(...) [in 1966, I'd been] writing science fiction in my
closet for a year, ever since the Big Meaningful Dream from which had
sprung, almost fully-dressed, a galoping, multi-generational science
fiction saga which would become the five books of my series
Tyranaël more than thirty years later. It was a very simple dream.
In the daily diary I kept that last year at home and dropped after a
few months at the university, utterly bored and depressed by my
so-called real life, I wrote only two lines about this dream, and to
this day I have no recollection of its images : words are all that are
left of it. "A huge planet, entirely covered twice a year by a
universal tide, during a universal eclipse, but nobody dies."
Though my journal says nothing of that dream afterwards
and I don't remember exactly how things evolved from there, I very soon
had a canvas of stand-alone but interlinked stories all contributing to
an overarching storyline - from the very beginning, I thought big. I
began to draw maps and invent various languages, creatures, societies,
and two whole planets. The entire story was there from the beginning.
Details changed over time, of course, as I came to understand more and
more about it, myself and the craft of writing. Of the two thousand
pages I wrote and rewrote obsessively for ten years, only two hundred
have passed without modifications from one draft to the next. But the
basic impulse never changed, the original design, the original need.
And in some way, everything I have written since (and will ever write,
I am beginning to suspect), is inscribed in that ur-story. (...)
The long-awaited English translation,
by Élisabeth Vonarburg and
Howard Scott, of Les Rêves de la Mer, the first book of
the Tyranaël series, which received the Grand Prix de la
science-fiction et du fantastique québécois
(Canada), and the
Babet d'Or of the Saint-Étienne Book Fair (France) in 1997.
As the twin planets of Altaïr eclipse each other, a
dangerous and mysterious blue Sea rises, killing most of the explorers
from Earth. The survivors must make a new life amid the abandoned
cities of the long-vanished native population, curiouslyintact. Or are
the colonists just a nightmare of the aïlmâdzi, the native
So begins the epic of the planet Tyranaël : an
adventure, a lyric journey through time, and a search for answers, each
of which is more strange and wonderful than the last.
Although the Terrans have been settled on Virginia for two centuries,
the indigenous animals still flee from them as if they had the plague.
So how come Eric and his friends, in their small travelling circus, are
able to put on extraordinary shows with kitdogs, scent-birds and even
unicorns ? What is their secret ?
Old Simon Rossem does know : he's been protecting these
children of the mutation he has himself undergone with his family
— a long time ago. For Simon is living his second life, and soon
his third. Each time he dies, he seems to come back, a young man in an
apparently old body. Was he really dead ? Or is he indeed
ressuscitated, and if so, by who ?
As the "new ones" try to take hold of their future by
proclaiming Virginia's independence, Simon turns to the past : the
reason for his puzzling longevity, and for all the other mutations that
keep on developing on Virginia, might be found in the memory plates of
the Ancients, the mysteriously disappeared natives of the planet.
But at the Ancient game of Perfection, who wins, and who
The inhabitants of Virginia have not had contact with Earth for
centuries. In the cities and the villages of the main continent, a new
order reigns, along with a seeming peace.
This does not in any way preclude the existence of
ghettos for "stone-heads", descendants of the Earthmen who came to try
and reconquer the planet a long time ago.
Mathieu, believing himself to be one of them, escaped
from a school where he was kept imprisoned and drugged. Pretending to
be amnesiac, he successfully finds his place in this Virginian society
where he hopes to understand why he was treated thus.
His obstinate quest will bring him to take sides in the
secret war that has been opposing two mutant factions for centuries:
the "Greys" and the "Rebbims", and, more importantly, to discover the
bridge leading the world of the Ancients...
Since Mathieu crossed into the world of the Ancients two centuries ago,
many Virginians have followed him. But, if the two races of humans and
Ancients have been able
to cross-breed, their descendants have lost their psychic abilities as
This is the case for young Lian--which drives his mother
to despair: for a Rani, there is no worse fate than to be excluded
forever from the Sea.
For Lian himself, though, the misfortune isn't that--but
rather to feel himself utterly excluded from a society he loves above
all else. Would he find his place on the other side, on Virginia?
But the passage between both worlds, until now, has only
happened in one direction...
After centuries of strife, peace has at last come to
Virgina, and, thanks to the Sea, it now possible to communicate with
Atyrkelsaõ and the Ancients.
Granddaughter of a ferryman come from the Other Side,
Taïriel has never shown any psychic power, and plans to go in
exile on the Lagrange space station. A brief dalliance with Samuel, a
telepath with a mysterious past,
will, however, shatter her plans for the future.
Who is Samuel? What is the relationship between him and
Ktulhudar, the legendary Ancient demi-god? And why does Taïriel
have those "absences", those lucid dreams that leave her drained of
strength, and horrified by her wild visions?
"The Sea Gone with the Sun": the ultimate answer to all
the enigma, and the surprising conclusion to the grandiose saga of