learns that she is a descendent of a magical race known as Ringolds, as are Matt and Elle, her two closest friends outside of Albert and Leonardo. As Ericca is gradually introduced to this new and mysterious lifestyle, she learns that a Ringold’s spirit is immortal, and she embarks on a mission to bring her dead father, Branch Archer, back to life.

A Loop in Time is more than a science fiction novel meant to entertain young adults with its complicated yet intriguing storyline. Underneath the science, the myth and the magic is a simple assessment of the relationship between men and women. Elle and Matt, for example, are strikingly dissimilar in that Elle is intelligent, a student of mythology and enjoys fashion shows, while Matt preoccupies himself with technology, violence and creating the world’s greatest video game; the two get along better than most other siblings might.

The divergence between men and women is more evident in chapter eight, Quintana Castle, when a group a vampires, depicted by their “feline grace” and “enchanting sweetness,” captures Matt. Following his escape, Matt is assailed by a group of ungainly, clumsy umpires, who offer him “plates of pie, spaghetti, and roast beef.” Though the exchange between the two hoards isn’t pertinent to the story, it does imply that the graceful, seductive and feminine vampires realize success methodically, while the bumbling, rumbling umpires can only attempt to kidnap Matt through persuasion and bribery; their attempts at flattery are far less appealing than are the attempts of the vampires.

A Loop in Time comprises many other situations that highlight the discrepancies between the masculine and feminine, however, Rowena Wright seems to suggest, by the end of the novel, that men and women, working jointly, can fashion something beautiful, such as the birth of a child, like Ericca, or the recovery of a lost soul, like Branch Archer.

Written by: Jeremy Stafford, April 15th 2007

I'm very excited about this one. It's always tough finding "good" feminist sci-fi.