Steven's Notebook

Look Ma - No Hands!

Bio of a Space Tyrant

Before last week’s vacation, we stopped by the used book store to pick up some light “mind candy” for the trip. I was looking for some of John D. MacDonald‘s books that I’d not read yet, but there weren’t any of those on the shelf. Nor were there any copies of Cell available either.

I did pick up one of Randy Wayne White‘s books that I didn’t have yet, and then I slipped around the corner to the Science Fiction section. There I found a complete set* of Piers Anthony’s Bio of a Space Tyrant. It’s been twenty years since I last read them, so what the heck.

Bio of a Space Tyrant, book 1 - RefugeeThe series chronicles, mostly in first-person, the life of Hope Hubris. Hope, the son of a poor coffee farmer, lives through many difficulties and rises through various occupations, ranks and positions in his society – one which is basically a mirror of earth, spread across the solar system. It’s an interesting look at (one author’s view of) the Earth’s political landscape of the 1980’s.

I’m about halfway through, having spent almost no vacation time actually reading. They’re quick-read books; I can knock off one in an evening or two if I’m not busy with other things. It’s not a bad series, though I must say it’s one of those things that is better in one’s memory than in actuality. The action is ok, the storyline is a little juvenile, and the prose gets a bit repetitive, especially in the earlier part of each of the books where Mr. Anthony reminded the user of what had happened in previous volumes.

Mind-candy, remember? Fun, a reasonable diversion, but nothing that the Literature professor’s going to assign.

* I now see, in the Wikipedia entry, that there was a sixth book released in 2001. I didn’t know about that one, and it wasn’t in the used book store. So no, I guess I don’t really have a “complete” set.

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