The face of Aiken Drum

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?


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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!

Mark Remillard and Elizabeth in the Duat Galaxy

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,

Nature - Stars

Re-releases of Exile / Milieu books

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.


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...
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this post has just turned my world upsid

Humanity going the way of the Tanu?

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. :)
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Heroes' Sylar: Fury, Victor, or Kieran?

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?