In the 22nd century Earth has joined the Galactic Millieu and humanity is scattered across the stars. In this new world of aliens, psychic abilities and amazing technology, some people don’t belong. These misfits travel through a one-way time gate back to Earth’s Pliocene.

THE MANY COLOURED LAND.: May, Julian.

The first 50 pages or so switch quickly between a variety of different characters and settings. The premise is unusual. The one-way time portal is initially presented as no more than a scientific curiosity, due to its severe limitations. It takes a little while to understand what’s happening with all the different characters, and what the Intervention was, which led to Earth joining the Galactic Millieu. All the different characters are sketched out with few words, and soon it becomes clear what the connection between them is. These soon-to-be exiles are quickly endeared to the reader, as you get to know their hopes and dreams, and their reasons for traveling through the time portal. What they find on the other side though is unlike anything they expected. I won’t say any more about it.

The story is tense and exciting. It’s not a very long book, but a lot happens. Julian May has a talent for revealing the core essence and the nuances of characters and societies in few words.

When I put the book down I found myself thinking about it; what was going to happen, what it all meant for the future. I’ve already ordered the remaining books in the series and I’m looking forward to diving back into Pliocene Earth.

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