Julian May

Melissa Proffitt Melissa at Proffitt.com
Thu Sep 6 11:44:24 EDT 2001


On Thu, 6 Sep 2001 13:02:16 +0200 (CEST), Jenny Holmstrom wrote:

>Hi!
>I'm going through all the reader's tips I've gone so far... Woah,
>this mailing list is really active!

Welcome to the list, Jenny!  (and to our other newcomers as well ;)  We're
not always this active.  Sometimes we go for days or weeks with only a few
messages, and then some busybody (read: ME) kicks the anthill and we all
come scurrying out of the woodwork, if I may mix metaphors.  Anyway, I hope
you enjoy it.  :)

>Well, I'm trying to see what's in
>the local library (checking the Internet site of the library), and I
>just found one book by Julian May. In persian (it's the word for the
>language, right?) Anyway, it's called: "Ab va hava" / nivishtah-i
>Julyan May ; tarjumah-i Adil Arshaqi
>Gee.

Holy cow.  Persian.  Wish I understood what it said so I could tell you if
it's the same Julian May.

>I wounder: what has Julian May written anyway?
>Can you please tell me?

She's written a long series about the awakening of paranormal powers in
humanity, which occurs as our species is on the verge of becoming aware of
the Galactic community of races, and then the result of our becoming a part
of the community.  I like them, but I like this topic a lot anyway.  The
premise is sort of like David Brin (have you read his books?) and others
where there are all these aliens out there, but we don't know about them
because our world isn't advanced enough yet to have contact.  Anyway, there
are eight or nine books as Philip says, depending on what form you get them
in.  Chronologically they go in this order:

_Intervention_ (also published in two volumes as _Surveillance_ and
_Metaconcert_)
   This volume tells about how the paranormal powers start to develop, the
gradual division of humans into "normal" and "psychic" (not her words), and
how the aliens are watching over Earth waiting for it to reach the point
where it can become part of the galactic community.

The Galactic Milieu series:
_Jack the Bodiless_
_Diamond Mask_
_Magnificat_
   If you read the books in published order, you already know what happens
in this series.  It's the continuing story of one of the families involved
in the first book(s) and a boy who should never have been born, who ends up
being very important indeed.

The Pliocene Saga:
_The Many-Colored Land_
_The Golden Torc_
_The Nonborn King_
_The Adversary_
   After the aliens reveal themselves and Earth joins the Galactic Milieu,
there are malcontents and loners and rebels who can't fit in, for whatever
reason.  Some of them find their way to France, where someone has created a
one-way portal to the past and allows people to use it to travel millions of
years into the past.  But because no one can come back, nobody knows that
someone else is already living there--an alien race that strongly resembles
the stories we tell of Faeriekind.  To complicate matters, the rebels from
the Galactic Milieu series have also been exiled here.  This all sounds like
a spoiler, but it's revealed very early in the first book, and the bulk of
the series is about other things.

I don't know whether it's better to read them in published order or
chronological order.  There's one very surprising plot twist that plays with
time, which might have more meaning if you read them in the order they were
first written.  Overall, this is a very good series which I like a lot.

Melissa Proffitt
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