Julian May's science fantasy book, The Many-Colored Land, tells the adventures of a disparate group of time travellers (Group Green) who travel into the early Pleistocene Era. The characters are finely drawn, and seem to be almost archetypal in nature, rather than mere stereotypes. I have always wondered how well they correspond to Jungian (or other) archetypes. For example. Stein (a brawler if ever there was one) would correspond to the hero, Aiken Drum would correspond to the trickster, Sister Amery to the maiden, and Elizabeth Orme to the nurturing mother. Is this reasonable, or am I clutching at straws? Is there a better correspondence in literature?

Other characters in this book and the series (The Saga of the Exiles) are up for grabs.

Group Green

Elizabeth Orme

Elizabeth was a talented metapsychic practitioner on the human-colonised ski-resort planet Denali, but suffered severe injuries which resulted in the loss of her metapsychic abilities. Unable to cope with the trauma of this, she travelled to the Pliocene hoping to travel freely in a hot air balloon. But in an ironic twist, the shock of time travel caused her operant powers to return. The Tanu race regard her with awe as no other naturally operant metapsychics have come through the gate, and treat her as something of a celebrity. Elizabeth is a peace-loving redactor with little interest in politics, but her knowledge of advanced Milieu metapsychic techniques and her high level of metapsychic power make her an important player in the Tanu court, whether she likes it or not.

Aiken Drum

A persistent troublemaker, young Aiken Drum refused to be bent to the will of society. Offered the choice of incarceration, docilization or euthanasia, he instead chose Exile to the Pliocene. Always landing on his feet, his quick wits and schemes earned him respect from his fellow time travelers, and his latent metapsychic abilities earned him a silver torc from the Tanu. But a greater future lies ahead for this maverick Scot.

Felice Landry

Felice starts the book as a tremendously talented athlete, with superhuman strength and coercive power (in short-lived, weak control of others minds), but with barely submerged psychopathy. She chooses to go into Exile when she is banned from her sport after two other players accused her of deliberately hurting them. In Exile she discovers her powers are stronger than she had previously expected but refused to be taken by the Tanu. Later in the book, Felice joins the Lowlives helping them discover that 'Blood-Metal' (aka iron) can kill the 'Exotics'. She is determined to get a Gold Torc throughout the book, confident that it will make her powerful enough to take on the Tanu.

Richard Voorhees

Richard is an ex-spacer who came to Pliocene after being sued by an alien space crew who he refused to help whilst on a mission for a client. Richard tries to act tough throughout the book and often refuses to help other people, especially the Lowlives, but always comes through for them in the end. Richard is most notable in the book for killing the first Tanu to die in the book, in the process discovering iron to be a potent weapon against them. He also flies the aircraft at the end of the book, as the only one with enough experience to work out how.

Bryan Grenfell

Bryan works as an anthropologist in the Galactic Milieu but goes into Exile in pursuit of his love, Mercy. When he arrives in the Many Colored Land, he is regarded as special by the Tanu, who allow him to work bareneck, without a torc, while he is there. In the time where Bryan is the main view-point he often quotes "There is a lady sweet and kind" by Thomas Ford:

There is a lady sweet and kind,
Was never face so pleas'd my mind;
I did but see her passing by,
And yet I love her till I die.

Stein Olsen

An ex-driller with psychological scars from the death of his mother. He is of immediate interest to the Tanu, who want him as a competitor in the ritual Great Combat due to his heroic physique. With the help of Elizabeth, he is mentally healed by the human woman Sukey, with whom he falls in love.

Annamaria Roccaro

A nun who develops complex relationships with Claude and Felice.

Claude Majewski

A retired, widowed palaeontologist, planning to see the 'fossil Zoo'.

-- Wikipedia: The Many-Colored Land: Group Green

  • 1
    Please use quote formatting when you're copy-pasting directly from external sources. At first I assumed you'd written all that about the characters yourself and linked to the Wikipedia page for further reading. literature.stackexchange.com/help/referencing
    – Rand al'Thor
    Mar 19, 2018 at 18:58


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