Julian May was born on July 10, 1931 in Chicago, Illinois and grew up in Elmwood Park, a suburb of Chicago.
When she was a student Julian May was active in science fiction fandom publishing a fanzine titled “Interim Newsletter” for a certain period. Her first professionally written story was published in 1951 but she remained active in science fiction only for a couple of years.
In 1952 Julian May married Ted Dikty, whom she met at a convention, and they had three children. In the following years she wrote about various topics, in particular thousands of encyclopedia articles and scientific essays.
In the early ’70s Julian May moved to Oregon, where she resumed contacts with sci-fi fandom. It was during this period that she started developing the ideas that would lead her to start the science fiction saga she’s best known for.
At that time however Julian May felt that a topic such as parapsychology wasn’t considered seriously in the world of science fiction and decided to write the four novels of the Pliocene Exile first: “The Many-Colored Land” (1981), “The Golden Torc” (1982), “The Nonborn King” (1983) and “The Adversary” (1984). These novels are more like fantasy than science fiction so metapsychology is also treated as a fantasy element with no scientific description. The inhabitants found in the Pliocene by the time travelers are inspired by Celtic mythology.
After a few years Julian May felt that her stories on the topic of metapsychics powers would be accepted by fans of science fiction with a better attitude and decided it was time to publish the Galactic Milieu Series. At that point however she decided it was necessary to explain how metapsychics powers developed in humans going on until the contact with the alien species that form the Galactic Milieu. That’s how she wrote “Intervention” (1987) then she went on with “Jack the Bodiless” (1991), “Diamond Mask” (1994) and finally “Magnificat” (1996), which concludes the saga in a sense returning to its beginning.
Over the following years Julian May wrote other science fiction novels but also some fantasy ones such as the Trillium series, a collaboration with Marion Zimmer Bradley and Andre Norton.
In recent years Julian May has written nothing new, luckily over the years she gave us stories of great thematic richness as in the saga of the Pliocene Exile / Galactic Milieu we find for example the influence of Celtic mythology but also the concepts of the noosphere and the Omega Point by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. It’s precisely the presence of these and other topics in her novels that made them a success.