Bio of a Space Tyrant by Piers Anthony
I myself have only read the first 3 books in this series and thought they were surprisingly good for books written in the 1980s. I think that Piers Anthony has an acute eye for detail and my have gone farfetched on some points. Besides the occasional burst of meticulous and tedious sexual meetings, these books deserve a lot of credit for originality and plain talent. Not my favorite series but one I think is worth reading, and during the time in which I got the first 3 books I found out that it is now a series with 6 books in it (The Iron Maiden).
Submitted by John August
If people find the books shocking, don't read them. I didn't find them shocking, but I was disappointed at the small number of people who survived the first novel, refugee. It puts you off any romance about piracy, and makes you wonder about the current refuge situation ! Mercenary had some clever, well thought out descriptions of space battles - acceleration, not speed becomes the crucial characteristic. Politician had a very clever description of the machinations of getting elected - it didn't seem that dated to me - I guess some political realities persist. To this point, the way Anthony scoped out the Solar System analogously to the political world at the time of writing and the way cities, trains, cars, oil and other concepts had their analogues was cute. But its echo of the US was getting tiresome. Fortunately, in Executive it changed. We had something like a "dictator" of the US/Jupiter, who put in some amazing reforms, and it was amazing to watch the progress. But Statesman was a bit disappointing - it was mostly a tour of the world-transformed-into-the-solar-system, and was getting tedious - the technological analogies did not seem to be made with the same finesse - but there was some action towards the end of the novel. Plenty of sex in all the novels - I don't know whether to call it justified or gratuitous (but this distinction is not made morally - people can write novels based around sex if they like - the question is how well the novel holds together, how well it achieves its purpose.) For the first four novels, the sex did seem like spice - but in the fifth novel, it was starting to seem like filler. Overall, though, a very engaging series of novels - providing an interesting political and technological scene.
Submitted by Christopher L. Estep
The "Bio Of A Space Tyrant" series stretches over five (not four) volumes as I had earlier erroneously reported. The volumes are: Refugee Mercenary Politician Executive Statesman The entire series is being reprinted courtesy of the author and Xlibris Press (http://www.xlibris.com). What some people find disgusting (especially the way sex in the Jovian armed forces is treated) is disgusting because it is *DIFFERENT* from the way sex is treated in our own armed forces. (In most of the world's militaries, sex between men and women of different ranks is a no-no. While this is true in the "world" of Hope Hubris, sex between commissioned officers is *expected*; surprisingly, as a check against homosexuality in the officer ranks. Remember, the United States of Jupiter is based more on the Hispanic population of the United States as opposed to the "Anglo" portion (think Little Havana writ large, as Piers lives in Florida).) Further, as "Tyrant" of the USJ, Hubris "nationalizes", then legalizes, the "hard drug" marketplace (this in and of itself makes many people squeamish).
Submitted by Ed Shoup
Though I have only read the first book in this series, I am now hooked. This book, unlike most, made me show real emotion. Grief for the death of loved ones, reag and hatred for the pirates, etc. This book is more adult then his previous offerings, so teens are more likely to enjoy it. All in all, a great book. Piers Anthony is once again at the top of my list for favorite author. Rating: 5/5
Submitted by Quentin Casper
I found the series quite different then his other books, a little more mature and requiring stronger comprehension skills. The series is quite profound and reflects Piers Anthony's skill as a writer. The books spin a tale of one character's journey though life and his rise to power and fame yet he has great suffering and loss. This series is one of my favourite and I recommend it for anyone who wants some serious literature but it is not for the people expecting the same thing as the Xanth novels.