Piers Anthony Dillingham Jacob (born 6 August 1934 in Oxford, England) is an English-American author in the science fiction and fantasy genres, publishing under the name Piers Anthony. He is most famous for his long-running novel series set in the fictional realm of Xanth.
Many of his books have appeared on The New York Times Best Seller list. He has stated that one of his greatest achievements has been to publish a book beginning with every letter of the alphabet, from Anthonology to Zombie Lover.
|Born||Piers Anthony Dillingham Jacob|
6 August 1934
|Pen name||Piers Anthony|
|Occupation||Novelist, short story writer|
|Genre||Science fiction, fantasy|
Anthony's parents, Alfred and Norma Jacob, were Quaker pacifists studying at Oxford University who interrupted their studies in 1936 to undertake relief work on behalf of the Quakers during the Spanish Civil War, establishing a food kitchen for children in Barcelona. Piers and his sister were left in England in the care of their maternal grandparents and a nanny. Alfred Jacob, although a British citizen, had been born in America near Philadelphia, and in 1940, after being forced out of Spain and with the situation in Britain deteriorating, the family sailed to the United States. In 1941 the family settled in a rustic "back to the land" utopian community near Winhall, Vermont, where a young Piers made the acquaintance of radical author Scott Nearing, a neighbor. Both parents resumed their academic studies, and Alfred eventually became a professor of Romance languages, teaching at a number of colleges in the Philadelphia area.
Piers was moved around to a number of schools, eventually enrolling in Goddard College in Vermont where he graduated in 1956. On This American Life on 27 July 2012, Anthony revealed that his parents had divorced, he was bullied, and he had poor grades in school. Anthony referred to his high school as a "very fancy private school", and refuses to donate money to the school because as a student, he recalls being part of "the lower crust", and that no one paid attention to or cared about him. He said, "I didn't like being a member of the underclass, of the peons like that". He became a naturalized U.S. citizen while serving in the United States Army in 1958. After completing a two-year stint in military service, he briefly taught school at Admiral Farragut Academy in St. Petersburg, Florida before becoming a full-time writer.
Anthony met his future wife, Carol Marble, while both were attending college. They were married in 1956, the same year he graduated from Goddard College. After a series of odd jobs, Anthony decided to join the U.S. Army in 1957 for a steady source of income and medical coverage for his pregnant wife. He would stay in the Army until 1959 and became a US citizen during this time. While in the army, he became an editor and cartoonist for the battalion newspaper. After leaving the army, he spent a brief stint as a public school teacher before trying his hand at becoming a full-time writer.
Anthony and his wife made a deal: if he could sell a piece of writing within one year, she would continue to work to support him. But if he could not sell anything in that year, then he would forever give up his dream of being a writer. At the end of the year, he managed to get a short story published. He credits his wife as the person who made his writing career possible, and he advises aspiring writers that they need to have a source of income other than their writing in order to get through the early years of a writing career.
On multiple occasions Anthony has moved from one publisher to another (taking a profitable hit series with him) when he says he felt the editors were unduly tampering with his work. He has sued publishers for accounting malfeasance and won judgments in his favor. Anthony maintains an Internet Publishers Survey in the interest of helping aspiring writers. For this service, he won the 2003 "Friend of EPIC" award for service to the electronic publishing community. His website won the Special Recognition for Service to Writers award from Preditors and Editors, an author's guide to publishers and writing services.
Many of his popular novel series have been optioned for movies. His popular series Xanth inspired the DOS video game Companions of Xanth, by Legend Entertainment. The series also spawned the board game Xanth by Mayfair Games.
Anthony's novels usually end with a chapter-long Author's Note, in which he talks about himself, his life, and his experiences as they related to the process of writing the novel. He often discusses correspondence with readers and any real-world issues that influenced the novel.
Act One of episode 470 of the radio program This American Life is an account of boyhood obsessions with Piers Anthony. The act is written and narrated by writer Logan Hill who, as a 12-year-old, was consumed with reading Anthony's novels. For a decade he felt he must have been Anthony's number one fan, until, when he was 22, he met "Andy" at a wedding and discovered their mutual interest in the writer. Andy is interviewed for the story and explains that, as a teenager, he had used escapist novels in order to cope with his alienating school and home life in Buffalo, New York. In 1987, at age 15, he decided to run away to Florida in order to try to live with Piers Anthony. The story includes Anthony's reflections on these events.
Naomi King, the daughter of writer Stephen King, enjoyed reading books by Piers Anthony, which included things like pixies, imps and fairies. After she told her father, "Dad, I just don't like those to be scared. Would you write something with dragons in it?", he wrote The Eyes of the Dragon which was originally published in 1984 and later in 1987 by Viking Press.
Early in Anthony's literary career, there was a dispute surrounding the original publication (1976) of But What of Earth?. Editor Roger Elwood commissioned the novel for his nascent science-fiction line Laser Books. According to Anthony, he completed But What of Earth?, and Elwood accepted and purchased it. Elwood then told Anthony that he wished to make several minor changes, and in order not to waste Anthony's time, he had hired copy editor (and author) Robert Coulson to retype the manuscript with the changes. Anthony described Coulson as a friend and was initially open to his contribution.
However, Elwood told Coulson he was to be a full collaborator, free to make revisions to Anthony's text in line with suggestions made by other copy editors. Elwood promised Coulson a 50-50 split with Anthony on all future royalties. According to Anthony, the published novel was very different from his version, with changes to characters and dialog, and with scenes added and removed. Anthony felt the changes worsened the novel. Laser's ultimate publication of But What of Earth? listed Anthony and Coulson together as collaborators. Publication rights were reverted to Anthony under threat of legal action. In 1989, Anthony (re)published his original But What of Earth? in an annotated edition through Tor Books. This edition contains an introduction and conclusion setting out the story of the novel's permutations and roughly 60 pages of notes by Anthony giving examples of changes to plot and characters, and describing some of the comments made by copy editors on his manuscript.
Anthony currently lives with his wife on a tree farm which he owns in Florida. He and his wife had two daughters, Penelope "Penny" Carolyn and Cheryl, and one grandchild, Logan. Regarding his religious beliefs, Anthony wrote in the October 2004 entry of his personal website, "I'm agnostic, which means I regard the case as unproven, but I'm much closer to the atheist position than to the theist one." In 2017 he stated, "I am more certain about God and the Afterlife: they don't exist." 
On 3 September 2009, their daughter Penny Jacob died from apparent respiratory paralysis following surgery for melanoma which had metastasized to her brain. She is survived by her husband and her daughter, Logan.
For autobiographies refer to autobiographical subsection.
A Spell for Chameleon is a fantasy novel by British-American writer Piers Anthony, published in 1977 by Ballantine Books/Del Rey Books. It is the first book of the Xanth series.Air Apparent
Air Apparent is the thirty-first book of the Xanth series by Piers Anthony, which was first mentioned in the "Author's Note" in Currant Events. Piers Anthony stated that notions from his readers have already been set aside for use in this installment in the same "Author's Note."Cube Route
Cube Route is a fantasy novel by British-American writer Piers Anthony, the twenty-seventh book of the Xanth series.Darrell K. Sweet
Darrell K. Sweet (August 15, 1934 – December 5, 2011) was a professional illustrator best known for providing cover art for science fiction and fantasy novels, in which capacity he was nominated for a Hugo award in 1983.
Sweet was born in Highland Park, New Jersey. He graduated from Syracuse University in 1956 with a degree in fine arts. He also produced art for trading cards and calendars. He was famous for providing the covers of the fantasy epic saga The Wheel of Time. He was also the illustrator for the well-known Xanth series by Piers Anthony, the Saga of Recluce series by L. E. Modesitt, Jr. and the Runelords series by David Farland as well as the original cover artist for Stephen R. Donaldson's series The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever.
His career in science fiction began in 1975, when Judy-Lynn del Rey hired him to produce the front cover for Fritz Lieber's novel Gather Darkness. Between 1975 and 2005, Sweet produced over 3000 images. He died in 2011.Golem in the Gears
Golem in the Gears is a fantasy novel by American writer Piers Anthony, the ninth book of the Xanth series.Harpy Thyme
Harpy Thyme is a fantasy novel by American writer Piers Anthony, the seventeenth book of the Xanth series.Incarnations of Immortality
Incarnations of Immortality is the name of an eight-book fantasy series by Piers Anthony. The first seven books each focus on one of seven supernatural "offices" (Death, Time, Fate, War, Nature, Evil, Good and Night) in a fictional reality and history parallel to ours, with the exception that society has advanced both magic and modern technology. The series covers the adventures and struggles of a group of humans called "Incarnations", who hold these supernatural positions for a certain time.
The title alludes to William Wordsworth's 1804 poem Ode: Intimations of Immortality.Jumper Cable
Jumper Cable is the 33rd book of the Xanth series by Piers Anthony.Letters to Jenny
Letters to Jenny is a collection of letters written by Piers Anthony to Jenny Gildwarg, a 12-year-old girl who was run over by a drunk driver on December 9, 1988. The book also contains news of Jenny's progress after the accident.Luck of the Draw (Xanth novel)
Luck of the Draw is the 36th book of the Xanth series by Piers Anthony.Macroscope (novel)
Macroscope is a science fiction novel by British-American writer Piers Anthony. It was nominated for the Hugo Award for Best Novel in 1970.
Macroscope was first published in 1969 and in some respects reflects the idealistic values of that time. The plot involves, among other things, an extension of the Peckham Experiment, mathematicians John Conway and Michael Paterson's game of sprouts, astrology, the poetry of Sidney Lanier, the history of Phoenicia, and commentary on the value of a dedicated teacher of a subject contrasted with a practicing engineer of that subject attempting to teach it, all in a kaleidoscopic combination. The book fills a unique place in Anthony's work as one that has garnered good reviews from hard-core science fiction fans as well as his usual audience of fantasy fans.Pet Peeve (novel)
Pet Peeve is the twenty-ninth book of the Xanth series by Piers Anthony.Piers Anthony bibliography
This is a partial list of works by Piers Anthony. Anthony has published 166 works in total from 1956 to December 2013.Piers Wedgwood, 4th Baron Wedgwood
Piers Anthony Weymouth Wedgwood, 4th Baron Wedgwood (20 September 1954 – 29 January 2014) was the fourth Baron Wedgwood of the pottery dynasty. After initially following a military career, he later worked as an international ambassador for the Wedgwood company.Roc and a Hard Place
Roc and a Hard Place is the nineteenth book of the Xanth series by Piers Anthony.Stork Naked
Stork Naked is the thirtieth book of the Xanth series by Piers Anthony.Up in a Heaval
Up In A Heaval is a fantasy novel by British-American writer Piers Anthony, the twenty-sixth book of the Xanth series.Xanth
Xanth ( ZANTH) is a fantasy world created by author Piers Anthony for his Xanth series of novels, also known as The Magic of Xanth. Anthony originally intended for Xanth to be a trilogy, and after the success of the first three books expanded the series to nine books. A devoted fan base persuaded the author to continue writing the series, which is now open-ended.
Anthony has stated that he has kept the series going as long as he has because the Xanth novels are "just about all that publishers want" from him.Xone of Contention
Xone of Contention is the twenty-third book of the Xanth series by Piers Anthony.