The Saga of Pliocene Exile Analysis

Julian May

The Plot

(Critical Survey of Science Fiction and Fantasy)

The Saga of Pliocene Exile begins in the twenty-second century, after a coalition of five alien races, each possessing metapsychic powers blended in mental and spiritual Unity, has intervened to prevent humans from destroying themselves. Believing that humans possess the greatest metapsychic potential in the Milky Way, the aliens have invited Earth to join their benevolent Galactic Milieu in advance of humanity’s psychosocial maturation. With the aid of Milieu science, humanity has colonized dozens of planets, eliminating poverty, pollution, and overpopulation. The aliens have also taught humans how to utilize their developing metafunctions of farspeaking, creativity, psychokinesis, coercion, and redaction (mind-healing).

Utopia, however, has its price: The Galactic Milieu, a highly structured civilization, prohibits childbearing. Ninety thousand individualistic humans, with the Milieu’s blessing, escape the strictures via a one-way timegate to Pliocene France. Among those who choose exile are the members of Group Green, including Aiken Drum, a brilliant and talented trickster with vast latent metapsychic potential; Sister Annamaria (Amerie) Rocarro, a burned out nun and physician; Stein Oleson, a huge crustal-plate driller who resembles his Viking ancestors; Elizabeth Orme, a Grand Master Farspeaker and Redactor who has lost her metapsychic powers after a near-fatal accident; Richard Voorhees, a cashiered space captain; Claude Majewski, an elderly paleobotanist; Brian Grenfell, an anthropologist; and Felice Landry, a deeply disturbed young athlete whose latent metafunctions defy measurement.

As they exit the timegate, these timefarers discover another group of exiles. Pliocene Europe is ruled by the Tanu, who have fled the Duat Galaxy in order to practice their barbaric battle religion. Metapsychically latent, the Tanu...

(The entire section is 756 words.)