Author of many excellent ScienceFiction
books, including the MagicOfXanth?
, and Incarnations of Immortality series. Of these, the MagicOfXanth?
series is still going strong at over 25 books now. :)
Typically, his series are good for at most 3 books. One of his best is the Battle Circle trilogy (indicative, perhaps, that he did not write a 4th?)
I disagree. But then, he's my favourite author (which is why I wrote this page!) -- GavinLambert
Almost everybody has read Anthony at some point, simply because he is so prolific that he is instantly visible on entering the SF/F section. I, in fact, have read every single book he's ever written excepting some of the Cluster series and all of the Bio of a Space Tyrant series. There can be no excuse, and thus I make none; but as an explanation I offer the fact that I was young. His concepts are creative and unique, even fascinating sometimes, but his characters and plots are very, very repetitive. Very. Oh, and there's too much subtle eroticism. -- DanielKnapp
Agreed. You put into words exactly what I was thinking. The last Anthony I read was "But What Of Earth?", a mediocre novel he published with the comments of various editors included as footnotes; a monument to ego.
Agreed some more. I've always thought he was a bad writer with good ideas. He can't write women or relationships, and all his characters are flat (I've read the Incarnation series (not sure about the name)). But maybe it's me, I also can't stand RogerZelazny; again, good ideas with horrible writing
I recall liking the first installment of all series I read (the first Xanth book, On A Pale Horse, Bio of a Space Tyrannt), but I couldn't maintain interest in the series. That's the problem with MOST series fiction -- look at the JamesBond?
books, the TomClancy
books, etc. -- If the series is open-ended, it's bound to get stale.
My problem with PiersAnthony is not that he gets stale - it's that IMHO he gets badly stale very quickly. A contrast, for me, is Glen Cook's Garrett books - the first was excellent, the rest not as groundbreaking, but still good.
The Incarnations of Immortality series deals with those who take care of the Earth, sort of supernatural janitors and groundskeepers: Death, Time, Nature, etc.
The first, "On a Pale Horse", is arguably Anthony's best. The second was so dreadful that I've never read another of his works.
[The series picks back up later.]
For another (better) take on the same idea, see Neil Gaiman's "Sandman" series.