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The face of Aiken Drum May. 16th, 2017 @ 01:21 pm
Hi, friends.

In "The Nonborn King" in the last few pages of the chapter entitled "The Postdilivium" Mercy is plagued by a sense of deja vu that she has previously seen Aiken Drum's face, and Culluket helps her remember. She thinks it was a portrait in a palace in Firenze (Florence, Italy). I wonder if anyone has any thoughts about what portrait that might be?

At first I thought that she was thinking of Machiavelli, whose posthumous portrait hangs in the Palazzo Vecchio, but he hardly looks dangerous there, as Culluket suggests. Now I'm thinking she means Cesare Borgia?

I'm about to be in Firenze, and I'd love to take a fan trip to the picture. Any thoughts?


Apr. 11th, 2016 @ 10:04 pm
Hello! (If anyone is there...) This community only seems to get about one post a year, but it seemed the best bet!

I first read these books more than 15 years ago, so reading them again as an adult has been a great experience! While I had a clear recollection of what happened in the Milieu Trilogy (it was always my favourite) I really couldn't remember what happened AT ALL in the Exile books, so I basically got to enjoy them all over again... everything was a surprise! :)

Just... discussion post, if anyone is there? This time around I got the ebooks for kindle, but WOW there are quite a lot of typos and misprints, which is a shame.

Just finished The Adversary today, and my main feeling at the end was disappointment that we never got anything else about Felice/Culluket... I kept waiting and waiting, but nothing. I think Felice was definitely my favourite character, she was amazing.

Also, were we supposed to infer anything about Dougal? I feel like I missed something... there were a few occasions where it was made to seem like he was special, or had a secret, but it never really came to anything?

Edited to add: having seen some blogs/fancasts/reviews/one of the book covers I am now completely confused... isn't Aiken black? Why does everyone seem to make him white???

Anyway, I don't really use LJ anymore, but thought I would give this a try!

UK Reprints Apr. 29th, 2015 @ 12:46 pm
Both the Exiles and the Milieu books are in stock at my local bookshop. Is there any reason to prefer the re-releases to used copies of the old ones? Are they exactly the same with new covers, or are there better, say, family trees or other information? While browsing, I noticed that my old-copy e-book versions have chunks of text missing from Magnificat in particular (compared to the new copies). Does this suggest new editing for the re-prints?

I currently have the e-book versions, but the OCR for the Exiles is appalling! If I hadn't been so wrapped up in the story, I would have flung my kindle at the wall a few times! The Milieu books at least read properly — and amuse me whenever Rogi mentions a "book-plaque" as the assumed medium for his biographies.

Mark Remillard and Elizabeth in the Duat Galaxy Nov. 1st, 2014 @ 10:54 pm
I recently asked Julian if the lylmik ships sere the same as the Ships of the Duat galaxy. This is her reply, with permission to share it with my friends:

Dear Michael

The living ships of Brede's galaxy were somewhat different. The first one to reach our Milky Way six million years ago was the one that carried the Exiles. Brede's ship was able to enclose a mundane-ish habitat capsule (or create one from its substance) in which the humanoid Exiles traveled. And of course, it had a spouse ...

Now, when Marc and Elizabeth d-jumped to the Duat galaxy to free the Tanu/Firvulag population from torc dependency and introduce other Duat races to Unity, THERE WERE NO LYLMIK. Implicit in my Saga is the notion that Marc and Elizabeth transmogrified into the Mental Man phase of humanity and reproduced, then evolved into Lylmik form rather rapidly. Mental Men don't need human bodies ... or DO they? At an appropriate time--see below for a likely scenario--they migrated back to the Milky Way, led by Marc. He identifies himself somewhere in the Saga as THE Lylmik!

You will recall that it was a psychological thing that made Marc unable to restore his fertility in a regen tank back on earth. He could easily build a tank in the Duat galaxy and engender a race of proto-Lylmik in humanoid form which evolved into "real" Lylmik. Recall how the decadent Lylmik of the Milieu Era took easily to human bodies. Now we know why Marc/Unifex urged this method of revitalization on his Quincunx buddies.

None of the exotic races of the Galactic Milieu knew just how old the Lylmik were. We might assume they were much less than a million years old when Marc and Elizabeth completed the cure for torc-addiction and started many Duat races on the way to Unity.

Thus Marc's redemption was partly accomplished. Perhaps Elizabeth, before she relinquished her life there in Duat, suggested a NEW work for Marc and the Lylmik race back home in the good old Milky Way, where there were countless exotic races with Unity potential, ready to be shepherded by kindly mentors, who would travel chez nous in their spiffy ships.

It would be a long and frustrating task; our galaxy wasn't "ripe" for change like Duat. The Krondaku might have finally come around by 500,000 BC. But imagine how tired of the Milky Way recalcitrants a majority of the Lylmik were by then! On to decadence and elitist withdrawal!

Now you and your Coterie have sampled the unwritten (and never to be written by me) sequel to MAGNIFICAT. As to your original query about Lylmik ships, they were Marc's variation of an ancient Duat race--alas, not requiring shipspouses. To him such a refinement was quite superfluous.

Fond regards,


Re-releases of Exile / Milieu books Jul. 27th, 2012 @ 02:59 pm
I was recently looking at Amazon UK and noticed that the Exiles & Milieu books
(plus Intervention) are to be republished by Tor in January & February 2013. Since
2013 is when the Intervention happens anyway (hee), that is an appropriate year, I

It doesn't look like the Pliocene Companion will be reprinted though. Hmm.

There aren't any images yet of the covers, which makes me suspect there will be
new cover art. :) While I love the classic covers, I'm always keen to see new

Details can be seen here (and on the next page):


I know I would be happy to see these books on the bookstore shelves again.

Audio version of 'Many Coloured Land' available May. 16th, 2011 @ 09:41 pm

Just letting people know an audio version of 'The Many Coloured Land' is now available at Amazon. Who knows, maybe the rest of the series might be available on audio one day...


Current Mood: chipperchipper

Heroes and the Kieran archetype Apr. 23rd, 2007 @ 08:09 pm
Heroes S1x19, `0.7%' SPOILERSCollapse )

Current Mood: impressedimpressed
Current Music: Heroes S1x19, "0.7%"

MetaWiki Jan. 10th, 2007 @ 09:14 pm
Intervention is back on my reading list, for about the tenth time - and I've written up a brief summary of Kieran O'Connor. I was wondering if people would be interested in starting some Wikipaedia entries on the Milieu/Exile world? There are some book summaries, but it'd be nice to expand that - Ms. May went into a great deal of detail with her books, and there's always a lot of questions to ask!

Even if there aren't any takers, I'd appreciate someone glancing over my entries, and doing some auditing? I'm doing a fair bit from memory, and - horror of horrors! - I've not read Diamond Mask or Magnificat! Please don't beat me too hard...
Current Mood: thoughtfulthoughtful

Humanity going the way of the Tanu? Oct. 18th, 2006 @ 02:27 pm
Ok, I just saw this news article and I found it incredibly amusing.

Human species 'may split in two'

Humanity may split into two sub-species in 100,000 years' time as predicted by HG Wells, an expert has said.

Evolutionary theorist Oliver Curry of the London School of Economics expects a genetic upper class and a dim-witted underclass to emerge.

The human race would peak in the year 3000, he said - before a decline due to dependence on technology.

People would become choosier about their sexual partners, causing humanity to divide into sub-species, he added.

The descendants of the genetic upper class would be tall, slim, healthy, attractive, intelligent, and creative and a far cry from the "underclass" humans who would have evolved into dim-witted, ugly, squat goblin-like creatures.

Full Story

No word on whether the goblins will be able shape shift. Guess we'll have to wait and see. :)

Heroes' Sylar: Fury, Victor, or Kieran? Oct. 12th, 2006 @ 05:39 pm
The villain Sylar on Heroes seems to be some kind of a metapsychic predator. In some ways he variously resembles Fury, Victor Remillard, and Kieran O'Connor, though it's too soon to tell what role he actually fulfills. Like Sylar, all of them are first- or second-generation operants whose motivation to dominate and kill others makes them a menace and the "black sheep" of the metapsychic world.

Fury: a powerful meta turned into a monster despite the efforts of the weaker (or in this case suboperant) mentor; may view younger metas as enemies; "hunger" for operants (lifeforce?)
Victor: ditto, plus an apparently murderous rage towards other metas replacing an initial wish to turn them to his will rather than see them form into a society
Kieran: self-discovered; attempts a global rise to power through control of operant lackeys

The decerebration of Isaac in the future timeline in S1x02 reminds me of the prehistoric Poltroyans' practice of brain cannibalization, but it would also seem to indicate that Sylar, or whoever the killer is, has some ability to make use of metas' brains.

What do you all think?

Current Mood: curiouscurious

Heroes: Greg Grunberg's character Oct. 9th, 2006 @ 08:55 pm
Mild spoilers for latest epsCollapse )

Current Mood: thoughtfulthoughtful

Heroes Sep. 25th, 2006 @ 05:15 am
(Cross-posted to my LJ.)

Is anybody else as stoked about Heroes, the forthcoming NBC show about everyday people with supernatural powers, as I am?

figgylicious calls it X-Men without the costumes. I prefer to think of it as Julian May's Intervention in TV serial form. I hope it deals with the social stigma and acceptance issues and doesn't go completely campy as The Misfits of Science (the last NBC show to treat the subject) did. If the show is to have some depth, it needs to hold back the "A-Team" and "Professor X" elements for a while.

On the other hand, I would not enjoy a series of weekly vignettes about metapsychics, in the style of The Outer Limits or Amazing Stories, quite as much, either.

The opening lineup of characters looks interesting, though to read the reviews, they don't all resonate. Ah, well. Here's hoping.

Current Mood: excitedexcited

The Death of Kieran O'Conner... Jul. 7th, 2006 @ 11:02 am
Something that occurred to me after reading Intervention for the umpteenth time...

I know that Kieran O'Conner died on top of Mount Washington, although the details of his death are a little vague. Just what did surprise him, and cause him to scream before he expired?

However, that's not my question. In Jack the Bodiless, O'Conner's body is recovered, and it has been subjected to the chakra-draining technique practiced by Victor, and Fury.
How is this? Presumably, the victim has to be alive to be drained, and due to his aggresive cancer, O'Conner probably wasn't even that appealing, power-wise.
Finally, who did it? I'm quite sure Victor was off leading the Sons of the Earth attack on the chalet, straight after O'Conner died, so who conducted the attack? Rogi? Impossible. The Family Ghost? Equally impossible!

Have I missed something?
Current Mood: thoughtfulthoughtful

Happy Birthday, Saint Jack the Bodiless Jan. 6th, 2006 @ 11:25 pm
Happy Epiphany and Happy Birthday to Jon Paul Kendall Remillard!
Only 7 years left to Intervention!

Current Mood: chipperchipper
Current Music: Jars of Clay - Flood

Aiken Drum's parents Dec. 29th, 2005 @ 04:09 pm
Someone on the old MILIEU-L mailing list asked this about 11 years ago (some time in 1994, IIRC): do we have any information on who Aiken Drum's biological mother might be?

As a nonborn, it's possible that he had a nonoperant mother. The poster (I think it might have been Marina Drobnic) suggested that Aiken might not have only his biological father, Davy MacGregor, to thank for his massive metapsychic armamentarium.

Spoiler for MagnificatCollapse )

Current Mood: curiouscurious

The Remillard immortality "gene" Dec. 29th, 2005 @ 04:00 pm
ballzapalooza raised an interesting question a few days ago that I thought I'd bring up here. (I don't mean to hijack the thread; it's just that some folks may not go back and see that anyone replied to the original one.)

What is the Remillard "gene"?

Galactic Milieu: GenerationsCollapse )
AnalysisCollapse )
A follow-up observationCollapse )

Current Mood: thoughtfulthoughtful

Dec. 23rd, 2005 @ 06:56 pm
Hey guys, I've been re-reading the Pliocene Saga and the Milieu Trilogy over the past few months, and am enjoying it just as much as the first time I picked the books up, more than 10 years ago.

There's one thing I noticed while reading Jack the Bodiless that may or may not be a plothole. Maybe someone can clarify if I'm mistaken about one thing:

Theresa Kendall is the granddaughter of Elaine Donovan and Don Remillard. So wouldn't this mean she has the immortal Remillard genes as well? She did die unnaturally at a relatively young age, so perhaps it was never apparent, but if you look at Elaine and Donny's daughter -- Theresa's mother -- you see she did die at a ripe old age. In Jack the Bodiless, there's even a reference that Annarita Latimer refused regen tank therapy and died elderly in 2056.

With the exception of Jack, there is no recorded Remillard born after Rogi and Don that did not have the immortality gene. Even though Theresa and her mother Annarita were not Remillards by name, they were by blood.

As meticulous as Julain May is to detail, I'd be a bit surprised if such a big flub went by her unnoticed. Are there any theories or explanations about the genetics behind these two characters?

Physics of sigma fields in Pliocene Exile and Galactic Milieu Nov. 27th, 2005 @ 11:46 am
I have a few questions about the sigma fields that operants use as "force shields" and which can be machine-generated in the Saga of Pliocene Exile,Intervention, and the Galactic Milieu Trilogy:

1. Are they passable from the interior? That is, can you still shoot physical projectiles from inside?
2. Can one punch a hole in only part of a sigma? This is what Aiken Drum apparently does to Pallol One-Eye in their duel.
3. Can they be made transparent? Opaque? Trnaslucent? My impression was that they looked like mirrors from the outside but it seemed that Nodonn could see Aiken inside his shield.
4. What happens if a structure (such as a building) is covered by a sigma too small in diameter to contain it? Does the field phase right through the walls at its perimeter? Does this cause any structural damage?
5. Are they required to be spherical? Of those that are spherical, are they hemispherical or full spheres? Of those that are just hemispheres, do they cut off so that they are "open" on the bottom, or is the "flat side" closed off?

Current Mood: curiouscurious

Metapsychic operants in my Nanowrimo Oct. 30th, 2005 @ 08:34 pm
I thought you might be interested to know that I'm writing a sequel (really an immediate continuation) to my 2004 National Novel Writing Month (Nanowrimo) entry.

tanelos is set on a world that is home to two warring states: the first (the Archniniei Imperium), a benevolent feudal empire ruled by an empress and her vassals; the second (the Terionach Union), a belligerent, expansionist confederacy of principalities.

The mind-gifted on this world possess one or more of four basic mindpowers:

  • telepathy and the ability to sense at a distance ("farsensing" cf. May, "kithing" cf. L'Engle, and passive excorporeal excursion)

  • mental force - mass and energy - and the ability to teleport physical objects ("psychokinesis/creativity" cf. May, and active excorporeal excursion cf. Eddings)

  • the ability to see through time ("prolepsis" cf. May, plus the destinon gift)

  • the ability to manipulate minds ("coercion/redaction" cf. May, or the "forced rapport"; A. McCaffrey, C. S. Friedman, K. Kurtz and M. Z. Bradley have written extensively on this)

The Archniniei have a very liberated and open policy towards the mind-gifted (which May calls metapsychic operants); the Terionach are very fascistic and nationalistic, but promotes the first two categories of mindpowers while oppressing, ostracizing, and otherwise persecuting the latter two. In our story, the Union has been waging a series of wars of gradual conquest against the Imperium, and predating against its allies on land and sea, for centuries. Its people are very Machiavellian and ruthless expediency is the basis of their social order and prestige. About 100 years before the beginning of my novel, the second nation occupied Tane-Los (the Citadel of Blood), a very important city and formerly the central port of the Imperium.

Current Mood: creative

Caledonia: visit to the ancestral homeland of Dorothea MacDonald Aug. 6th, 2005 @ 10:43 am
I was in Edinburgh, Scotland for UAI-2005 and IJCAI-2005 and decided to take my parents on one of the one-day bus tours offered by Timberbush Tours.

Setting out from the Royal Mile in Edinburgh at 08:20 on the 1st of August, we first saw Falkirk, Stirling, and Bannockburn - sites of Wallace's great victory, great defeat, and posthumous avenging.

Then we continued on to Glen Coe, where the Campbells massacred the MacDonalds. Here is a view of the highlands near Glen Coe:

(Taken around 10:30 GMT Mon 01 Aug 2005.)

Lunchtime was outside a little whisky shop and we all sampled some of the Talisker (from the Isle of Skye) and creme liqueur. I wanted to get a bottle of Laphroaig from Islay but we decided to pick out a smooth nice single malt back in the city.

We also saw the lands where Rob Roy MacGregor had his infamous run-in with the Marquess of Montrose and was bailed out by the Duke of Argyll.

Then we reached the northwest of the Scottish highlands. We sailed Loch Ness for an hour and I took over 160 photos, probably a quarter to a third of which are worth keeping, including maybe twenty that I think are rather nice. Here are two of them:

Sailing past the ruins of Castle UrquhartCollapse )

Sailing on Loch Ness, 01 Aug 2005Collapse )

I have been to the ancient homeland of Davy MacGregor, Aiken Drum, and Diamond Mask, my friends. Kull Wahad.

Edit, 09:40 CST Sat 13 Aug 2005 - here are some more photos.

Current Mood: touchedtouched
Current Music: Delores Keane - Caledonia
Other entries
» (No Subject)
Rampart Worlds. Very strange. I've read the three of them, just the once. They're not bad, although I much prefer the Saga/Trilogy/Intervention set. The problem I had is that for the first half of the book, I found it really hard to view Helly as a guy! It sounds odd, but as the viewpoint is... is it first person? I'm not sure. It's 'I did this, I said that, I saw the other' as opposed to 'he said, he did/whatever'.

Has anyone else had this problem?

(This is my final post today, I promise)
» Another thought...
Do you think that when Julian May wrote the Sage of the Exiles, she had already written the Trilogy? She had obviously put a lot of thought into the universe she was building, and I can't think (off-hand) of any real discrepancies between the Pliocene and 2050 universe, but had she created the exact storyline? Had she really figured out that Marc was to become Unifex, or was it a good idea that she tacked on?

To me the stories seem to flow together- they had to be concieved together. However, I think there are instances that could have been simply added later. Jack and Illusio are mentioned as saints, yes, but beyond a brief outline you know almost nothing about them. I'd forgotten in the seven odd years it between reading the Saga and trilogy for the first time. The Rebellion is hinted at, but not really explained. The CE-rigs were almost a complete mystery, and I wonder why d-jumping hasn't been studied in the Milieu (they did say it wasn't an unknown phemonenon, but you'd have thought that people would have studied it. It could be very useful, at least for GM+ heads).

Any thoughts on the matter?

(Apologies if I'm posting too much)
» Which order...
...would you suggest someone to read the Saga/Milieu/Intervention?

I'd say:

Saga of the Exiles
Galactic Milieu Trilogy

but is that right? I read Intervention after the Milieu trilogy, so that's how I think of it, but re-reading Jack made me realise that Rogi mentions a 'previous volume of my memoirs'- that's Intervention, yes?

Just checking.
» Hiya
Hiya. Currently reading Jack the Bodiless. Just came accross this group in the last 10 mins. Love to chat about the books.
» Typical fan community question...
Who would you cast in the various parts in the Saga, Intervention, and Milieu books, if movies were to be made? Why?
» New here
Hi folks, new here. Stumbled across this community by accident, much like I stumbled across the books by accident, years ago.

I've only ever read the 3 inter-related Milieu series - Saga, Intervention, and Milieu... what's her other sci-fi based on? Like, a brief summary or whatever. I'm poor, but I do work in a library...

I think I'll go back and read some of the old entries, answer any questions in them.
» (No Subject)
Poll #421461 Metafaculties

Which SINGLE metafaculty do you prefer?


» Looking to Discuss the "Intervention Series"

I was wondering what peoples thoughts were on the second series, with all the alternate earth history?

» (No Subject)
Helloooooo??? Please say that some people are here and want to talk Julian May!

I've been looking for ages for someone - anyone - who has heard of the Remillards and wants to chatter away about her books ....
» Communities to post to?
(Back-dated a bit.)

Any suggestions on where to announce this community, besides community_promo and my own LJ? I thought of hyperion_cantos and will be contacting individuals with "Julian May" and related Pliocene Exile/Galactic Milieu, Trillium, and Rampart Worlds keywords in their interests, but I am open to suggestions.

What are some good SF communities?

» Welcome to julianmayfans!
This is a discussion group for all the works of Julian May, including nonfiction titles.

The focus, however, is on her science fiction books, especially:

  • The Pliocene/Milieu decalogy (Saga of Pliocene Exile, Intervention, and Galactic Milieu Trilogy)

  • The Rampart Worlds series

  • The Trillium series

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