The death has been reported of Julian May. She was 86.
Julian May had been active in science fiction fandom in the early 1950s, and was married to the editor and publisher, T.E. Dikty, from 1953 until his death in 1991. She had a story, “Dune Roller”, published in Astounding in 1951, but most of what she wrote, under her own name and a wide variety of pseudonyms, were books for children, generally non-fiction.
After an extended period away from science fiction, she began to attend science fiction conventions again in the 1970s, and also started to think about writing a work of science fiction. The result began to appear in 1981 with the publication of The Many-Colored Land, the first book in what was to become the four-volume Saga of Pliocene Exile.
The four books in this sequence, The Many-Colored Land, The Golden Torc, The Nonborn King and The Adversary, tell the story of a group of people who feel estranged from their utopian 22nd-century society. They travel six million years back in time to a world that proves to be rich and full of potential. But they also discover other time travellers, and also two different groups of aliens who are fighting over the world. The novels were an immediate success, a richly imagined planetary romance full of incident and colour, and which is still recognized as one of the best sf series.
She followed the Saga of Pliocene Exile with a one-off novel, Intervention, which serves as the link between the Saga of Pliocene Exile and the Galactic Milieu sequence. In this novel, we follow the Remillards, a family with psychic powers from the end of the Second World War through into the near future. As their powers are developed, they also learn that Earth is under observation by aliens who are judging whether humans are suitable to be admitted into the galactic community.
The Galactic Milieu trilogy that follows consists of Jack the Bodiless, Diamond Mask and Magnificat. The trilogy follows the entry of the human race into the Galactic Milieu, while the psychic powers of the Remillard family become ever greater, leading to Jack who takes the evolutionary leap of becoming a bodiless brain. But the Remillard family is also at war with itself, which results in some members fleeing back in time to the events of the Saga of Pliocene Exile.
Along with a number of fantasy novels, sometimes in collaboration with Marion Zimmer Bradley and Andre Norton, she wrote one other science fiction sequence, the Rampart Worlds, consisting of Perseus Spur, Orion Arm and Sagittarius Whorl. It’s a space opera sequence featuring a galactic empire ruled by corporations, but it never really attracted the same interest as the Galactic Milieu sequence.
From Nebula and Hugo Award–nominated Carolyn Ives Gilman comes Dark Orbit, a compelling novel featuring alien contact, mystery, and murder.
Reports of a strange, new habitable planet have reached the Twenty Planets of human civilization. When a team of scientists is assembled to investigate this world, exoethnologist Sara Callicot is recruited to keep an eye on an unstable crewmate.