Forgotten book request
April 23, 2011 5:10 AM   Subscribe

Searching for the name of a (trilogy? or longer?) of SF/Fantasy books I read in the late 1980s or early 1990s.

What I can remember: a time portal was found that could send people back tens of thousands of years - but it was only one way with no way back to the present. The portal was set up as a commercial enterprise for people looking for the ultimate vacation. Once people travelled through, they were met at the far end by a group of aliens (?) that had built a civilisation in prehistoric Earth and used the humans as labour, controlling (?) them via a necklace (torus?) placed on them when they arrived (there were a range of necklaces - bronze upwards, depending on the human's ability to use the power in the necklace) The books told the story of one group of travellers - I remember one in particular who managed to overpower / use the necklace for his own ends and ended up having control over the aliens, another had immense power and ended up on a trail of destruction.

I can recollect some of the conclusions of the overall story, but as this would be a complete spoiler if you've never read the books, memail me if you want this extra information.
posted by KirkpatrickMac to Media & Arts (8 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Julian May's Pliocene Exlie Saga
posted by siskin at 5:14 AM on April 23, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks so much siskin, that's it!

/gets credit card out, hits Amazon.
posted by KirkpatrickMac at 5:30 AM on April 23, 2011

Excellent, excellent books. The later series in the same world (Diamond Mask, etc.) was much worse, in my opinion. I would love for the Exile Saga to be re-released. I want to read them again, but hate having to buy some used yellowing cheap trade paperback from 15 years ago.
posted by zachawry at 5:30 AM on April 23, 2011

Great stuff. The quality slips a lot from the original series to the prequel series that follows. Author dropped it after that, maybe because she could feel the momentum had gone out, too.

If "Game of Thrones" is a big commercial success, the Pliocene Exile should definitely be among the dozen or so series that should be candidates for that treatment.
posted by MattD at 6:49 AM on April 23, 2011

Such strange timing. A couple weeks back, I found my old, battered copy of the first book in one of my boxes and plan to re-read it and see if it's as good as I remember. I've been meaning to see if I could track down the rest. And yeah, I wouldn't bother with the prequels.

zachawry, if it's the buying part that bothers you, I'd be happy to send you my yellowing paperback when I'm done with it, but you'd be on your own for the rest.
posted by JaredSeth at 8:28 AM on April 23, 2011

JaredSeth: It's not the buying part per se; more that those cheap trade paperbacks are usually yellow, crusty, and falling apart after a decade or two.

This thread has reminded me how much I really enjoyed those books, though. I think I'll head on over to Amazon and try to find some good copies.

Thanks a lot, though.
posted by zachawry at 5:22 PM on April 23, 2011

I gobbled these up in the 80's (and helped Julian May figure out how to use her camera at a NorWesCon sometime in that decade), and read them again in the early 90s. When I tried re-reading for the third time a few years ago, I couldn't make it through. There are some novels that are worth re-reading, and sometimes you simply fill up your need for them. Same thing has happened with LOTR, but thanks heavens not "Little, Big" or most of William Gibson.
posted by lhauser at 7:17 PM on April 23, 2011

The Many Coloured Land
The Non Born King (did he not remind you of the Mule in Foundation?)
The Golden Torc

I have used paperbacks - the first one was an eye opener in that it was very different from anything I'd read (about twenty some years ago ) and taught me the concept of vagina dentata :)
posted by infini at 12:59 AM on April 24, 2011

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