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Piers Anthony

book review Piers Anthony fantasy author Xanth(1934- )
Piers Anthony is one of the world’s most prolific and popular authors. His fantasy Xanth novels have been read and loved by millions of readers around the world, and have been on the New York Times Best Seller list many times. Although Piers is mostly known for fantasy and science fiction, he has written several novels in other genres as well, including historical fiction, martial arts, and horror. Piers lives with his lovely wife in a secluded woods hidden deep in Central Florida.
Click here for more books by Piers Anthony.

Xanth

Xanth — (1977-2017) Publisher: Xanth was the enchanted land where magic ruled — where every citizen had a special spell only he could cast. That is, except for Bink of North Village. He was sure he possessed no magic, and knew that if he didn’t find some soon, he would be exiled. According to the Good Magician Humpfrey, the charts said that Bink was as powerful as the King or even the Evil Magician Trent. Unfortunately, no one could determine its form. Meanwhile, Bink was in despair. If he didn’t find his magic soon, he would be forced to leave…

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A Spell for Chameleon: Stay away!

Readers’ average rating:

Reposting to include Kevin's recent review.

A Spell for Chameleon by Piers Anthony

You know that delighted little feeling you get when a package arrives on your doorstep? And with how excited you are, you just can’t wait to unbox whatever it is? Imagine you’ve just received a mysterious package, perhaps one you’ve been anticipating for a long time. Except, you’re so thrilled that you forget to check the name on the shipping label… and when you open it up, it’s not for you… Whoops.

You see, I’d heard so many things about Piers Anthony’s XANTH series, and as far as I was concerned, its popularity virtually guaranteed that A Spell for Chameleon, the opening novel of the series, would be spectacular… right? Wrong. In fact, just abo... Read More

Centaur Aisle: Apply this review to any Xanth novel

Readers’ average rating:

Centaur Aisle by Piers Anthony

Piers Anthony's Centaur Aisle is one of his many Xanth books — Xanth being the magical land these stories are set in, filled with dragons, ogres, and really bad puns. Often the puns provide clues to the riddles and plot twists and sometimes it takes a while until you have enough information to realise how certain puns will effect the story. Other times the puns form the basis of the flora and fauna of Xanth. For instance, a cocoa tree provides hot chocolate drinks.

I wonder how many potential readers will stop reading the review right here and decide they've learnt enough?  :)

You can apply this review to pretty much any of the Xanth novels, since they all follow ve... Read More

Incarnations of Immortality

Incarnations of Immortality — (1984-1991) Publisher: When Zane shot Death, he learned, too late, that he would have to assume his place, speeding over the world riding his pale horse, and ending the lives of others. Sooner than he would have thought possible, Zane found himself being drawn to Satan’s plot. Already the Prince of Evil was forging a trap in which Zane must act to destroy Luna, the woman he loved… unless he could discover the only way out…

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On a Pale Horse: Juvenile

Readers’ average rating:

On a Pale Horse by Piers Anthony

When the grim reaper shows up a few seconds early, Zane shoots him instead of using the gun on himself as he’d planned. Now, instead of being dead, Zane is Death. He has to take over the office, riding around the world in his convertible pale horse collecting and measuring the souls of those who’ve committed equal amounts of good and evil during their lives — those who are “in balance.” In his new guise (complete with all of the accoutrements: scythe, hooded cloak, skeleton face, etc), Zane sets out to change Death’s image while dealing with his own personal demons.

This is a fun premise and I expected Piers Anthony to do a lot with it, but unfortunately I found On a Pale Horse to be mostly illogical, trite and, worst sin of all, just plain boring. Part of the problem is tha... Read More

More speculative fiction by Piers Anthony

Aton — (1967-1975) Publisher: Chthon was Piers Anthony’s first published novel in 1967, written over the course of seven years. He started it when he was in the US Army, so it has a long prison sequence that is reminiscent of that experience, being dark and grim. It features Aton Five, a space man who commits the crime of falling in love with the dangerous alluring Minionette and is therefore condemned to death in the subterranean prison of Chthon. It uses flashbacks to show how he came to know the Minionette, and flashforwards to show how he dealt with her after his escape from prison. The author regards this as perhaps the most intricately structured novel the science fantasy genre has seen. It was a contender for awards, but not a winner.

science fiction book reviews Piers Anthony Aton 1. Chthon 2. Phthor science fiction book reviews Piers Anthony Aton 1. Chthon 2. Phthor


Battle Circle — (1968-1975) Publisher: Wandering tribes of primitive humans meet and fight and love and die. When one tribe meets another, individuals fight inside a Battle Circle. The loser must become a member of the victorious tribe. Each warrior is named by his weapon. When Sol the Sword is bested by Sol of All Weapons, he loses his tribe, his name, and his weapon. Re-named Sos the Rope, he joins with Sol of All Weapons to try to create something greater than a world of Battle Circles. An early classic from Piers Anthony, creator of the legendary Xanth series, Sos the Rope was nominated for the prestigious Hugo Award.
Omnibus
science fiction book reviews Piers Anthony Battle Circle 1. Sos the Rope 2. Var the Stick 3. Neq the Sword science fiction book reviews Piers Anthony Battle Circle 1. Sos the Rope 2. Var the Stick 3. Neq the Sword science fiction book reviews Piers Anthony Battle Circle 1. Sos the Rope 2. Var the Stick 3. Neq the Sword         science fiction book reviews Piers Anthony Battle Circle 1. Sos the Rope 2. Var the Stick 3. Neq the Sword


Of Man and Manta — (1968-1976) Publisher: Three scientists came to the mysterious planet Nacre to discover, to explore, to record. Utterly defenseless, they trekked through the grotesque jungle of multiform mushrooms and dense spore-clouds, hoping to unlock the secret of this strange world. The stunning climax of their mission was just the beginning of a complex drama in which their survival — and return to earth-could spell the extinction of humanity.

science fiction book reviews Piers Anthony Of Man and Manta 1. Omnivore 2. Orn 3. Ox science fiction book reviews Piers Anthony Of Man and Manta 1. Omnivore 2. Orn 3. Ox science fiction book reviews Piers Anthony Of Man and Manta 1. Omnivore 2. Orn 3. Ox


Cluster — (1977-1982) Publisher: The CLUSTER series of SF adventures is set in a future focused on colonization of distant planets. Every living thing has a Kirlian aura that can be measured. Through transfer, a refinement of mattermission technology, the mind and personality of individuals with high aura can be sent to animate a body physically distant but a hosted aura fades at the rate of about 1 unit per Earth day and higher-Kirlian individuals last longer and thus have more freedom of movement. As CLUSTER opens, the alien envoy Pnotl of Sphere Knyfh seeks help from Sphere Sol in a shared galactic-level crisis: Galaxy Andromeda has discovered the secret of energy transfer and intends to use it to steal the basic energy of the Milky Way Galaxy. Knyfh offers the secret of aura transfer on the understanding that Sphere Sol will spread the technology to help create a galactic coalition to find and defeat agents of Andromeda. Sol’s highest-Kirlian individual is Flint, a green-skinned native of Outworld, who has a Kirlian aura of 200, an eidetic memory (useful for memorizing the complex equations of Kirlian transfer that he will need to communicate to other spheres). He has extraordinary intelligence, and is highly adaptable. His mission is complicated, however, by the fact that he is pursued everywhere by a very high Kirlian female Andromedan agent and, somehow, the Andromedans are able to detect and trace Kirlian transfers.

SF book reviews Piers Anthony Cluster 1. Vicinity Cluster 2. Chaining the Lady 3. Kirlian Quest 4. Thousandstar 5. Viscous Circle SF book reviews Piers Anthony Cluster 1. Vicinity Cluster 2. Chaining the Lady 3. Kirlian Quest 4. Thousandstar 5. Viscous Circle SF book reviews Piers Anthony Cluster 1. Vicinity Cluster 2. Chaining the Lady 3. Kirlian Quest 4. Thousandstar 5. Viscous Circle SF book reviews Piers Anthony Cluster 1. Vicinity Cluster 2. Chaining the Lady 3. Kirlian Quest 4. Thousandstar 5. Viscous Circle SF book reviews Piers Anthony Cluster 1. Vicinity Cluster 2. Chaining the Lady 3. Kirlian Quest 4. Thousandstar 5. Viscous Circle


Tarot — (1979-1980) Publisher: On the ancient planet of Tarot, the timeless Tree of Life is the one supreme god. It’s people however are now being haunted by aparitions form the ancient cards of the Tarot deck. Is their god testing them?

SF book reviews Piers Anthony Tarot 1. God of Tarot 2. Vision of Tarot 3. Faith of Tarot SF book reviews Piers Anthony Tarot 1. God of Tarot 2. Vision of Tarot 3. Faith of Tarot SF book reviews Piers Anthony Tarot 1. God of Tarot 2. Vision of Tarot 3. Faith of Tarot


Apprentice Adept — (1981-1991) Publisher: On the technological, decadent world of Proton, someone was trying to destroy Stile, serf and master Gamesman. His only escape lay in Phaze, a world totally ruled by magic. Soon he learned that his alternate self had already been murdered, and that he was next. On Proton, his fate depended on winning the great Games. On Phaze, he must master magic to survive. And if he used any magic at all, his friends were determined to kill him at once!

Piers Anthony Apprentice Adept, Split Infinity, Blue Adept, Juxtaposition, Out of Phaze, Robot Adept, Unicorn Point, Phaze DoubtPiers Anthony Apprentice Adept, Split Infinity, Blue Adept, Juxtaposition, Out of Phaze, Robot Adept, Unicorn Point, Phaze DoubtPiers Anthony Apprentice Adept, Split Infinity, Blue Adept, Juxtaposition, Out of Phaze, Robot Adept, Unicorn Point, Phaze DoubtPiers Anthony Apprentice Adept, Split Infinity, Blue Adept, Juxtaposition, Out of Phaze, Robot Adept, Unicorn Point, Phaze DoubtPiers Anthony Apprentice Adept, Split Infinity, Blue Adept, Juxtaposition, Out of Phaze, Robot Adept, Unicorn Point, Phaze DoubtPiers Anthony Apprentice Adept, Split Infinity, Blue Adept, Juxtaposition, Out of Phaze, Robot Adept, Unicorn Point, Phaze DoubtPiers Anthony Apprentice Adept, Split Infinity, Blue Adept, Juxtaposition, Out of Phaze, Robot Adept, Unicorn Point, Phaze Doubt


Bio of a Space Tyrant — (1983-2002) Publisher: Though he was later accused of every crime and sexual perversion in the galaxy, Hope Hubris began as an innocent. Because he defended his older sister against the violent lusts of a wealthy scion, Hope and his peasant family were forced to flee Callisto, one of the moons of Jupiter. Pursued by the bloodthirsty scions across the airless desert, they barely escaped with their lives. The illegal space bubble was overcrowded with refugees, all hoping to reach Jupiter for asylum. But the space travelers had not reckoned on the terrible threat of high space-the pirates, barbaric men who rape, rob, and murder, with no thought but to satisfy their bestial appetites. It will take all Hope’s ingenuity to survive, but the atrocities he witnesses will never die. There is only one way he can be rid of them…

Piers Anthony SF book reviews Bio of a Space Tyrant 1. Refugee 2. Mercenary 3. Politician 4. Executive 5. Statesman 6. The Iron Maiden Piers Anthony SF book reviews Bio of a Space Tyrant 1. Refugee 2. Mercenary 3. Politician 4. Executive 5. Statesman 6. The Iron Maiden Piers Anthony SF book reviews Bio of a Space Tyrant 1. Refugee 2. Mercenary 3. Politician 4. Executive 5. Statesman 6. The Iron Maiden Piers Anthony SF book reviews Bio of a Space Tyrant 1. Refugee 2. Mercenary 3. Politician 4. Executive 5. Statesman 6. The Iron Maiden Piers Anthony SF book reviews Bio of a Space Tyrant 1. Refugee 2. Mercenary 3. Politician 4. Executive 5. Statesman 6. The Iron Maiden Piers Anthony SF book reviews Bio of a Space Tyrant 1. Refugee 2. Mercenary 3. Politician 4. Executive 5. Statesman 6. The Iron Maiden


Kelvin of Rud — (1987-1992) With Robert E Margroff. Publisher: The Prophecy: A Roundear there Shall Surely be; Born to be Strong, Raised to be Free; Fighting Dragons in his Youth; Leading Armies, Nothing Loth; Ridding his Country of a Sore; Joining Two, then uniting Four; Until from Seven there be One; Only then will his Task be Done. When Kelvin was a child, his mother read to him from the Book of Prophecy and he asked what the poem meant. Now he was about to learn. The Kingdom of Rud languishes under the heel of a usurper; an evil sorcerer has taken the throne in the name of his wicked daughter. Even deep in the forest, away from all power, the people tremble and await the day of prophecy’s fulfillment. It cannot come too soon: Charlain and her children are soon to lose their home to the tax collector. But Kelvin and Jon have other plans. they have found a dragon’s territory, where scales of purest gold, shed by the dragon, lie free on the ground for anyone with courage, or innocence, to take. And the words of Mouvar the prophet echo across Rud.

Piers Anthony Robert E Margroff Kelvin of Rud 1. Dragon's Gold 2. Serpent's Silver 3. Chimaera's Copper 4. Orc's Opal 5. Mouvar's Magic Piers Anthony Robert E Margroff Kelvin of Rud 1. Dragon's Gold 2. Serpent's Silver 3. Chimaera's Copper 4. Orc's Opal 5. Mouvar's Magic Piers Anthony Robert E Margroff Kelvin of Rud 1. Dragon's Gold 2. Serpent's Silver 3. Chimaera's Copper 4. Orc's Opal 5. Mouvar's Magic Piers Anthony Robert E Margroff Kelvin of Rud 1. Dragon's Gold 2. Serpent's Silver 3. Chimaera's Copper 4. Orc's Opal 5. Mouvar's Magic Piers Anthony Robert E Margroff Kelvin of Rud 1. Dragon's Gold 2. Serpent's Silver 3. Chimaera's Copper 4. Orc's Opal 5. Mouvar's Magic


Mode — (1991-2001) Publisher: When she falls in love with a strange man who disappears before her eyes, Colene says goodbye to reality — and hello to an infinite world of dragons, monsters, and impossible dreams.

Piers Anthony SF book reviews Mode 1. Virtual Mode 2. Fractal Mode 3. Chaos Mode 4. Dooon Mode Piers Anthony SF book reviews Mode 1. Virtual Mode 2. Fractal Mode 3. Chaos Mode 4. Dooon Mode Piers Anthony SF book reviews Mode 1. Virtual Mode 2. Fractal Mode 3. Chaos Mode 4. Dooon Mode Piers Anthony SF book reviews Mode 1. Virtual Mode 2. Fractal Mode 3. Chaos Mode 4. Dooon Mode


Geodyssey — (1993-2010) Publisher: A magnificent saga of passion, heroism, and survival, Piers Anthony’s Isle of Woman is a tale like no other ever written. It is nothing less than the story of humanity itself, from its savage origins to its troubled future, told through the lives on one family reborn throughout history. At once grand in scope and intimate in human detail, Isle of Woman tells the story of a man and a woman born at the dawn of human history, separated by fate, yet united by an unquenchable passion that even time could not conquer: Blaze, the fireworker who raised his kind out of savagery, and Ember, the beautiful green-eyed woman who forever haunted his dreams.

Piers Anthony Geodyssey 1. Isle of Woman 2. Shame of Man 3. Hope of Earth 4. Muse of Art Piers Anthony Geodyssey 1. Isle of Woman 2. Shame of Man 3. Hope of Earth 4. Muse of Art Piers Anthony Geodyssey 1. Isle of Woman 2. Shame of Man 3. Hope of Earth 4. Muse of Art Piers Anthony Geodyssey 1. Isle of Woman 2. Shame of Man 3. Hope of Earth 4. Muse of Art 5. Climate of ChangePiers Anthony Geodyssey 1. Isle of Woman 2. Shame of Man 3. Hope of Earth 4. Muse of Art 5. Climate of Change


Chromagic — (2003-2008) Publisher: 1,000 years ago Earth colonized the planet Charm. But the population of Charm is now far removed from their ancient ancestors. Technology has been lost over the years but the people have something better—Magic! Charm is a world covered by volcanoes, each erupting a different color of magic. Everything within a particular Chroma becomes that color. Plants, animals, insects, and even humans all become one color and can perform that color of magic. Traveling is dangerous because a person leaving their native Chroma home can no longer perform their color magic. Havoc is a barbarian living in a non-Chroma village, where no one has magic. As a boy, he rescued a dragon that rewarded him with special magic; to sense pending danger. His gift becomes more valuable than he can imagine as he is suddenly drafted and forced to become the new king of the planet. He must perform his duties or be executed for treason. To make matters worse, the assassin who killed the former king is now after Havoc!

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Return of Aladdin — (2011-2012) With J.R. Rain. Publisher: Return to the magical land of the Arabian Nights… The end of “Aladdin of the Lamp” finds the cunning Aladdin ruler of a great kingdom. Now, many years have passed… Aladdin is older, richer and wiser… and heart broken, and after losing his beloved wife and son to foul play, he resigns from being king and sets out to do what he does best…. Now working as an anonymous relic hunter using the name Niddala (Aladdin spelled backwards), he’s hired by a desperate-and beautiful-noble woman named Jewel to rescue her kidnapped son. Prince Zeyn, a powerful wizard from the magical land of Djinnland, has designs on Aladdin’s kingdom, and Jewel’s son is to be the final piece of a bloody plot to rule two worlds. From bestselling authors Piers Anthony (Xanth) and J.R. Rain (Vampire for Hire), Aladdin Relighted is the first in a magical series featuring Aladdin and his Extraordinary Lamp.

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Trail Mix — (2011-2012) Publisher: Follow Tod Timmonds as he leaves his mundane life behind and embarks on a remarkable trail of adventure and uncertainly. As Tod navigates the trail he encounters a mix of creatures from alternate realities, periods in time, and different planets. There are qualities previously hidden in Tod that he must quickly realize to have a chance to survive even one day on his new path. In short order Tod must differentiate friends from foes, lust from love, and fantasy from reality in order to save the one thing that connects us all before it is too late!

Trail Mix 1. Amoeba 2. Beetle Juice Trail Mix 1. Amoeba 2. Beetle Juice


Metal Maiden — (2012) Publisher: Humanoid robots are surely in our future, but their uses are likely to be limited to body guarding, childcare, companionship, and sex. Other chores can better be done by smart non-humanoid machines designed for those specific tasks. But for these limited purposes, the best robots must be so realistic that they are indistinguishable from live people. Elasa is such a robot. You can’t tell her nature if she doesn’t reveal it. You can talk with her, embrace her, kiss her, and she is the perfect woman. Until she becomes the first conscious robot. She no longer is satisfied to pretend to be a woman, she wants legal recognition that she is a woman. So that, among other things, she can marry the man she loves. Therein hangs a tale…

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Stand-alones:

fantasy and science fiction book reviewsThe Ring — (1968) Publisher: After a youth spent trapped in space exile, Jeff Font returned to Earth to seek vengeance against the planetary mogul who had framed and destroyed Jeff’s family. Jeff’s plans backfired: he was captured, drugged, rammed through a computerized court system, convicted… and ringed. The ring. The ultimate high-tech civics lesson. A surgically implanted electronic monitor that automatically caused unendurable agony when a convict strayed from righteousness. A ringer would do no evil, think no evil, see or hear evil without ratting to the robocops — nor defend himself or others from insult or injury. And in a corrupt world of licensed sin and satanic parties, floral estates and city-sized slums, ringers were the ultimate victims. But the ring’s data banks hadn’t factored in Jeff Font’s strength… courage… and his will to fight society, the world and the agony of the ring to unravel the plot that entrapped him, and see justice done.


fantasy and science fiction book reviewsMacroscope — (1969) Pulisher: Throughout history, man has been searching for better ways to gather information about his universe. And though they may have longed for it, not even the most brilliant minds could conceive of a device as infinitely powerful and precise as the macroscope… until the twenty-first century. By analyzing information carried on macrons, this incredible tool brought the whole universe of wonders to man’s doorstep. The macroscope was seen by many as the salvation of the human race. But in the hands of the wrong person, the macroscope could be immensely destructive — infinitely more dangerous than the nuclear bomb. In his quest for too much knowledge, man could destroy the very essence of his mind. This is the powerful story of man’s struggle with technology… and with his humanity. Macroscope takes us across the breathtaking ranges of space as well as through the most touching places in the human heart. It is a story of coming of age, of sacrifice, and of love. It is the story of man’s desperate search for a compromise between mind and heart, between knowledge and humanity.


Piers Anthony fantasy book reviews Hasan, Shade of the Tree, Through the Ice, If I Pay Thee Not in Gold, The Willing Spirit, Quest for the Fallen Star, Dream a Little DreamHasan — (1969) Publisher: In the days of Sinbad, the handsome young merchant Hasan quests forth from Bassorah, seeking great wealth. But Lo! The hand of Allah sets the youth upon a rare journey — into the heart of deadly adventure, unearthly peril… and magic. Enslaved by the alchemist Bahram, bound into a camel’s corpse and left on the Mountain of Clouds to be devoured by a roc — such is the beginning of Hasan’s destiny. For he has entered a world of mighty jinns and hideous ifrits, amazon empires and bejeweled jungle palaces, enigmatic wizards and cloistered virgin princesses. And to know his life’s desire, Hasan must twice capture the love of the bird-maiden Sana — the world’s most beautiful woman, child of the vengeful king of jinns on the dreaded Isles of Wak! Harken ye now to a tale of exotic mystery, sensuous beauty, and strange sorcery.


fantasy and science fiction book reviewsThe E.S.P. Worm — (1970) Publisher: The cast of cosmic characters: A prodigal worm — A telepathic, egotistical, totally unscrupulous little alien running away from his father becomes the biggest prize in the universe. Capture the slimy brat and win an entire planet! A cosmic hustler — An effete snob who ekes out a comfortable living as the President’s son-in-law, and perfects his reflexes with endless contests of cosmic pool, becomes the most important element in a delicate game of interspatial espionage — and the galaxy’s prime target for assassination. The most sensual woman on earth — Completes the star-crossed triangle in one of the wildest, wickedest romps in the annals of science fiction!


fantasy and science fiction book reviewsProstho Plus — (1971) Publisher: What’s keeping you from your grand tour of the universe? Are you afraid of being caught out in the vastness of space with a painful cavity and no one capable of fixing it? Well fear not–the galaxy is simply teeming with dentists! For Dr. Dillingham, dentist of Earth, it was the shock of his life–captured by aliens, forced to fix a strange cavity in an even stranger mouth; then whisked off to deep space. But luckily for the good dentist, Dillingham discovered that he liked zooming about the galaxy, solving unprecedented problems and making new and decidedly different acquaintances. And when he was offered the chance to apply to the Galactic University of Dentistry as Earth’s first (and only) applicant, Dillingham had a choice to make: go back to his safe little world of bored housewives and miles of braces, or make a mark for mankind among the teeth of the stars. It was really no choice at all.


fantasy and science fiction book reviewsRings of Ice — (1974) Publisher: ‘Zena and the boys went ice-ring planing, Boys fouled up and Earth got a raining!’ Gus and Thatch were desperately trying to drive the big mobile home up into the mountains, high above the floods rapidly drowning out the rest of the world. They even had some crazy notion about saving civilization from the waters — which was why they took along uptight Zena — who knew far more than she was telling about why that vast canopy of ice had suddenly surrounded Earth – and voluptuous Gloria – who turned out sometimes to be a man and sometimes a woman as well. And then they picked up Karen, and Floy, and Dust Devil, and Foundling — two latterday Noahs in a motorized ark. The trouble was, their little community wasn’t the only one frantically trying to find dry land, food and fuel. And seeing robbery, looting, murder and cannibalism were now looked on as legitimate means of survival, the struggle for life was apt to become a little vicious at times.


fantasy and science fiction book reviewsTriple Detente — (1974) Publisher: Earth and Kazo have created a unique peace. Kazo administers Earth, and Earth controls Kazo. Nothing is really complicated until both humans and Kazos discover the existence of a third intelligent race in the galaxy and try to bring them into the newly developing peace.fantasy and science fiction book reviews


Race Against Time — (1974) Publisher: John Smith is just a typical teenager growing up in a typical American town…Or is he? He has a dog — that can climb trees and understand very complex commands. He has parents — who watch him constantly, taking notes when they think he’s not looking. He has a girlfriend — a girl he’s never met, whom he has been told he must marry. John knows that something is wrong, but until he crosses the boundary fence late one night, he doesn’t realize just how much. For wherever he lives, it’s definitely not America!


But What of Earth?But What of Earth? — (1976) Publisher: There are few writers more entertaining than Piers Anthony and this rousing, thought-provoking science fiction adventure proves it. Piers weaves a story around juicy bits of autobiographical material and his relationship with the publishing industry to create an adventure of two worlds.fantasy and science fiction book reviews


Steppe — (1976) Publisher:  Alp, a 9th century Turkish war-chieftain, is whisked away from his tribe and his era at the moment of his death, and finds himself in 2332. This future is ruled by humans called the Galactics who preside over a live-action game where the participants can actually die. Against his will, Alp is forced to fight once more.


fantasy and science fiction book reviewsPretender — (1979) Publisher: The craft was in trouble. And the alien entity known as NK-2 was headed for an unscheduled landing on a backwater planet named Earth. To make matters worse, his enemy had reached the ground before him, and by now was probably already hidden among the primitive people of this place, a race of two-legged beings who called themselves the Babylonians. And now his host animal was dying, and unless he found another creature intelligent enough to take its place, he was doomed. If the enemy didn’t get him first! A grand adventure of science fiction and fantasy by the author of Hasan, Macroscope, and A Spell for Chameleon, illustrated with a wraparound cover and five interior illustrations by comicbook artist Larry Ortiz.fantasy and science fiction book reviews


Mute — (1981) Publisher: Mute is science fantasy of mutation and psi: special mental powers. The protagonist, Knot, is a double mutant: he has a physical deformity, and the psi power to make others forget him. He’s satisfied with his life–until the lovely Finesse walks into his life to recruit him for a dangerous galactic mission. She is aided by two small animal mutants: a telepathic weasel and a clairvoyant crab. Knot tries to resist, aided by his psi, but the woman’s beauty and the animals’ powers doom him to a phenomenal adventure.


fantasy and science fiction book reviewsHard Sell — (1982) Publisher:  When Fisk Centers is persuaded to invest in some Martian real esate, he finds he has bought himself more trouble than he expected, from participating in a suicide fusion car race to narrowly escaping from premature embalming by a robot mortician.


Piers Anthony fantasy book reviews Hasan, Shade of the Tree, Through the Ice, If I Pay Thee Not in Gold, The Willing Spirit, Quest for the Fallen Star, Dream a Little DreamShade of the Tree — (1986) Publisher: A widower and his two children move into a house in Florida left them by an eccentric uncle. But the house, built beneath the shade of a huge oak tree, proves to be haunted — by shades of the living and of the dead, and even more.


fantasy and science fiction book reviewsGhost — (1986) Publisher: From the author of the bestselling Xanth series. The selfish and superficial inhabitants of Earth have depleted its resources. Now Starship Captain Shetland and his crew set out to explore the void beyond the universe on a time-ship to find new sources of energy. What they find instead are — ghosts.


fantasy and science fiction book reviewsTotal Recall — (1986) Publisher:  In 1966, the late Philip K Dick published the novelette ”We Can Remember It for You Wholesale.” A movie based on the story will be released next year; this book is a novelization of the script and the original novel. The first half of the book follows the original plot closely, despite transforming the unremarkable protagonist Douglas Quail into a musclebound man of action. Frustrated with his life, Quail decides to purchase a memory of a two-week adventure on Mars because he can’t afford the real thing. However, while under heavy sedation preparatory to the installation of the memory, Quail remembers that he actually was on Mars as an intelligence agent and killer. Now that he has recovered the memory which had been suppressed by his employers, his life is in jeopardy. Here the novel deviates from Dick’s philosophical original, becoming a more pedestrian if exciting slam-bang chase thriller. Judged on its own terms, the book works and it’s fun.


Piers Anthony fantasy book reviews Hasan, Shade of the Tree, Through the Ice, If I Pay Thee Not in Gold, The Willing Spirit, Quest for the Fallen Star, Dream a Little DreamThrough the Ice — (1989) With Robert Kornwise. Publisher: Seth is whisked from fighting teenage punks in Michigan to being part of a quest — along with Tirsa the telepath, Rame the faun, and Vidav the giant — when he falls through the ice.


Dead MornDead Morn — (1990) Publisher: With humankind surviving underground in the twenty-fifth-century’s last city, a courageous man journeys back in time into Cuba’s history to try to alter the past and stop the worldwide conflagration that would leave Earth a nuclear wasteland.


fantasy and science fiction book reviewsBalook — (1990) Publisher: In the wake of technological breakthroughs, a nine-ton prehistoric balook is brought to life and befriended by a boy named Thor, but when the growing creature breaks out of his compound, a chaotic romp ensues.


FireflyFirefly — (1990) Publisher: A provocative novel of terror from the New York Times bestselling author of the Xanth and Incarnations of Immortality series. By using sexual attraction, a terrifying creature preys on victims who die in a frenzied state of sexual ecstasy.


fantasy and science fiction book reviewsTatham Mound — (1991) Publisher: An extraordinary novel of a Native American tale-teller during the first European invasions — from the New York Times bestselling author of over 20 novels. He is the storyteller, a speaker of many tongues. His ancestors have set him on life’s path — impelling the young brave on a mystical quest to deliver his people from the destruction which comes from afar.


fantasy and science fiction book reviewsMercycle — (1991) Publisher: On Earth with the hope of saving the planet from a meteor strike, an alien from an alternate reality recruits five humans to help him on his mission, using his advanced technology to enable them to breathe while under water.


fantasy and science fiction book reviewsKilobyte — (1994) Publisher: Unable to move his legs after being injured in the line of duty, policeman Walter Toland finds new freedom in Killobyte, a virtual reality computer game, but when a deranged hacker blocks his exit from the game, Walter must fight for his life.


Piers Anthony fantasy book reviews Hasan, Shade of the Tree, Through the Ice, If I Pay Thee Not in Gold, The Willing Spirit, Quest for the Fallen Star, Dream a Little DreamThe Willing Spirit — (1996) With Alfred Tella. Publisher: Hari leaves his native village on a quest for true wisdom, but unbeknownst to him, his journey becomes the subject of a wager between two immortals, the beautiful Mohini and the evil Ravana.


fantasy and science fiction book reviewsSpider Legs — (1997) Publisher: Millions of readers have enjoyed Anthony’s books, including (but not limited to) his undeniably popular Xanth and Blue Adept series. Now, in collaboration with celebrated non-fiction author Clifford A. Pickover, he brings us a disturbing tale of our own world and the strange creatures with whom we share it.


Piers Anthony fantasy book reviews Hasan, Shade of the Tree, Through the Ice, If I Pay Thee Not in Gold, The Willing Spirit, Quest for the Fallen Star, Dream a Little DreamQuest for the Fallen Star — (1998) With James Richey and Alan Riggs. Publisher:  The Realm, to its sorrow, has seen evil before. But in these strange new times has come a thing never seen before. A star has tumbled, burning, from the sky: the Fallen Star, which has journeyed through the Abyss to land on Infinitera. It holds a power of evil more dangerous than the Dark One himself, one that could defile all Creation. All this is known to High Bishop Marcus Alanda, watching from his temple in the Holy City of Norivika. To save the Realm and its power, the High Bishop charges a lonely band of travelers to accompany him on a journey to a lost island at the end of the world. There, in the temple Atablicryon, waits the one weapon that can defeat the Fallen Star. Running before the storm, this doughty band must traverse mountains, deserts, forests, oceans, and undreamt-of peril – and learn the true nature of the Fallen Star – in order to preserve the Realm from the rising darkness.


Piers Anthony fantasy book reviews Hasan, Shade of the Tree, Through the Ice, If I Pay Thee Not in Gold, The Willing Spirit, Quest for the Fallen Star, Dream a Little DreamDream a Little Dream — (1998) With Julie Brady. Publisher: Nola and Tina are both girls with problems. They don’t know each other yet, but they will, because each is a Creator, with the magical ability to turn dreams into reality. It would be great gift and a great power – if either knew she had it. But this world is hard on dreamers, whether they dream true or not. Nola is trapped in a terrible, abusive relationship with a man she once loved; Tina is an orphan who makes her living on the street. All their dreams are slowly being ground into dust. It’s a common enough tragedy, a sorrow and a grief and a shame upon the world, no matter who it happens to. But when dreams themselves die, when the great dreamers stop dreaming, whole universes of imagination are lost. And the land of Nola and Tina’s dreams is fighting back. Into their miserable everyday world soars Esprit, a winged unicorn dark as the space between the stars. He is the vessel of Nola’s dreams, come to aid her in her battle with sordid reality. Following after him comes Prince Michael, whose quest it is to find the human dreamers who can save his land from ruin. And suddenly Nola realizes that the last thing she wants is to keep both feet firmly on the ground…


fantasy and science fiction book reviewsReality Check — (1999) Publisher: Piers Anthony, one of the best selling writers of science fiction and fantasy, displays all of his literary virtues in “Reality Check,” a magnum opus of why Anthony is more than an entertaining writer. He is an important writer. This novel builds bridges between generations as it builds them between worlds. There is a quality here of classic Heinlein. The main characters face the unknown with courage instead of fear. Encountering the fantastic makes them think better instead of not thinking at all. “Reality Check” is a celebration of life, and a love story between grandparents and a granddaughter, between cousins, and between friends. Most of all, “Reality Check” is the first novel to fully explore the impact of the internet on the American family, albeit in science-fiction terms.fantasy and science fiction book reviews


The Secret of Spring — (2000) Publisher: Herb Moss is a nice young man. He’s a Vegan: a member of a genetically engineered species, part human and part plant, living on the planet New World.


fantasy and science fiction book reviewsThe Gutbucket Quest — (2000) Publisher: Slim’s a Texas bluesman of a certain age, down on his luck and just about broke – but hey, that’s what the blues are all about. He loves his music: “Not the popular blues, homogenized, synthesized, and zombilized; but the real down-home gut-bucket blues.” Then one day the music loves him back. In a single hot burst of lightening that comes straight up out of the ground, Slim finds himself in Tejas. It’s a little bit magic and a whole lot different, but the blues are the same. And the blues – manifest here in the form of a maple-necked, pearl-gray Fender Stratocaster with blue-chrome pickups, a.k.a. The Gutbucket – need him and need him bad. The Strat’s fallen into the hands of T-Bone Pickens and his Vipers, who want to suck up all its power and turn it to evil. Slim’s off and running on the Gutbucket Quest, with the help of his new mentor, rhythm guitarist Progress T. Hornsby, and a purely unstoppable blues singer named Nadine.


fantasy and science fiction book reviewsTortoise Reform — (2007) Publisher: Rowan is a very lonely ten-year-old girl. Her parents sent her to stay with her aunt and uncle, and she feels rejected by everyone around her. She tends to get into accidental mischief, which causes Rowan’s relatives to keep threatening to send her to boarding school. In another dimension, Gopher is a burrowing tortoise. In Gopher’s world animals are intelligent and communicate telepathically, while all humans are “dull” and only used as beasts of burden. Gopher and four other friends live together as burrow mates. For their burrow to be officially recognized by the Elders they must find one more for their group. The problem is they are all too young and no one wants to join them to help protect the burrow. One day, while digging a new tunnel, Gopher falls through a sinkhole and discovers a whole new realm. There Gopher meets Rowan and discovers to his horror that in this new world humans can talk, and while they don’t know how to use telepathy yet, the fact that they communicate shocks Gopher. What a catastrophe it would be if humans suddenly became intelligent! Becoming friends, Rowan learns to communicate telepathically and vows to help Gopher find his way back home. But her task just got a lot more complicated when Gopher is captured by a tortoise hunter and Rowan discovers that construction will soon begin over the sinkhole leading to Gopher’s world. The race is on to rescue Gopher, stop the construction, and get him back home again before someone discovers Gopher’s secret.


fantasy and science fiction book reviewsThe Sopaths — (2011) Publisher: The most controversial work by NY Times best-selling author, Piers Anthony. Killing children is an ugly business, but the alternative is so much uglier. Abner Slate just watched his five-year-old daughter, Olive, kill his wife and son. Olive is a sopath. Born without souls, sopaths are children who will lie, cheat, rape, and murder to get what they want. There’s one in every family these days, destroying America’s heartland from within. After murdering his daughter in self-defense, Abner is taken in by a secret network of sopath victims called Pariah. Through Pariah, he meets other sopath victims who band together to form a temporary nuclear family. But the sopath threat is getting worse, and soon their quaint little neighborhood is overrun by murderous, drug-running children. Now, on a mission for Pariah, Abner and his makeshift family must travel across the country to a mysterious town that contains a secret powerful enough to stop the sopath crisis. Instead, they find the most seductive and ruthless sopath of all. Her name is Autopsy, and she would like to add Abner to her slave collection. The old morality is dead. Now the sopaths will stalk the earth.fantasy and science fiction book reviews


Aliena — (2013) Publisher: Aliena is a nice person who turns out to be an alien in a human host. She just has things to learn about the human form and society. When her body starts immune-rejecting the alien brain, and the brain has to be replaced by another alien brain, maintaining the semblance of marriage and family becomes a challenge for both Aliena and the man who loves her.

 


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By Piers Anthony and Mercedes Lackey

Piers Anthony fantasy book reviews Hasan, Shade of the Tree, Through the Ice, If I Pay Thee Not in Gold, The Willing Spirit, Quest for the Fallen Star, Dream a Little DreamIf I Pay Thee Not in Gold — (1993) Publisher: In the first book of a brilliant new series that rivals Xanth, fantasy superstars Anthony and Lackey join forces to create a marvelous fantasy quest that examines the war between the sexes and the ethics of desire.