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Piers Anthony


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Piers Anthony Dillingham Jacob
Piers Anthony, to the public, is best known for his fantasy adventure series, Xanth. Though he makes his living writing light fiction, Piers is a versatile author. He has strong opinions, and a talent for presenting dull subjects in an interesting way. His Geoddysey series is fiction based around historical locations, and occurrences. It follows the history of man from the first to walk upright into the near future. In his Incarnations of Immortality series he delves into religious philosophy in the guise of an entertaining world in which average mortals fill immortal positions including: Fate, God, Satan, Death, Time, War, and Gaea.
Piers A.D. Jacob was born in Oxford England August sixth, 1934. Piers was raised as a Quaker (Religious Society of Friends to members) and the self sufficient and anti-confrontational nature of his upbringing are apparent in his writing. He chose not to join any church as an adult, being an Atheist.
He was taken care of by nannies while his parents helped with relief efforts in Spain during the Spanish Civil War from 1936-39. In his autobiography Bio of an Ogre (so named because of a rumor that he was “making an ogre of himself” at fan conventions he hadn’t attended), Piers recounts his experiences through 1986. After Piers’ father was arrested for being in the area where Adolf Hitler was coming to visit, Piers’ family was allowed to flee to America, to live near his father’s family in Pennsylvania. He recalls moving five times by age five, he celebrated his sixth birthday on a ship headed to America; he was given frosted sawdust with candles for a birthday cake.
Piers’ repeated first grade three times at five different schools in five different states. He had difficulty learning to read and his teachers had trouble breaking him of his British accent. When he finally caught on, he skipped second grade, then completed fifth, sixth and seventh grades in two years. Piers’ recounts being sick frequently as a child, on top of always being small (he finally hit 5’8” as an adult) Piers did not excel in sports, and turned to more creative pursuits. He majored in creative writing at Goddard College, earning his BA degree there. He met his wife Carol Ann Marble who was attending there also.
In 1957 Piers was drafted into the army at age twenty-three and served for two years. He worked as a survey instructor, then sending up weather balloons in a meteorology battery and then got himself transferred to The Observer newspaper staff. After leaving the army he worked as a technical writer, a state social worker, then he had his first two stories published, but this was not enough to earn a living. He returned to school to get his teaching certificate in English from the University of South Florida. He taught ninth and tenth grade English for a year before retiring to full time writing.
Once he had established himself as a professional writer he was able to start working on the projects he had put off for the more lucrative projects the publishers requested. His Geoddysey series opens and closes each chapter with archaeological and historical information. Through the first three novels he uses character types who appear throughout human history through every group of people. Each chapter is set in a different historic location, but the characters remain essentially the same throughout. Mr. Anthony introduces theories of how we came to be as we are presently, and plausible outcomes if we continue without adjusting our way of thinking.
The first book in the series, Isle of Woman, addresses man’s exploitation of our resources. In his scenario we continue cutting down the forests, developing the land, and destroying the environment that supports us until society collapses into cannibalism, as all other food sources dwindle. The second book in the series, Shame of Man, addresses overpopulation, focusing more on isolated regions, and suggesting extreme measures that could be taken to control population when most of the world wipes itself out. A contraceptive is added to the general water supply, permission must be granted to receive a neutralizer for the contraceptive in order to conceive, and strict limits are placed on family size. The third book in the series, Hope of Earth, Piers postulates on what would happen if a new plague were to decimate the population, and how our adaptability and resourcefulness would allow some to survive.
Piers presently lives in Florida with his wife Carol in the house in which they raised their two daughters, Cheryl, and Penny. One of his daughters was involved in an archaeological dig, which Piers donated funds to support, and based another novel Tathem Mound around the people who had lived there. He has a propensity for inserting moral lessons where least expected, and providing his readers with educational material in a format that is both interesting and easy to follow.

Works cited

Anthony, Piers Bio of an Ogre, The Autobiography of Piers Anthony to age 50. New York :Ace Books,.1988.
Anthony, Piers Isle of Woman. New York: Tor Books, 1993.
Anthony, Piers Shame of Man. New York: Tor Books, 1994.
Anthony, Piers Hope of Earth. New York: Tor Books, 1997.