History Main / PiersAnthony

29th Aug '13 3:43:43 PM MarkLungo
Is there an issue? Send a Message


[[quoteright:200:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/rPSmb5ati8tFQyG_8511.jpg]]

One of the most prolific fantasy writers ever. He has a pattern of starting a new series with a fresh innovative idea, and then [[{{sequelitis}} never stopping it unless the publisher begs him to]]. Thus, he is one of the most prolific fantasy writers ''without'' writing many {{Doorstopper}}s.

Piers Anthony has written several series, including:

* ''Literature/{{Xanth}},'' mostly set in a world of magic and puns about the size and shape of Florida (both the world and the puns).
* ''Literature/IncarnationsOfImmortality,'' where being an AnthropomorphicPersonification is just a job.
* The ''Literature/ApprenticeAdept'' series, about two mirror worlds; one hi-tech, one magical.
* ''The Bio of a Space Tyrant'', about the titular tyrant's rise from refugee to supreme power in a [[FantasyCounterpartCulture Sci-Fi Counterpart Culture]] based on Earth in TheEighties.
* The ''Literature/{{Cluster}}'' series, where all FasterThanLightTravel is done through possessing aliens.
* The ''Mode'' series, which is about characters traveling across dimensions--each of which has fundamentally different rules--on foot. (Literally, every ten meters they are in a new dimension they could not see before, stepping across the boundary is very dangerous, and they'd have to do this for hundreds or thousands of dimensions before reaching an (hopefully) stable "anchor" dimension).
* The ''Battle Circle'' trilogy; about the conflicts between a heavily ritualized warrior culture and a hidden technocratic culture in a [[AfterTheEnd post-apocalyptic]] Earth.
* The JasonStriker series, co-authored with Roberto Fuentes, which had a FairForItsDay depiction of martial arts as a mix between a highly technical sport and mystical mumbo-jumbo.
* ''OfManAndManta'', a trilogy of science fiction stories exploring the nature of sentience and human interaction with StarfishAliens, [[EnergyBeing Energy Beings]] and intelligent animals across several worlds and [[AlternateUniverse parallel universes]].

He's also written many stand alone novels and collaborations. His story "In the Barn" was included in HarlanEllison's anthology ''Literature/AgainDangerousVisions''.

----
!!His work includes examples of:
* AuthorAppeal: Nudism / InnocentFanserviceGirl, in spades. He also tends to use RapeAsDrama and LawfulStupid a lot.
* AuthorFilibuster: A variant: Anthony concludes most of his novels with a chapter-long "Author's Note" in which he writes about the novel itself, what happened in his life while writing the novel, and whatever else he feels like.
* BeQuietNudge: Happens a few times in a form of a kick.
* BizarreAlienSenses: In ''Omnivore'', the fungus-derived mantas use biological radar to "see" their surroundings.
* BlackComedyRape: The entire point of his "adult-themed" comedy ''Pornucopia''.
* DirtyOldMan: Self-professed even. Not really a surprise to anyone who has read anything he's written.
* DisposableWoman: Nearly all of his books have these; very often as [[DistressedDamsel Distressed Damsels]]. Women in ''Bio of a Space Tyrant'' seem to exist solely to be [[StuffedIntoTheFridge brutally raped and murdered]].
* EskimosArentReal: In "Possible To Rue", a young boy's pleas for a pet pegasus leads his father to look the animal up in the encyclopedia and show that they're mythical. So are unicorns. To the father's astonishment, so are [[InvertedTrope zebras, mules, and even horses]], which he distinctly remembers placing bets on. It's implied that, by denying zebras are real to avoid having to buy one, the father has inadvertently begun erasing these creatures from the universe.
* GeniusLoci: A few of these, most notably the titular ''Chthon''.
* HurricaneOfPuns: Particularly in his ''Xanth'' series, almost every one of which are reader submitted (and credited).
* HonorBeforeReason: A common trait of most of his protagonists. Mr. Anthony has repeatedly said that he believes heroes should be LawfulStupid. In the ''Battle Circle'' trilogy, the entire Nomad culture is based on this.
* ImAManICantHelpIt: All over the place. He likes to hammer this point home by having a woman become a man briefly -- upon returning to normal she will be full of surprised gratitude to her male companions for restraining their beastly urges.
* InsideAComputerSystem: ''Killobyte'' has the main characters trapped in VR.
* MagicAIsMagicA
* MermaidProblem: Piers Anthony goes out of his way to analyze mermaid physiology in several of his series.
* NakedPeopleAreFunny / NationalGeographicNudity: Piers has said on several occasions that he doesn't understand why people consider human nudity to be shocking/harmful/etc. He tends to mix it into his stories.
** Mermaids in ''Literature/{{Xanth}}'' are nudists, as are pretty much any {{Half Human Hybrid}}s as a rule. In one novel the heroine -- a Mermaid who turns human -- spends a significant amount of time in the book before she gets any clothing. The most intelligent race, Centaurs, go topless except for utility and mate in the open, on the grounds that natural functions are, well, natural.
** The ''Literature/ApprenticeAdept'' series starts off on a colony world named Proton where only the members of the ruling class (called Citizens) are allowed the privilege of wearing clothing. The majority of the population consists of their indentured servants, called "serfs", who are required by law to go naked at all times.[[note]]There are exceptions for safety gear and such, to cover the corner cases.[[/note]]
* OnlyInFlorida
* ParentalBonus: Quite a bit, actually. Lots of the puns in Xanth are likely to go over the primary audiences' head. Some of the somewhat [[FetishFuel adult]] situations (characters losing clothing etc.) are shrugged off by the characters, since they're too young to realize the connotations. Having said that, there's a huge amount of [[InvertedTrope Childhood Bonus]] -- lots of these books are much more of a GuiltyPleasure than they appear at first glance. Mr. Anthony definitely knows his target audience.
* PirateGirl: Several in ''The Bio of a Space Pirate''.
* ProtectionFromEditors: [[invoked]] As he says in his Author's Notes, PiersAnthony does not like people making changes to his work, and after his books started selling, he became determined to never let an editor [[ExecutiveMeddling meddle]] with anything he wrote ever again.
* PungeonMaster
* RapeAsDrama: Nearly all of his books feature this prominently.
** In ''Fractal Mode'', the time spent with the rabble includes mental images of rape (provided by Darius, transmitted by Seqiro) during the duels with the rabble (in the form of ribbon bondage). This is in addition to Colene's memories of rape near the beginning of the book.
** Xanth tends to have a lot of near-rape moments in it, just not actually carrying through.
** Discussed in ''IncarnationsOfImmortality'' when the Incarnation of Fate is in the clutches of a demon that means to rape her. Since she's incapable of being physically harmed, she speculates that rape would be just... interaction.
** In ''Split Infinity'' of the ''Literature/ApprenticeAdept'' series, the hero, Stile, forces a robot to show him a printout of her program, and they both agree afterwards that it was a form of rape. Later, in ''Blue Adept'', as part of a game, Stile [[spoiler:discovers that an opponent in the Game is a man-hater, pathologic about the idea of sex with a man, and he wins the competition by attempting to have sex with her in character within the performance, an act consired perfectly normal and acceptable in their society but which definitely would have been a coercive rape if she'd let him go through with it for the sake of winning the Game.]]
** Pretty much every woman in ''Bio of a Space Tyrant'' is subject to this.
** In the ''Chthon'' books, the Minions, a modified offshoot of humans, treat torture, rape, and incest as normal sexual practices, and love as a potentially lethal perversion.
* SapientCetaceans: In his stories about a human dentist abducted by aliens to serve as their on-ship oral hygeine practitioner (Prosthro Plus), the intrepid orthodontist is called upon to do some filings for a life-form on a wholly aquatic planet, who turns out to be the son of a whale-like species who are planetary rulers and who can therefore pay the fabulous costs of tons of gold used to restore the cavity-laden rotten teeth. After several days of work with JCB's to excavate the rot and a portable blast furnace to melt the gold for the fillings - all done inside the creature's mouth as it really is that large - the dentist asks what caused catastrophic rot in the first place, learning that over-indulgent parents had allowed too many sweeties and not imposed a good enough teeth-cleaning regime...
* SignatureStyle: Pretty much everyone in every Piers Anthony book speaks the same way, with the same dialect, and has an impressive command of old stories, mythology, and trivia. Basically, you know you're reading a Piers Anthony novel if a guy in a black cloak with a skull for a face walks around and people, no matter where they're from or what their level of education is, are just as likely to shout "Thanatos!" as "Death!"
* StarfishAlien: Whenever aliens are encountered (as opposed to alternate-universe humans), they're almost guaranteed to be this trope. Piers Anthony may be unique in not only creating [[BizarreSexualDimorphism convincing and unique three-gendered-alien sex]] in the ''Literature/{{Cluster}}'' series, but also [[PowerPerversionPotential finding a way to create a rape scene]] with it.
* WantingIsBetterThanHaving: The ''Battle Circle'' trilogy is made of this trope. No one ever seems to get what they (used to) want, except in the worst possible/least satisfying way. Overused to the point of a BrokenAesop ("Desire only leads to disappointment.")
* YouKeepUsingThatWord: "Alicorn" to refer to a Winged Unicorn.
----

to:

[[quoteright:200:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/rPSmb5ati8tFQyG_8511.jpg]]

One of the most prolific fantasy writers ever. He has a pattern of starting a new series with a fresh innovative idea, and then [[{{sequelitis}} never stopping it unless the publisher begs him to]]. Thus, he is one of the most prolific fantasy writers ''without'' writing many {{Doorstopper}}s.

Piers Anthony has written several series, including:

* ''Literature/{{Xanth}},'' mostly set in a world of magic and puns about the size and shape of Florida (both the world and the puns).
* ''Literature/IncarnationsOfImmortality,'' where being an AnthropomorphicPersonification is just a job.
* The ''Literature/ApprenticeAdept'' series, about two mirror worlds; one hi-tech, one magical.
* ''The Bio of a Space Tyrant'', about the titular tyrant's rise from refugee to supreme power in a [[FantasyCounterpartCulture Sci-Fi Counterpart Culture]] based on Earth in TheEighties.
* The ''Literature/{{Cluster}}'' series, where all FasterThanLightTravel is done through possessing aliens.
* The ''Mode'' series, which is about characters traveling across dimensions--each of which has fundamentally different rules--on foot. (Literally, every ten meters they are in a new dimension they could not see before, stepping across the boundary is very dangerous, and they'd have to do this for hundreds or thousands of dimensions before reaching an (hopefully) stable "anchor" dimension).
* The ''Battle Circle'' trilogy; about the conflicts between a heavily ritualized warrior culture and a hidden technocratic culture in a [[AfterTheEnd post-apocalyptic]] Earth.
* The JasonStriker series, co-authored with Roberto Fuentes, which had a FairForItsDay depiction of martial arts as a mix between a highly technical sport and mystical mumbo-jumbo.
* ''OfManAndManta'', a trilogy of science fiction stories exploring the nature of sentience and human interaction with StarfishAliens, [[EnergyBeing Energy Beings]] and intelligent animals across several worlds and [[AlternateUniverse parallel universes]].

He's also written many stand alone novels and collaborations. His story "In the Barn" was included in HarlanEllison's anthology ''Literature/AgainDangerousVisions''.

----
!!His work includes examples of:
* AuthorAppeal: Nudism / InnocentFanserviceGirl, in spades. He also tends to use RapeAsDrama and LawfulStupid a lot.
* AuthorFilibuster: A variant: Anthony concludes most of his novels with a chapter-long "Author's Note" in which he writes about the novel itself, what happened in his life while writing the novel, and whatever else he feels like.
* BeQuietNudge: Happens a few times in a form of a kick.
* BizarreAlienSenses: In ''Omnivore'', the fungus-derived mantas use biological radar to "see" their surroundings.
* BlackComedyRape: The entire point of his "adult-themed" comedy ''Pornucopia''.
* DirtyOldMan: Self-professed even. Not really a surprise to anyone who has read anything he's written.
* DisposableWoman: Nearly all of his books have these; very often as [[DistressedDamsel Distressed Damsels]]. Women in ''Bio of a Space Tyrant'' seem to exist solely to be [[StuffedIntoTheFridge brutally raped and murdered]].
* EskimosArentReal: In "Possible To Rue", a young boy's pleas for a pet pegasus leads his father to look the animal up in the encyclopedia and show that they're mythical. So are unicorns. To the father's astonishment, so are [[InvertedTrope zebras, mules, and even horses]], which he distinctly remembers placing bets on. It's implied that, by denying zebras are real to avoid having to buy one, the father has inadvertently begun erasing these creatures from the universe.
* GeniusLoci: A few of these, most notably the titular ''Chthon''.
* HurricaneOfPuns: Particularly in his ''Xanth'' series, almost every one of which are reader submitted (and credited).
* HonorBeforeReason: A common trait of most of his protagonists. Mr. Anthony has repeatedly said that he believes heroes should be LawfulStupid. In the ''Battle Circle'' trilogy, the entire Nomad culture is based on this.
* ImAManICantHelpIt: All over the place. He likes to hammer this point home by having a woman become a man briefly -- upon returning to normal she will be full of surprised gratitude to her male companions for restraining their beastly urges.
* InsideAComputerSystem: ''Killobyte'' has the main characters trapped in VR.
* MagicAIsMagicA
* MermaidProblem: Piers Anthony goes out of his way to analyze mermaid physiology in several of his series.
* NakedPeopleAreFunny / NationalGeographicNudity: Piers has said on several occasions that he doesn't understand why people consider human nudity to be shocking/harmful/etc. He tends to mix it into his stories.
** Mermaids in ''Literature/{{Xanth}}'' are nudists, as are pretty much any {{Half Human Hybrid}}s as a rule. In one novel the heroine -- a Mermaid who turns human -- spends a significant amount of time in the book before she gets any clothing. The most intelligent race, Centaurs, go topless except for utility and mate in the open, on the grounds that natural functions are, well, natural.
** The ''Literature/ApprenticeAdept'' series starts off on a colony world named Proton where only the members of the ruling class (called Citizens) are allowed the privilege of wearing clothing. The majority of the population consists of their indentured servants, called "serfs", who are required by law to go naked at all times.[[note]]There are exceptions for safety gear and such, to cover the corner cases.[[/note]]
* OnlyInFlorida
* ParentalBonus: Quite a bit, actually. Lots of the puns in Xanth are likely to go over the primary audiences' head. Some of the somewhat [[FetishFuel adult]] situations (characters losing clothing etc.) are shrugged off by the characters, since they're too young to realize the connotations. Having said that, there's a huge amount of [[InvertedTrope Childhood Bonus]] -- lots of these books are much more of a GuiltyPleasure than they appear at first glance. Mr. Anthony definitely knows his target audience.
* PirateGirl: Several in ''The Bio of a Space Pirate''.
* ProtectionFromEditors: [[invoked]] As he says in his Author's Notes, PiersAnthony does not like people making changes to his work, and after his books started selling, he became determined to never let an editor [[ExecutiveMeddling meddle]] with anything he wrote ever again.
* PungeonMaster
* RapeAsDrama: Nearly all of his books feature this prominently.
** In ''Fractal Mode'', the time spent with the rabble includes mental images of rape (provided by Darius, transmitted by Seqiro) during the duels with the rabble (in the form of ribbon bondage). This is in addition to Colene's memories of rape near the beginning of the book.
** Xanth tends to have a lot of near-rape moments in it, just not actually carrying through.
** Discussed in ''IncarnationsOfImmortality'' when the Incarnation of Fate is in the clutches of a demon that means to rape her. Since she's incapable of being physically harmed, she speculates that rape would be just... interaction.
** In ''Split Infinity'' of the ''Literature/ApprenticeAdept'' series, the hero, Stile, forces a robot to show him a printout of her program, and they both agree afterwards that it was a form of rape. Later, in ''Blue Adept'', as part of a game, Stile [[spoiler:discovers that an opponent in the Game is a man-hater, pathologic about the idea of sex with a man, and he wins the competition by attempting to have sex with her in character within the performance, an act consired perfectly normal and acceptable in their society but which definitely would have been a coercive rape if she'd let him go through with it for the sake of winning the Game.]]
** Pretty much every woman in ''Bio of a Space Tyrant'' is subject to this.
** In the ''Chthon'' books, the Minions, a modified offshoot of humans, treat torture, rape, and incest as normal sexual practices, and love as a potentially lethal perversion.
* SapientCetaceans: In his stories about a human dentist abducted by aliens to serve as their on-ship oral hygeine practitioner (Prosthro Plus), the intrepid orthodontist is called upon to do some filings for a life-form on a wholly aquatic planet, who turns out to be the son of a whale-like species who are planetary rulers and who can therefore pay the fabulous costs of tons of gold used to restore the cavity-laden rotten teeth. After several days of work with JCB's to excavate the rot and a portable blast furnace to melt the gold for the fillings - all done inside the creature's mouth as it really is that large - the dentist asks what caused catastrophic rot in the first place, learning that over-indulgent parents had allowed too many sweeties and not imposed a good enough teeth-cleaning regime...
* SignatureStyle: Pretty much everyone in every Piers Anthony book speaks the same way, with the same dialect, and has an impressive command of old stories, mythology, and trivia. Basically, you know you're reading a Piers Anthony novel if a guy in a black cloak with a skull for a face walks around and people, no matter where they're from or what their level of education is, are just as likely to shout "Thanatos!" as "Death!"
* StarfishAlien: Whenever aliens are encountered (as opposed to alternate-universe humans), they're almost guaranteed to be this trope. Piers Anthony may be unique in not only creating [[BizarreSexualDimorphism convincing and unique three-gendered-alien sex]] in the ''Literature/{{Cluster}}'' series, but also [[PowerPerversionPotential finding a way to create a rape scene]] with it.
* WantingIsBetterThanHaving: The ''Battle Circle'' trilogy is made of this trope. No one ever seems to get what they (used to) want, except in the worst possible/least satisfying way. Overused to the point of a BrokenAesop ("Desire only leads to disappointment.")
* YouKeepUsingThatWord: "Alicorn" to refer to a Winged Unicorn.
----
[[redirect:Creator/PiersAnthony]]
16th Aug '13 10:12:55 AM luchog
Is there an issue? Send a Message

Added DiffLines:

* GeniusLoci: A few of these, most notably the titular ''Chthon''.
16th Aug '13 10:10:47 AM luchog
Is there an issue? Send a Message

Added DiffLines:

** In the ''Chthon'' books, the Minions, a modified offshoot of humans, treat torture, rape, and incest as normal sexual practices, and love as a potentially lethal perversion.
16th Aug '13 10:07:55 AM luchog
Is there an issue? Send a Message

Added DiffLines:

** Pretty much every woman in ''Bio of a Space Tyrant'' is subject to this.
16th Aug '13 10:01:38 AM luchog
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* ''OfManAndManta'', a trilogy of science fiction stories exploring the nature of sentience and human interaction with StarfishAliens and intelligent animals across several worlds and [[AlternateUniverse parallel universes]].

to:

* ''OfManAndManta'', a trilogy of science fiction stories exploring the nature of sentience and human interaction with StarfishAliens StarfishAliens, [[EnergyBeing Energy Beings]] and intelligent animals across several worlds and [[AlternateUniverse parallel universes]].
16th Aug '13 10:00:51 AM luchog
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* The ''OfManAndManta'', a trilogy of science fiction stories exploring the nature of sentience and human interaction with StarfishAliens and intelligent animals across several worlds and [[AlternateUniverse parallel universes]].

to:

* The ''OfManAndManta'', a trilogy of science fiction stories exploring the nature of sentience and human interaction with StarfishAliens and intelligent animals across several worlds and [[AlternateUniverse parallel universes]].
16th Aug '13 10:00:41 AM luchog
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* The ''OfManAndManta'', a trilogy of science fiction stories exploring the nature of sentience and human interaction with StarfishAliens and intelligent animals across several worlds and AlternateUniverses.

to:

* The ''OfManAndManta'', a trilogy of science fiction stories exploring the nature of sentience and human interaction with StarfishAliens and intelligent animals across several worlds and AlternateUniverses.
[[AlternateUniverse parallel universes]].
16th Aug '13 10:00:19 AM luchog
Is there an issue? Send a Message



to:

* The ''OfManAndManta'', a trilogy of science fiction stories exploring the nature of sentience and human interaction with StarfishAliens and intelligent animals across several worlds and AlternateUniverses.
22nd Jul '13 1:35:46 PM GhostOfAGeek
Is there an issue? Send a Message


** The ''Literature/ApprenticeAdept'' series starts off on a colony world named Proton where only the members of the ruling class (called Citizens) are allowed the privilege of wearing clothing. The majority of the population consists of their indentured servants, called "serfs", who are required by law to go naked at all times.[[hottip:*:There are exceptions for safety gear and such, to cover the corner cases.]]

to:

** The ''Literature/ApprenticeAdept'' series starts off on a colony world named Proton where only the members of the ruling class (called Citizens) are allowed the privilege of wearing clothing. The majority of the population consists of their indentured servants, called "serfs", who are required by law to go naked at all times.[[hottip:*:There [[note]]There are exceptions for safety gear and such, to cover the corner cases.]][[/note]]




----

to:

\n----
24th May '13 11:57:48 PM Ronfar
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* ProtectionFromEditors: As he says in his Author's Notes, PiersAnthony does not like people making changes to his work, and after his books started selling, he became determined to never let an editor [[ExecutiveMeddling meddle]] with anything he wrote ever again.

to:

* ProtectionFromEditors: [[invoked]] As he says in his Author's Notes, PiersAnthony does not like people making changes to his work, and after his books started selling, he became determined to never let an editor [[ExecutiveMeddling meddle]] with anything he wrote ever again.
This list shows the last 10 events of 64. Show all.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.PiersAnthony