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Piers's Bio (Excerpt from Xlibris)
I was born in Oxford, England, in AwGhost, 1934. My parents both graduated from the University of Oxford, but I was slow from the outset. I spent time with relatives and a nanny while my parents went to do relief work in Spain during the Spanish Civil War of 1936-9. They were helping to feed the children rendered hungry by the devastation of the war. When that ended, my sister and I joined them in Spain. I left my native country at the age of four -- and never returned. The new government of General Franco in Spain, evidently error-prone and suspicious of foreigners doing good works, arrested my father in 1940. They refused to admit that they had done so, making him in effect a "disappeared" person, but he was able to smuggle out a note. Then rather than admit error, they let him out on condition that he leaves the country. World War II was then in progress, so instead of returning to England, we went to my father's country. In this manner I came to America at age six, on what I believe was the last ship out. Though I was too young to understand what was going on, in time I learned, and I retain, an abiding hostility to dictatorships. My parents' marriage grew strained and finally foundered. Suffering the consequences of separation from my first country and my second country as well as the stress of a family going wrong, I showed an assortment of complications such as nervous tics of head and hands, bed-wetting, and inability to learn. It required three years and five schools to get me through first grade. I later gained intellectual ground, but lost physical ground. When I entered my ninth school in ninth grade I was at the proper level but not the proper size, being the smallest person, male or female, in my class. However, boarding school, and later college, became a better home for me than what I had had, and I managed to grow almost another foot by the time I got my BA in Writing at Goddard College, Vermont, in 1956. This was just as well, because I married a tall girl I met in college; I had to grow, literally, to meet the challenge.
I had the hodgepodge of employments typical of writers. Of about fifteen types of work I tried, ranging from aide at a mental hospital to technical writer at an electronics company, only one truly appealed: the least successful. But the dream remained. Finally in 1962 my wife agreed to go to work for a year, so that I could stay home and try to write fiction full time. The agreement was that if I did not manage to sell anything, I would give up the dream and focus on supporting my family. As it happened, I sold two stories, earning $160. But such success seemed inadequate to earn a living. So I became an English teacher, didn't like that either, and in 1966 retired again to writing. This time I wrote novels instead of stories, and with them I was able to earn a living. As with the rest of my life, progress was slow, but a decade later I got into light fantasy with the first of my ongoing Xanth series of novels, A Spell For Chameleon, and that proved to be the golden ring. My sales and income soared, and I became one of the most successful writers of the genre, with twenty-one New York Times paperback bestsellers in the space of a decade. This enabled me to send our two daughters to college, and drove the wolf quite far from our door. We now live on a tree farm, and would love to have a wolf by our door, but do have deer and wild cat and other wildlife. I am an environmentalist. My autobiography to age 50, Bio of An Ogre, is now in print; there may be a sequel, How Precious Was That While, in due course. At that time I had had 50 books published, now it is over 100.
But a writer does not live by frivolous fantasy alone. Today I am turning back to serious writing with direct comment on sexual abuse in Firefly, and on history in novels like Tatham Mound, which relates to the fate of American Indians, and my GEODYSSEY series, covering man's past three and a half million years to the present, and Volk, which shows love and death in Civil War Spain and World War II Germany. So I close the circle, returning in my writing to the realm I left as a child. My literary personality is splitting, with the fantasy paying my way in Caesar's coin, and the historical research addressing the god of this agnostic. There has always been a serious side to my writing, even in my fantasy, and my readers respond to it. I answer a hundred to two hundred letters a month, so remain in close touch with them. They tell me that I have taught many of them to read, by showing them that reading could be fun, and that I have saved the lives of some, by addressing concerns such as suicide. So I date my letters with my fantasy months, such as "AwGhost," "OctOgre," and "FeBlueberry," but take my readers as seriously as I take my writing. A number of them are now becoming collaborators, in a series of joint novels I am doing. In fact I am a workaholic, and I love my profession. I have, of course, an ongoing battle with critics, who choose to see only the frivolous level; it is doubtful whether my work will ever in my lifetime receive much critical applause, but I believe in its validity for the longer haul. So do my readers.
From the Editor
Piers won the Derleth Fantasy award in 1977 for A Spell for Chameleon. Also, in 1999, he joined the flow and he has hooked his computer to the Internet. He is promoting Electronic Publishing for known and hopeful writers alike through Xlibris. Up today he has written about 113 books and he is not planning to stop even though he is 65 years old. He has published two online novels Volk and Realty Check, proving again that he is one of the most vanguard writers of our century. If you want to know more about him, you can try to find his autobiography, Bio of an Ogre, where he write about his life until age 50. It is hard to find it since it is out of print, but you can still find it through used book stores or you can check your local library.
This is a small chronology of Piers writing career and life from his book Bio of an Ogre. In no way I pretend to cover all Piers' books and life, since that is a very hard task for just one person. I will just try to highlight some of his most important moments in his career. The decade of 1990 is based on personal knowledge from Piers Anthony own official site Hi Piers. Enjoy!
1950s - The Beginnings
1952- 56 - He attended Goddard College in Montpelier, Vermont majoring in Creative Writing. During college, he wrote his first Science Fiction story "Evening" and submitted to Galaxy magazine. His story was rejected but he began to write more Science Fiction stories. His college thesis novel, The Unstilled World was written.
1956- Piers married Caroline Ann Marble, better known as CAM. This turned to be a very successful marriage and still in 1999, they are together in happy marriage.
1958 - He was naturalized American while serving in the US Army. In the Army, he wrote a number of short science fiction stories and one of them "The Demise" was accepted by If magazine, his first sale.
1960's - Entering the Science Fiction Market
1962 - His wife went to work while Piers stayed home and wrote fiction full time to realize his long time dream of becoming a writer.
He wrote "Southern Approach," "Buckwheat Jury," "Possible to Rue," among others science fiction short stories. He made his first professional sale of his writing to Fantastic Stories Magazine with "Possible to Rue".
1963 - His professional second sale with "Quinquepedalian" appeared in Amazing magazine, a well-known Science Fiction magazine, profiting him $140. He also wrote in that year, "Tappuh" and "Ship of Mustard", but couldn't find a buyer for them.
1967 - He retired from teaching to focus on writing. Two weeks after retiring to writing, his novel Chthon was sold for $1500 to be published by Ballantine Publisher. In 1975, a second edition was published by Berkley and finally in 1987, Ace re-issued. Also, in a personal level, the stork finally decided to bring a baby to Piers and his wife and in October 12, 1967, Penny was borned.
1968 - Omnivore, his second science fiction novel, was published by Ballantine; and later by Avon in 1975. Sos the Rope, the first novel in the Battle Circle series was published. This book and its sequel came from his thesis, The Unstilled World. This novel also won the Pyramid/F&SF/Kent Production $5,000.00 contest.
1969 - Macroscope, another sci-fi novel, and a Nebula Award nominee, was published by Avon.
1970s: Piers's second phase- New Inroads Period (Science Fiction and Fantasy novels)
1970 - The stork decided to visit Piers and his wife again and Cheryl their second and final daughter was borned.
1971 - He wrote Paleo (retitled Orn later in 1971 and published by Avon), a sequel to science fiction novel, Omnivore.
1973 - Piers Anthony continued writing Science Fiction novels. Prosthos Plus (Berkley), Race Against Time (Hawthorn), and Var the Stick, the sequel to Sos the Rope (Avon) were published.
1975 - Phthor (Berkeley), the sequel to Chton was published.
1977 - He started light fantasy with the first of his ongoing Xanth series of novels, A Spell For Chameleon (Del Rey). This was Piers Anthony first taste of fame. After the success of Spell, his salary jumped immensely. He also published Hansan (Borgo), his first dabbling in historical-fantasy novel and Cluster (Avon), the first of the sci-fi series Cluster .
1978 - Chaining the Lady and Kirlian Quest (Avon), the second and third of Cluster series were published.
1979 - A sequel to A Spell For Chameleon, The Source of Magic was published followed by Castle Roogna.
The 1980s and early 90s: The Eclectic Period (All type of genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Historical, Horror, Non-Fiction)
1982 - The fourth Xanth novel, Centaur Aisle (Del Rey), published. The fifth Xanth novel, Ogre, Ogre (Del Rey) made it the New York Times best-seller list. It was the first paperback novel to make it to the New York best-seller list. From then on most of his fantasy paperbacks have been New York best-selling.
1983 - The sixth Xanth novel, NightMare, was published followed by the seventh novel, Dragon on a Pedestal and the first installment of the hybrid (science fiction and fantasy) series, Incarnations of Immortality, On a Pale Horse. (All published by Del Rey)
1984 - Mercenary, a space soup opera, and second installment of his well-acclaimed Bio of a Space Tyrant, and Bearing an Hourglass, the sequel to On a Pale Hose were published (Del Rey).
1987 - Shade of the Tree (Tor), his first horror novel, was published.
1988 - Bio of An Ogre (Ace), Anthony's autobiography, was published.
1989 - Robot Adept (Putnam/Ace), But what of Earth? (TOR) and Mute (Avon) were published (all science fiction novels).
1990 - Unicorn Point (Putnam/Ace) was published.
1992 -Firefly (erotic horror) and Tatham Mound, a historical novel (Marrow/Avon) were published.
1993 - Alien Plot, a collection of Piers' short stories (TOR), and Hardsell (Tafford) were published. (Science Fiction)
1994 - Phase Doubt (Putnam/Ace), Killobyte (ACE) two science fiction novels were published. Letters to Jenny, a collection of letters to one Piers' fans was published.
Late 1990's: The Problem of Typecasting and Some Solutions: Xanth series and Online Publications.
1997 - Volk, a historical novel was published online in Xlibris and Pulpless.com for the first time. Faun and Games, Xanth # 20 was published.
1998 - Realty Check, a science fiction novel and the second online novels of Piers Anthony was published at Pulpless.com. Piers continued to do collaborations and in this year he published: The Willing Spirit withAlfred Tella, Spider Legs with Clifford Pickover and Quest for the Fallen Star with J R Goolsby and Alan Riggs.
1999 - Xone of Contention, Xanth # 23 was published in October. Muse of Art, the last installment of the Geodyssey series was published. A new collaboration with Piers, Dream a Little Dream with Julie Brady was published in this year.
2000 - The Dastard, Xanth # 24 will be published this year in October. Another 2000 collaborations: The Secret of Spring with Jo Anne Taeusch and The Gutbucket Quest with Ron Leming.
Collaborations through Piers Anthony Career
Piers have a very long list of collaborations with young writers and established writers alike. His collaborations range in all genres and are very worth the time to find and read. Here are some of his collaborators. I will add more in time.
Robert and Piers have been collaborators since the late 1960s when they first wrote The Ring, a science fiction novel in 1968. In 1970, they wrote E.S.P. Worm, another sci-fi novel. In the 1980's they wrote their longest collaboration, the Kelvin series: Dragon's Gold, Serpent's Silver, Chimaera's Copper, Orc's Opal and Mouver's Magic.
This Cuban writer teamed up with Piers during the 1970's to write a very hard to find martial art series: Kiai!, Mistress of Death, Bamboo Bloodbath, Ninja's Revenge and Amazon Slaughter.
Philip Jose Farmer
This well known science fiction writer wrote together with Piers a round-robin book named Catepillar's Question, in 1992. This novel was based in part in Piers's short story Tappuh.
James Richey and Allan Riggs
Allan Riggs was for many years Piers's researchers. James Richey, a long time Piers's fan and hopeful writer. Piers decided to give a hand to James to publish his first novel and the result is called Quest for the Fallen Star. This is a "classic" fantasy novel with an Elven enchantress, a wizard in distress, a noble knight, a wise priest and a very Evil entity out to eat the world.
This is another of Piers's fan that without planning became another of Piers's collaborators. One letter explained about a dream diary and Piers told Julie to write a book about her dream world. The result, Dream a Little Dream, is a delightful fantasy that touch some hard trues and heartache. A really nice first novel from Julie Brady.
Pickover is a well established writer of science books. He always dreamt to bring a science fiction novel and decided to write to Piers to see if he can convinced him to collaborate with him. Piers did and the result is Spider Legs, a very unconventional horror/sci-fi novel.
There are many other Piers' collaborators and more are coming in the next year. So visit this site from time to time to see any addition. For more info about some of Piers' collaborators visit our section Interviews.
Marisol Ramos © 2000.