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Refugee (Bio of a Space Tyrant #1)

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  3,963 Ratings  ·  129 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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(showing 1-30)
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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.
Apr 22, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
David Sarkies
May 02, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Nobody
Recommended to David by: I saw it in the Library
Shelves: sci-fi
A Rather Disturbing Book
2 May 2012

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 perception of women in that the female characters in this book seem to be incapable of resisting what he considers to be a sexually v
Dec 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Sep 01, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition

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

mitchell k dwyer
The main character in Piers Anthony’s Refugee is named Hope Hubris, something that doesn’t take as long to get used to as one might think. Hope is a refugee from one of Jupiter’s moons, forced to flee with his family toward Jupiter when an impulsive act of violence against a wealthy white boy leaves his Hispanic parents no reasonable alternative. With his parents and two sisters, he boards a space bubble, a crude transport designed for utility, not comfort or speed, and his family is mistreated ...more
Jeffrey Michael
Feb 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
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.
Mar 06, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Ryan Barton
Jul 10, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  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
Sep 13, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
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
Jun 06, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  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
Joshua Hair
Apr 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm addicted to this series. Yes, there is a good deal of controversy surrounding some of the imagery and subject matter. There is rape. In fact, the book starts with rape. Rape, in fact, becomes a key component in the series itself, although saying so makes it sound much worse than it really is. These books are violent and shocking, although most people would not expect that of such an old series, especially one from the science fiction genre.

Yet, somehow, I still find myself obsessed. Admitted
Shelly Leyden
Having read almost every other thing written by Piers Anthony, I plowed into this. It proved quite spicy and inappropriate, and I recall reading it with a mixture of horror and hunger. Fingers cut off! Sexual perversion! By far the raciest, most violent and thrilling book I'd read to that point. Around this time, though, I also got into Anne McCaffrey's Dragon Drums series — complete with dragon lusts and dragon-linked matings and all kinds of crazy. And, soon I'd get deep into Clan of the Cave ...more
Oct 05, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
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
Jul 21, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like the premise of this book; a war lord back tracking his life to explain the source of the rumors that surround him.
Didn't actually enjoy reading it that much.

Just like nearly every other review on here I have to harp on about the rape element.
This is the rapiest book I have ever read!

Hardly a page goes by when some one is either raped, worried about getting raped, worrying they will rape someone else, reminiscing about their first rape or musing about rape in general.

"As Bob prepared his b
Jul 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Depressing story of immigrant problems of the future.

A retelling of politics of the 80's. Most of this is based off some of the darker stuff that actually happened to refugees. Not suitable for under 17. Not for those who like happy endings. Does illustrate that history moves in cycles.
Lance Sherrill
Aug 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This series exceeded all of my teenaged expectations. Even the Mode series hadn't prepared me for the sorrow I would experience in reading this series. This first entry was quite possibly the most difficult...but it really does set the tone for Hope's rise throughout the series.
Charlie Devlin
A good story of the retched remains of a family that would create Hope Hubris emperor of Jupiter. However throughout he first half of the story Hope isn't very engaging as a character seeming almost whiny in some cases.
Hristyuk Vitaliy
Very disturbing, but captivating book. Don't read it for fun, for it is not fun, but it is worth reading.
Scott Holstad
Jul 22, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: didn-t-finish
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
Frank Showalter
Jul 01, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned
My last read left me excited to discover what other surprises awaited me amongst my Dad’s books.

I should have tempered my expectations.

I picked Refugee (Bio of a Space Tyrant #1), by Piers Anthony because it was first on the bookshelf.

I abandoned it after 53 pages. I couldn’t get past the writing.

It opens with an “editorial preface” presenting the series as the private papers of Hope Hubris, the Tyrant of Jupiter. Anthony sets lofty expectations for Hubris’s story.

He was, after all, the most r
Nov 09, 2013 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: 1
I have only read a few of Piers Anthony’s books when I was younger. I started with the Geodyssey 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
William Bentrim
Sep 21, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 09, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
A.G. Lindsay
Feb 15, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  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
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)
Jul 20, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: currently-own
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
David Leemon
Feb 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Perhaps Piers Anthony's finest novel.

A great tour of Jupiter's moons Callisto and Io, too.
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
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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)

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