Julian May - What is your opinion of her?

Discussion in 'Fantasy / Horror' started by Belgarion, Oct 31, 2001.

  1. Belgarion

    Belgarion Disabled by the evil Mods

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    I am currently reading the Saga of the Exiles (4 books) written by Julian May. I have only just finished the first book (so no SPOILERS please!).

    My opinion of Julian May at this stage is that she is a very good writer. She develops the characters well, giving each one plenty of details without going over the top.

    Surprisingly, no-one seem to mention her, or mention her only very briefly. I personally thinks she is a good author who can match Robin Hobbs and Sara Douglass any day.

    Why the lack of interest on Julian May? I would appreciate some comments on her.
     
  2. Cadfael

    Cadfael Guest

    I agree Belgarion, Julian May does seem to a neglected author, and her Saga of the Exiles is brilliant IMHO, and believe me, it only gets better with the other books. The sheer scope of the saga is totally awsome.

    The companions series to 'Exiles' is even better in my opinion, this is called The Galactic Miliue(sp??).
     
  3. Belgarion

    Belgarion Disabled by the evil Mods

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    Thanks Dennizm! I am looking forward to the other 3 books!!

    I will investigate about the companions series.

    Cheers mate.
     
  4. Cannon Fodder

    Cannon Fodder Registered User

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    You should also try and find a copy of her novel Intervention as it ties in with both those series and is also an excellant read.
     
  5. Ntschotschi

    Ntschotschi immer noch dabei

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    It's true that Julian May seems to be rather neglected. IMHO she's brilliant and I've tried to promote her since I'm on this board.
    I'm glad that you like her work.
    The Galactic Milieu tends to be a bit more sf than fantasy but it's also very good. You can look forward to read some of the best books I read.
     
  6. Keziah

    Keziah Fish

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    Intervention and the second two books books of The Galactic Milieu (they have two of number twos and no number one???) have been sitting on my parents book shelves for a while now but i've just kept picking them up and then going no i don't want to read these, every so often i read the first few pages of one or the other but i just can't seem to get past about page 20.
     
  7. wolfshead

    wolfshead New Member

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    She's a very good and original writer. Her stuff may be more SF, but it says something for her writing that I liked her works so much, as I find most SF difficult to get into. Her weird, quirky characters are great!
     
  8. ChrisW

    ChrisW Banned

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    Julian May is female? Damn I thought that was a male name [​IMG].
     
  9. Cannon Fodder

    Cannon Fodder Registered User

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    I wouldn't be bothered Caldazar, I thought Tracy Hickman was a woman. That sure as hell is usually a womans name.
     
  10. allanon

    allanon The Druid

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  11. mikevallender

    mikevallender New Member

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    Julian May Fans

    Hi all

    Just joined this site after discovering at a Julian May discussion site that I have recently joined. It fun and has some dedicated fans, you will be most welcome.

    I am a huge fan of May's and I am surprised she does not have a higher profile.

    Find the site @: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Julian-May-discuss/
     
  12. silver surfer

    silver surfer New Member

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    I completely agree Julian May is underrated. I've always been surprised she's not more popular. Her vision has enormous scope, she keeps you turning the pages, her characters are well-drawn, and she has a great gift for drawing breathtaking scenes. I admire how she leads you step by step into a fully imagined and explained world where classic scenes from fairy-tale and myth have a logical place: the ogre snoring in his cave (Delbaeth), the troll under the bridge (Kipol Greenteeth), the music and laughter coming from under the hill (the Firvulag inn under a tumulus), the city of faerie lights (any Tanu city), the sense that you are in a realm where joys are too keen for mortals to bear, characters who evoke Apollo, Thor, Diana, Jack the Giant Killer. Her scenes of nature are also awe-inspiring: the crater lake where the Tanu 'birds' are parked, the scene where Claude encounters a Pliocene cat, the Pliocene Alps, and on and on. I love her fully worked-out metapsychic system.

    She does, however, have a problem with good dialogue. Far too much of it is expository. She uses the same 'gruff old fella' character for Claude, Aluteyn, and Celadeyr - and maybe more. I also find it a bit disappointing how the Tanu go from being awesome invincible beings in The Many-Colored Land to kind of amateurish and pathetic by the end of the series - but I suppose it was inevitable.

    Love her Galactic Milieu series too.
     
  13. Icarus

    Icarus Registered User

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    I wasn't so fond of some of her other stuff but I do love the Saga of the Exiles and it's followups. They were one of the first sf/fantasy series I read many years ago and I never tire of re-reading them :)

    I'd also agree with Cadfael that (Intervention and) The Galactic Milieu trilogy probably just pips the Saga of the Exiles for me.

    Not going to explain why or give details since i don't want to spoil anything for you :)
     
  14. KatG

    KatG Effulgent Staff Member

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    Well she wasn't underrated -- she was pretty famous. But like a lot of older authors, she's less well known to a lot of SFF fans now than she was in the 1980's and 1990's. But Jack the Bodiless is still very well known and there was her involvement in the best-selling Trillium series with Norton and Bradley. In the oughts, she had the well received big epic Boreal Moon trilogy, so if you liked the Galactic books, you might like that series. She's also done some YA and a lot of non-fiction.
     
  15. silver surfer

    silver surfer New Member

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    Nitpick: in book 3, why does it become hard for Tanu to coerce bareneck humans all of a sudden? In book 1, Epone was practically torn to scraps and she still managed to coerce Richard! The Tanu also seem remarkably helpless against gold-torc humans, who are 'uncoercible', presumably because they are employing a metaconcert to shield them? After the gigantomachy - and knowing what they would be up against - wouldn't the Tanu have practiced their own metaconcert as Imidol and the Host did in book 2?
     
  16. silver surfer

    silver surfer New Member

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    @KatG

    Good point. I guess another one you don't hear so much about now is Brian Aldiss. Some sf/fantasy writers have stayed popular tho - Ursula K LeGuin, Asimov, Tolkien of course, and Eddings, I think.
     
  17. silver surfer

    silver surfer New Member

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    I think I like the Intervention series, with the stories of the New England/Canuck metapsychics, even more than the Saga of the Exiles.
     
  18. ArtNJ

    ArtNJ Registered User

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    I didnt realize she had something newish that people were liking. I read the Excile saga years ago and was thinking off and on about a re-read, but it sounds like I should check out the new series.

    People do mention Excile on this forum now and again, almost always favorably. I always notice it, and the series has been rising up my too read list because of it. Granted, its not mentioned as much as some, but its not forgotten.