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Piers Anthony!
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2013 1:20 pm    Post subject: Piers Anthony! Reply with quote

I was going to ask if anyone ever read any of the 'Xanth' novels by Piers Anthony; I read some back in the seventies and had forgotten their names so checked out the Wikipedia bibliography for the author. What the!! The guy is still writing them - there must be 50 or so by now and the next one is apparently in progress! Aside from that his output is nothing short of stupendous. The guy has written hundreds of books! I can't speak for the quality of them all - but I did really enjoy the early Xanth novels as a younger man. Anybody else read any other examples of his monumental output.

[Aside; thinking back to this era of my life also reminded me of a couple of books by L Sprauge de Camp and Fletcher Pratt - The Harold Shea stories collected together in 'The Incomplete Enchanterer'. Anybody remember these gems?]
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2013 1:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I read the first several Xanth books. They were fun, and I'd recommend them to new/young readers as an intro to fantasy. But I wouldn't try to read them now. Heh.

I have a reprint of The Compleat (Yes, it's spelled that way) Enchanter, which I hope to get to some day.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2013 2:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just got A Spell for Chameleon, which is the first Xanth novel. I think there are thirty-ish Xanth novels with the first 27 making up the "first trilogy" *guffaw*.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2013 3:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I read the first ten or fifteen when I was a younger lad. I also read his Incarnations of Immortality series and a few others here & there.

I enjoyed them at the time, but as an adult I'm not so sure.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 8:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Did you know Fist, that those 'Harold Shea' stories were first printed back in the 1940's in serial form. It's a long time ago, but I have a feel that the mathematics of the day is [sort of] represented in the novels and either de Camp or Pratt was a mathmetician/physicist turned writer. It'll be interesting , when you get to read them, to see what refences are made to 'quantum' science et all, and see how, what was cutting edge of the day is now [dare I say it] almost mundane.*

* I may be completely misremembering the books and there may be no reference to the math of the day at all, such are the ravages that 45 years can exact on this most nebulous at the best of times, faculty.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 10:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Honestly, I know nothing about the stories or authors. I saw it in the used store, $1 for hardcovers. Heh. But I'd heard the name de Camp, so figured I'd try it.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 5:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've read lots of Piers Anthony's stuff (Even got an idea credit in one of his Author's Notes). The Incarnations of Immortality are probably the best written of what I've read, while Xanth tends to be more "fun".

But yeah, he's probably one of the, if not the very, most prolific Fantasy writers ever.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 7:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I remember enjoying the first 3 (the only ones I read), but I remember absolutely nothing about the stories now, except for that woman who modulated from super-hot-but-dumb, to ugly-but-smart. It was a humorous idea, though probably not very PC nowadays.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 8:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zarathustra wrote:
I remember enjoying the first 3 (the only ones I read), but I remember absolutely nothing about the stories now, except for that woman who modulated from super-hot-but-dumb, to ugly-but-smart. It was a humorous idea, though probably not very PC nowadays.


It wasn't PC when he first wrote it, either. Smile From that standpoint, he's not changed a bit - though he's always been an equal opportunity offender.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 10, 2013 4:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would recommend the "Incarnations" series to everyone...it has many of his usual problems and stuff, but a subtext of smart/philosophical questions even if not always great answers...not the very last one though [number 8]
But it's worth it for the fun/twist in 1 [death, on a pale horse]...and 5, 6, 7, [mother nature, devil and god].
They have their problems...many of those Anthony ALWAYS has...yet something cool about them.
I would also recomment a stand-alone of his "Macroscope"...dated, but still worth reading.

Other than those books, I have no clue why he is so well known. Very often, his stuff reminds me of something written by a combination of Frank Herbert's not-smart brother and Terry Pratchett's not-funny sister.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 10, 2013 5:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Probabaly, V. Because A Spell for Chameleon won numerous awards and is quite inventive. It may not be everyone's cup of tea...but it is an enjoyable (though perhaps not profound) read.

I know the first 6 well. The odd numbered were well done. Especially liked 3 and 5. the others were...meh.

For what it is worth.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 10, 2013 5:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DoctorGamgee wrote:
Probabaly, V. Because A Spell for Chameleon won numerous awards and is quite inventive. It may not be everyone's cup of tea...but it is an enjoyable (though perhaps not profound) read.

I know the first 6 well. The odd numbered were well done. Especially liked 3 and 5. the others were...meh.

For what it is worth.


Once those first few were done, things started getting pretty formulaic, and also a bit "over the top" in some ways. Especially with the reader-submitted puns.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 14, 2013 9:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Read the first 8 or so years ago, couldn't take it anymore, but did enjoy the first bunch.

Try reading "Battle Circle", a bit different from his normal run.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 5:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, Battle Circle...I liked those. Very Happy

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 12:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A friend of mine once went to his book signing, and asked him what happened to the quality of his books. He shrugged and said, "Contract."
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 5:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zarathustra wrote:
A friend of mine once went to his book signing, and asked him what happened to the quality of his books. He shrugged and said, "Contract."


Yeah, they want stuff that will sell in the 'blockbuster' range. His more serious (read "non-Xanth") stuff sells, but not usually that much better than normal popular SF/F material. He had to self-publish the final Incarnations book (Under a Velvet Cloak), for example, and barely got Chaos Mode in print.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 10:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

...

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 10:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

...

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 10:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

IrrationalSanity wrote:
I've read lots of Piers Anthony's stuff (Even got an idea credit in one of his Author's Notes). The Incarnations of Immortality are probably the best written of what I've read, while Xanth tends to be more "fun".

But yeah, he's probably one of the, if not the very, most prolific Fantasy writers ever.


Incarnations of Immortality was a great series, a fun read all the way through.

The Phaze books were also good. Out of Phaze, I think, is the first one.

Xanth I've never liked...read a few of them. Too much smarm.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2013 5:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

IrrationalSanity wrote:
...and barely got Chaos Mode in print.


Wow, I liked those mode books, even if they did get a bit weird...

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