A Review of Bio of a Space Tyrant

Refugee (Bio of a Space Tyrant, #1)Refugee by Piers Anthony

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Not only is this an offensive novel, but the writing, the dialogue, the language is stupid and unbelievable. I had read plenty of criticisms of this novel for its rape scenes and the murders and the like, and I thought I could deal with that — if it were still a good story. But in the first chapter, the protagonist — Hope Hubris, a 15 year old Hispanic male — is sexually turned on by seeing his virginal older sister raped by space pirates, up close and personal. It is a bit shocking, let me tell you. But that’s not why I’m refusing to finish this book. It’s the damn writing. Let me write a few examples of Hope’s diary entries (on which the book is based) and you tell me if it sounds like a 15 year old Hispanic male!

“Faith, eighteen years old, resented this; she claimed her social life was inhibited by the presence of a skinny fifteen-year-old little sibling. The vernacular term she was wont to employ was less kind, and I think not completely fair, and does not become her, so I shall not render it here.”

She was wont to employ? I shall not render it here? Seriously? Do you know ANY teen who talks like this, particularly a teen of the future who’s first language is not English? It literally makes no sense and it detracts mightily from the novel.

Again — “Faith was not really intelligent, as I define the concept, though she did well enough in scholastics. It was said that a single look at her was enough to raise her grade before any given class commenced, and that may not have been entirely in jest.”

Really? Piers Anthony — what kind of dumb shit are you to write in this manner??? No one talks like this; they haven’t for decades and probably centuries. Are we to believe that people of the future — Spanish speakers — will be using centuries’ old antiquated language in their space ventures??? It boggles the mind.

I can’t finish this book. I can’t stomach unrealistic dialogue in novels. Roger Zelazny does this too and it’s why I can’t or won’t finish his books either. What is it with some of these sci fi hacks? Did they not take enough English classes in school? Who taught them to write this way? My favorite sci fi writer is Philip K Dick, with Frederik Pohl running behind at second, and while some of their notions from the 1950s are a bit outdated, their dialogue never seems to be. Why can’t people write normally, with normal voices? It was bad enough that I was going to have to endure numerous rape and murder scenes to work my way through this book, but the language won’t let me do it. Now I know why it was less than a dollar at the used bookstore. Not recommended.

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