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Refugee (Bio of a Space Tyrant #1)

3.7 of 5 stars 3.70  ·  rating details  ·  3,389 ratings  ·  103 reviews
Vol. 1 Refugee


Though he was later accused of every crime and sexual perversion in the galaxy, Hope Hubris began as an innocent. Because he defended his older sister against the violent lusts of a wealthy scion, Hope and his peasant family were forced to flee Callisto, one of the moons of Jupiter. Pursued by the bloodthirsty scions across the airless de
Kindle Edition, 320 pages
Published (first published 1983)
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I actually liked a lot of Piers Anthony's books when I was younger. This one, however, was one of those that made me realize just what a foul, hack writer he is.

One of Anthony's many flaws is his sexual hangups, and rather like Heinlein, sometimes he lets them all hang out in an ugly, ruinous way. The ending to Heinlein's Friday is justifiably viewed with revulsion by many fans -- I can't describe it without spoiling that novel. However, in Bio of a Space Tyrant, Anthony's ugliness comes to the
3.5 stars. A different and much darker tale than many of Piers Anthony's other novels but still a well written, interesting read. This is the first in the "Bio of a Space tyrant" series and is really the story of the early years of the "tyrant" and how his early suffering led to his becoming the man he would become. I would recommned this book to fans of darker, grittier SF.

This is the first book in Piers Anthony’s Bio of a Space Tyrant. It details Hope Hubris the eventual Tyrant of Jupiter in his younger days.

Hope and his sister are exiled from their home world and travel through the solar system on their way to Jupiter. Along the way they encounter pirates, again and again, who unleash violent horror on the travelers, again and again. The basic storyline is that people who have power over others will perpetrate horrific torture, rape, and murder upon those they c

David Sarkies
Well, this is the last of the Piers Anthony series that I have read, though I have recently discovered that he has added a further book to this series which I have not read (and do not plan on reading simply because I have no interest in reading any more of these stories). In a way, this series also seems to demonstrate Anthony's treatment of women in that they seem to be incapable of resisting what he considers to be a sexually virile man. Okay, it is true that power and sex do go hand in hand ...more
Ryan Barton
Jul 16, 2012 Ryan Barton rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ryan by: Shadimar
Many who have read this have had to make the obligatory "This is not your Xanthianish Piers Anthony type of novel" comment. You should know that by now, so I won't bore you with that. With that out of the way, I will say that this is not your Xanthianish Piers Anthony type of novel. Certainly a bit darker, but in its darkness is it's weakness.

I have read a number of other "dark" sci-fi stories -- Donaldson's "Gap" series among the best -- and "Refugee" compares somewhat ill-favorably. Now, I am
Jun 06, 2012 Jack rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those with an interest in History and/or Political Science
I am trying to add books to my list that are on my bookshelves and that I've read years ago. This is one of them.

What I remember was that it held my interest through the first two books and then became a little repetative in the third.

I first picked this up because I found the idea intriguing as well as loving the character's conflicting name; "Hope Hubris." Piers Anthony also took the political, geographical and resource divisions on Earth and expanded them throughout the universe.

Hope and his
I started collecting the books in this series about 20 years ago and yesterday finally found book 1 in a second hand bookshop and so, finally, have started to read them.

This is act one of a classic space opera. Our (anti?)hero is a boy. He loses everything and is tested repeatedly. He suffers horribly as does pretty much everyone he encounters. The brutal rape of his sister at the very start sets the scene for the horrors that unfold.

It's interesting to read this book, written as it was in the
I read this when I was 15 and it has haunted me ever since. I remember relating it to Upton Sinclair's The Jungle where every horrible thing that could happen to this person DID happen to this person. Like I said, haunting. And this is just the first book. It is also a look into survival and what the human mind and body is capable of overcoming. I have read this three times in my life and have taken away something different every time.
I loved this series as a teen and they hold up just a well for 45yo me as well. ITs pure space Opera and 1980's geo-politics on a solar system wide scale - but that's just backdrop for a well-written, engrossing story.

Refugee can be a harsh read. The story of Hope Hubris and his family's journey to the Land of the Free on Jupiter is not that of a pleasure cruise. There are rapes, murders, sacrifice and heartbreak ... it is not your usual sci-fi thriller - butt its also not a ponderous, difficult
Jeffrey Michael
As I had read from another reviewer, this is not the typical Piers Anthony novel. I'd classify it as Sci-Fi only because of the setting. This is much more of a deep dive into the mind and motivations of what I assume is to come in the rest of the series. As they say, the devil is in the details and Piers didn't leave out any details as he followed the psychological development of his main character. Though a bit slow at times and very graphic it's an excellent read.
I do not mean this flippantly, but this book is rapety-rape-rape, the whole way through. Worst case scenario of space pirates, refugees, powerlessness and the depths to which people will travel to survive. I had to take a few breaks reading this book, it was a lot to deal with. However, I think it captured a specific mindset one can acquire when trying to survive horrors of this nature, and very uniquely portrayed a kind of survivor's guilt when one's body matches those that have perpetrated tha ...more
The series gets off to a bit of a rough start as the reader is beaten over the head with the message thatthe main character has had a rough life/much trauma. Yes everyone DIES!!!!!!
The series does greatly improve after book one but I am concerned that many readers will bail after this volume.
Mar 12, 2014 Monique rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 1
Shelves: ebook, terrible
I have only read a few of Piers Anthony’s books when I was younger. I started with the Geosyddey Series and then progressed to Currant Events (had no idea what the book was about). About 10 years later I decided to read Refugee. I decided to read Refugee because Piers Anthony is such a well-known science fiction author.

Refugee is about Hope Hubris as he travels from Callisto to Jupiter as a refugee. He must leave Callisto because he’s family is being targeted by a rich family. His family, along
I debated on giving this title a three or four star review. I liked it, but I didn't love it. If not for the fact that the author based this story on a real life events, I probably would have been content to leave the rating a three-star. But he did use real life events as a model for this space adventure, and that tipped the scales for me. Basing his "space opera" on the plight of the Vietnamese boat people was a bold move as a lot of really horrific things happened to the refugees fleeing thei ...more
William Bentrim
Bio of a Space Tyrant Refugee Vol.1 and Mercenary Vol. 2 by Pierce Anthony

Volume 1 details how Hope Hubris reaches Jupiter and the horrific conditions he faced on getting there. Volume 2 details the rise of Hope Hubris in the Jupiter Navy and his campaign against the asteroid belt pirates. The books purpose to be the biography of the tyrant of Jupiter. It is written in almost a text book style.

I have mixed feelings about the book. Anthony seemed intent on providing a sense of normalcy for all
A.G. Lindsay
Feb 15, 2013 A.G. Lindsay rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: I would NOT recommend this book to ANY ONE.
I usually give a fair reading to science fiction series, because I like science fiction.

And, for the most part, I've enjoyed most of the Piers Anthony books I've read (although most seem somewhat juvenile these days.)

I read this one years ago, and, quite frankly, it horrified me. It was not the subject matter which I've seen written about in science fiction, mystery and non-fiction genres, but the constant repetition of violence and pretty much everything offensive. Most of the characters are p
Scott Holstad
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 t ...more
At the outset I'll say that I've enjoyed many of Piers Anthony's books. While I did enjoy this book (and I'm continuing on with the series) it is VERY important for a reader to realize that this is NOT in the vein of the Xanth novels. In my opinion, this series is shaping up to be much darker than either the Xanth or Incarnations of Immortality series. Be warned that Anthony is not writing here for kids or for a "light read".

I originally started this as a paperback but (as often happens to me)
They're going through space, pirates kill all the men and rape the women. Then let them go. Then more rapist pirates rape the women, and let them go, this happens a lot like, maybe five more times. Then the pirates that raped them in the first place come back for seconds. Couldn't get through it. I'm guessing they got raped down to nothing and everyone dies except for the hero
Anyone who enjoyed the Ender series will enjoy this book. I wish that I had read the epilogue first, as it explained that illegal immigration throughout the 20th century was the basis of the book. All the pieces fell into place, as I understood why everything seemed so familiar to me. Well written, proceeding to Mercenary, the second book in the series
The only thing keeping me from giving this 5 stars is the fact that it's a space opera. However, Star Trek is a space opera, and I really like Star Trek, but I will probably never put a Star Trek novel on this list. Not because many of them aren't well written, but because they are toothpaste on the gums of literature; the Bio of a Space Tyrant series, despite being space opera, is nonetheless made of sterner stuff. It is harsh; several scenes of murder and rape are described--not in luridly gra ...more
George Irwin
I definitely see this as old Piers Anthony - a lot of the building blocks that make him and interesting writer are here - scandal, interesting physics and moral dilemmas, and weirdly humorous characters. I will say that while individual moments in the book interested me, overall I didn't like this book all that much. There were a lot of dead moments in the book to me where the story just died amidst either a repetitive moral discussion, or weird problem solving. Occasionally it feels like the au ...more
This is the first of an old fashioned space opera told in 5 novels. The series deals with the issues of refugees and immigrants and was written in the 80's. This first book is a commentary on the Vietnamese Boat People.
Neil Mclaughlin
I love Piers Anthony, but this one was tough to get through. The narrative was oddly written and seemed forced. The characters reactions were also hard to believe, but I could help to identify this storyline with the current US immigration issue. I completed the story only because I was informed the following books of the series would be more to my liking. I have started Mercenary (Bio of a Space Tyrant #2) and have had a hard time putting it down. But without having read Refugee I would not hav ...more
My review of the whole series

Hope Hubris' journey from humble beginnings to Tyrant over all the Solar System.

Earth was divided, after the wars, & redistributed throughout the solar system with each major group getting a planet.

The series dilienates Anthony's views of how true & good leaders evolve.

The conclusion I come to is that if one is truly good(honest, upright, other-focused) then ALL the reins of power are best vested in him.

Hope Hubris solves the major issues, such as drug abuse,
hmm only 2.99 on ibooks...

Piers Anthony is famously called "the most read to least reviewed author" in history, and this book is case in point (as is this entry on goodreads). chock full of perverse sexuality, i think the book's sole redeeming point is that Anthony is pricing the book at less than a burger and fries. so less fattening than a happy meal and might cause less pimples (I'm not sure). since ebooks theoretically last forever, i suppose at some point the data will be useful to hand off
Eric Nabert
Great read could hardly wait to get into the next book. Characters are well developed and there are lots of plot openings to leave you hungery for the next part in the saga.
A tough, devastating tale told from the point of view of an incredibly rational and fairly cold individual. Looking forward to seeing if the subsequent books have him evolving, although, the title of the series suggests this may not be the case.
This is such a dark sci-fi. It's like page after page after page of rape and wanton violence. It was a hard read to get through. So damn bleak
I guess that on the whole I liked this introductory chapter into the Space Tyrant saga. The biographical style of writing worked, the characters were easy to relate to and understand and the story enjoyable to read. It almost got a little repetitive towards the end but overall I'm left wanting to read the next instalment.

I say "I guess" I liked as some of the story was a little too gory in places for my taste. No, not gory...just probably a true depiction of what a harsh environment a space refu
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Though he spent the first four years of his life in England, Piers never returned to live in his country of birth after moving to Spain and immigrated to America at age six. After graduating with a B.A. from Goddard College, he married one of his fellow students and and spent fifteen years in an assortment of professions before he began writing fiction full-time.

Piers is a self-proclaimed environm
More about Piers Anthony...

Other Books in the Series

Bio of a Space Tyrant (6 books)
  • Mercenary (Bio of a Space Tyrant, #2)
  • Politician (Bio of a Space Tyrant, #3)
  • Executive (Bio of a Space Tyrant, #4)
  • Statesman (Bio of a Space Tyrant, #5)
  • The Iron Maiden (Bio of a Space Tyrant, #6)
On a Pale Horse (Incarnations of Immortality, #1) A Spell for Chameleon (Xanth, #1) Castle Roogna (Xanth, #3) Bearing an Hourglass (Incarnations of Immortality, #2) The Source of Magic (Xanth, #2)

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