Whilst assembling the first edition of the British Genre Fiction Focus for Tor.com, I found myself looking for something to read — a rare occasion indeed — and for various reasons, the recent reissue of The Many-Coloured Land caught my eye.
Now I've been vaguely aware of Julian May for all my adult life. Though my mum doesn't read much these days, when she did, The Saga of the Exiles was one of her favourite series. She still recalls it fondly.
But I always was one to go my own way. Even as a babe. So though I read A Wizard of Earthsea on her say-so, and adored it, and though the various other books she recommended me in my younger years were very probably responsible for my abiding speculative fiction fixation, The Many-Coloured Land lay unloved on its shelf in the study.
A couple of weeks ago, I finally righted my wrong. I read through The Many-Coloured Land in a couple of pretty serious sittings, and I see now that I should have done so years ago. But better late than never, eh?
It was nice to have a shared experience to discuss with my mum, for one. And she was a proper font of knowledge about the series when I asked her about it over the weekend.
To begin with, I didn't realise that Julian May was a woman. I don't think that fact would have altered the odds of me reading these novels then or now... all the same, I feel an utter idiot.
Whilst visiting, I also took a look at the much-loved copies of the quartet my mum has had since the early 80s. Here's a quick comparison of covers adorning those versus this recent reissue:
I know which artwork I'd rather have! Are you with me?
Then again, if The Saga of the Exiles hadn't been re-released — never mind the Game of Thrones-esque imagery — I doubt I'd have looked twice at it. As is, I'm greatly anticipating the next time I have a few days to spare, because I can't get started on The Golden Torc soon enough.
So. Lesson learned. Digression end.
Except to say: hey, are there any other massive Julian May fans out there?