Julian May (1931-2017)

Author Julian May, 86, died October 17, 2017.

May’s first SF story was “Dune Roller” in Astounding (12/51), later filmed as The Cremators (1972). During the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s she mostly moved away from science fiction, writing in numerous genres and under many pseudonyms, including Bob Cunningham, Lee N. Falconer, John Feilen, Matthew G. Grant, Jean Wright Thorne, Ian Thorne, and George Zanderbergen. In all she wrote nearly 300 books, including monster movie tie-ins and non-fiction for children, teens, and adults.

She returned to SF writing in the late ’70s. Her best-known work in the genre is the Saga of the Pliocene Exile: Hugo and Nebula Award finalist The Many-Colored Land (1981), The Golden Torc (1982), The Nonborn King (1983), and The Adversary (1984), plus non-fiction The Pliocene Companion (1984). The related Galactic Milieu sequence includes Intervention (1987), Jack the Bodiless (1992), Diamond Mask (1994), and Magnificat (1996). The Rampart Worlds series is Perseus Spur (1998), Orion Arm (1999), and Sagittarius Whorl (2001). The Boreal Moon Tale fantasies are Conqueror’s Moon (2003), Ironcrown Moon (2004), and Sorcerer’s Moon (2006). She wrote Black Trillium (1990) with Marion Zimmer Bradley & Andre Norton, and sequels Blood Trillium (1992) and Sky Trillium (1996); Norton and Bradley also contributed volumes to the sequence.

Julian Clare May was born July 10, 1931 in Chicago IL and grew up in Elmwood Park IL. May was active in fandom early on, publishing fanzine Interim Newsletter as a teen, contributing letters to SF magazines, and chairing the 1952 Worldcon. She married T.E. Dikty in 1953; they had three children, and he predeceased her in 1991. The pair founded Publication Associates in 1957. May was inducted into the First Fandom Hall of Fame in 2015.

3 thoughts on “Julian May (1931-2017)

  • October 20, 2017 at 9:49 pm

    She had made the region of Lyon, in France, background of her stories. Thanks to her.

  • October 24, 2017 at 6:04 am

    I loved her Pliocene stories as a kid – transported me in a way that few books did – by making me want to go there. Just the other week I was wondering if she had written anything recently. I’ll just have to re-read those books again. That she wrote so much outside SF was a surprise. Time to explore and see what other gems she forged.


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