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Split Infinity (Apprentice Adept #1)

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  14,532 Ratings  ·  311 Reviews
On the technological, decadent world of Proton, someone was trying to destroy Stile, serf and master Gamesman. His only escape lay in Phaze, a world totally ruled by magic. Soon he learned that his alternate self had already been murdered, and that he was next. On Proton, his fate depended on winning the great Games. On Phaze, he must master magic to survive. And if he use ...more
ebook, 368 pages
Published February 14th 2012 by Del Rey (first published 1980)
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Oct 25, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I was thinking about this book the other day and wondering, "Is this the most sexist thing I've ever read?" The answer: quite probably. When was in my early teens I discovered Piers Anthony, because, let's face it: he WAS the fantasy section at Waldenbooks for the entire 1980's. I really loved the first few Incarnations of Immortality and the Xanth books, though they were definitely a bit naughty. Those books were also full of buxom women and people hopping into bed with total strangers, but the ...more
Jeremy Preacher
This is one of those books that I have read a hundred times (quite possibly literally) and cannot be objective about. I first read it when I was maybe 8. And man oh man did I love it. Horses! Unicorns! Magic! Underdogs winning!

It... doesn't hold up. There are some key worldbuilding elements that don't really work that I never would have noticed as a kid - so it's basically a slave society, where the slaves are all totally naked and powerless except they can leave the planet at any time. And yet
This book reminded me of a geeky prepubescent male's fantasy dream. The plot takes place in two worlds: a world of fantasy, and a world of science fiction. I normally read books from both genres, so I thought I would really enjoy it. The idea was novel, but it did not flow well. The main character jumps jarringly between the two worlds throughout the novel. In the science fiction world of Proton, no one is allowed to wear clothing unless they are in the rich upper class. The nakedness of the cha ...more
When I was 13, I read a lot of Piers Anthony, and when I say “a lot,” I mean a lot. The guy was pretty much all I read, from the Xanth series to the Incarnations of Immortality series, and even the Battle Circle and Bio of a Space Tyrant series, but my favorite of his books from that time would have to be the Apprentice Adept series. I read them again in my late 20s and thought they held up pretty well, so when I got on a bit of a nostalgia kick recently, I thought I’d give these another go, jus ...more
Michael Y. Patuwo
A classic Gary Stu story. The main character Stile is so gifted in every possible facet ranging from athletics to music to mental prowess that it feels utterly unbelievable, given his station as a serf. His only 'flaw' was being short, and naturally he never failed to mention this fact, in his many self-righteous monologues, to reason out why certain people he encountered during his adventures showed distaste against his character. It wasn't because he was a maddeningly arrogant pretty boy, god ...more
Mar 27, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Oh dear this is a hard book to rate. I LOVED it as a teenager - it has a really cool game, two neat alternate worlds (and both are interesting), unicorns, and magic! What I didn't notice at that time was that it had boobies! Lots and lots of bouncing boobies! Anyway- pretty immature relationships, and kind of um...racial (?) in that the main character, (view spoiler) ...more
Dec 19, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was another novel concept by Anthony. The first book or two were great, but he took the series further than I wanted. This one is definitely re-readable, the 2d & 3d are OK, but after that I couldn't get into them any more.

The world is in the far future, but one man finds he can slip from his ultra modern world into a nearby fantasy world since the death of his counterpart in the other dimension. He winds up dealing with all the problems two people have all by himself. Funny, fast read
Mar 27, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dropped
Stiles is slave and a jockey, not very attractive and actually quite short for a man. But he knows how to win in the Games, and that might make all the difference when he meets a woman and his world starts falling apart.

I could not finish this book. I am just not a fan of this book. At first I was all on board. Games, where two people chose the battle field and competed, were quite an interesting concept. Competition of speed on a dust-filled slide? Interesting. The possibility that you can bea
Vincent Wood
Large number of people running around conducting their daily activities while wearing less clothing than might be seen at a European beach? Check. Intimate scenes in which one of the participants is an anatomically correct robot? Check. Bestiality with a magical mythical creature? Check. Yup, this must be a Piers Anthony novel. After all, he is the same author to have written a book named "The Color of Her Panties". Now I do not want to sound prudish. Well placed and well written sex scenes can ...more
Aug 23, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: apprentice-adept
I bought this trilogy while I was at University (a fabulous second hand bookshop where you could return other books to count towards new purchases) and I remembered enjoying them at the time. In the intervening years the trilogy has grown somewhat – Piers Anthony has a tendency to keep extending series beyond his original intent.

A great idea, well constructed. Both a science-fiction universe and a fantasy universe in the same book. They overlap and some people can even move between the two world
I can see why men love this book. After finishing this today, that was my first thought.

I was introduced to this book by a friend of mine. He knows I never read sci-fi or fantasy books. Since he recommended it, I thought I would try it . I must say, the thought of reading this book did not appeal to me at all. I am a very logical person. I can not imagine unicorns, robots and magic all wrapped up together. It just does not make sense to me. However, as I read I found the characters complex, the
“If you think you’re conscious, you must be conscious. That’s what consciousness is all about. The feedback is self-awareness.”

Great story telling and contrasting fantasy and science fiction environments, but Anthony doesn’t get a bye for his antediluvian portrayal of gender relations. Even though it was written in the 80s, it’s borderline offensive. His protagonist’s supposed moral uprightness is severely undercut by his treatment of females. Costuming sex as freely given doesn’t excuse his att
Jan 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2015
This was my second time reading this book, but it had been probably 5+ years since my original time through. I really love the author, especially his Xanth series which I had started just prior to tackling the Apprentice Adept one. I only got through the first 3 books before I stopped, and which my 2015 Resolution to "Finish What I Started" I want to finally tackle the series.

Piers Anthony is refreshing, hilarious, extremely creative, and I love how well developed he writes his characters. The w
Jan 04, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
This novel feels like it was written by a 13 year old boy who overcompensates for his social awkwardness and self-loathing with outward displays of machismo and misogyny. The sexism in this book is disgusting. Is there redeeming value?

Anthony can string words together with variety and an ease. However, the book had horrible pacing. Long parts drug on and on and on in tedium. Also, there were some glaring errors. For instance, the main character prides himself on cleverness, but then says that T
Scott Meidroth
May 17, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of my favorite books as a youth. Disregarding Anthony's borderline-misogynistic treatment of female characters, the settings and plot of this novel (and the two main sequels) imagine worlds I want to visit over and over again.
Jeni Clark
Jun 18, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
My god. This book is brutally lame. Don't do it -- there are just some things you can't un-read.
The book clearly owes a lot to the Xanth series in many of its premises. I suppose Anthony wanted another series that had slightly different premises than Xanth. Stile is being threatened by someone and escapes to another world where he becomes emotionally attached. He keeps going back and forth between the two world, trying to meet his various obligations. Eventually he manages to solve the final and most tricky issue by the Alexander solution to the Gorgon's Knot....cutting through all the ext ...more
David Sarkies
Feb 29, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Nobody really
Recommended to David by: Stewart Wymer
Shelves: sci-fi
I Read it because of the Cover
29 February 2012

I understand the saying 'don't judge a book by its cover' but the only reason I decided to read this book was because of its cover. I suspect that the saying means that because if we don't like the cover then we shouldn't necessarily throw the book away, however I do not think it really applies when we like the cover and then want to read the book. Still, just because a book has a cool cover does not necessarily mean that it will be a cool book. Thi
Scot Parker
Aug 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Piers Anthony startled me with this book, to be honest. I was not expecting a novel that blended futuristic science fiction with sword-and-sorcery fantasy to be so engaging, but Anthony pulled it off. I docked a star because the misogyny in the book was quite bothersome and the hero was too much a superman, but overall his characters are engaging and the plot and settings interesting. There's nothing really groundbreaking in this book other than his juxtaposition of parallel worlds, one of which ...more
Sep 18, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: a book burning
Sometimes I'll think back to books I've read. And sometimes I regret it.

This is one of those times.

About 4 years ago I borrowed a friend's copy of Split Infinity, because I saw it on her bookshelf and instantly nostalgiabombed- I, too, went through a huge Piers Anthony phase in high school.

And I was reminded why I stopped reading his books, and never finished this particular series... let alone this book. Because there were TWO INSTANCES of rape within the first two chapters.

Not only were my no
Feb 15, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
You know that feeling when you remember that you read a thing, and remember it fondly, but then you get that slow, creeping sensation that it isn't actually as good as you remember? That is is, in fact, way worse than you remember?

That's how I feel about this book.

When I was in my early teens, I really enjoyed reading this. In fact, I really liked quite a few of Anthony's books (Ogre Ogre, A Spell for Chameleon, this means you). I'm now painfully aware of how outrageously sexist they are.

Jun 17, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A masterful blending of science fiction and fantasy; the action takes place in two worlds: the technologically advanced planet Proton and the medieval fantasy world Phaze. Our hero, Stile, passes between worlds defeating foes and avoiding death in both.
I don't actually want to explain much more about the book. In fact, I'm of the opinion that even the blurb on the back gives too much away. The outcome of a couple of contests is completely spoiled due to that information. In fact, I would encour
Sep 28, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Soon after escaping assassination on the highly technical, science-oriented planet of Proton, Stile finds himself in a world of sorcery and magic where another power seeks his destruction.

Split Infinity is the first in the Apprentice Adept series by Piers Anthony. Unlike most genre books this one takes place in both sci-fi and fantasy worlds. Proton is the sci-fi half and Phaze is the fantasy half.

It is the ultimate male fantasy story. Stile is a master Gamesman, expert at nearly every Game, th
Jul 29, 2016 marked it as dnf  ·  review of another edition
DNF'd at 15%

Okay guys. I'm gonna be real with you. It takes a LOT for me to DNF a book after 10%. Usually after 10%, I'll just ignore my problems and carry through and give it a 1 star at the end. But I had a LOT of issues with this book, and they started around 10% - I gave it 5 more % to shape up. It got worse.

1. The world - This is a extremely cool concept that Anthony has posed in SPLIT INFINITY, but the truth is - he spends way too much time setting up the "romance" and not enough time expl
D.M. Pruden
Jun 13, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I was disappointed in this book, given the reputation of the author. I lost total interest in the story about halfway into it, so I have no idea if it improves or ends strongly. My biggest issue was with the main character, Style. I couldn't empathize with him at all. In his world, he is a perfect human athlete who wanders around naked. Everything he does is like reading the journal of your average self absorbed high school, football captain, scholar, valedictorian. His biggest " weakness" is th ...more
Aug 27, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I needed a mental holiday and rereading this book was some great escapism. I really enjoyed this on first read and this time around was not that much different. There are aspects of the story early on (Stile and Sheen, Stile and Neysa...actually pretty much anytime Stile takes his pants off or considers taking his pants off...) that are sort of uncomfortable with shades of sexist BUT then I take a step back and accept that this is set in a distant time and place and I can't really judge by curre ...more
Ken Butters
Jan 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was one of the first books I ever read by Piers Anthony. It led me to a slew of other books that I ended up enjoying a immensely.

I found the main premise behind split infinity fascinating.

There exists two realities, One is a reality based on science, and the other is based on magic.

Stiles, the main character is able cross over to the alternate Magical reality at will, because his other "self" in that reality was killed. Under normal circumstances, there is an alternate of each individual
Hate to badmouth it, but...: This idea that Piers Anthony gives is great. Two worlds - one magic and one technological - is brilliant. The moment a friend told me about it, I went out and grabbed it. The book was also well written. I just couldn't stand the multiple-page long monologues Stile gives frequently. It seemed that every chapter Stile was giving some speech or another about morality or about how great he was at one thing or another. That's another thing that's not so great. I like havi ...more
Chad Lindaman
Piers Anthony was my favorite author while growing up, and I read nearly all of his books he had written before I turned 16. I decided to try him again (now that Im 41), and see how he holds up. He's still fun, but clearly not what I remembered. I have read recent accusations against him of being misogynistic, and while I wouldnt go that far.. His treatment of female characters is certainly.. different. He reminds of of Orson Scott Card: great ideas, but lacking in most other areas, combined wit ...more
Adebayo Oyagbola
Excellent and enthralling yarn about games and gaming, wizards and adepts, hierarchical societies, robots and unicorns. Science fiction, sword and sorcery, are all convincingly welded together in this tale. Although this mongrel of a book may not appeal to the purist, it is that rarity, an unputdownable tale. It took me more than 25 years to look for and read the rest of the series after the first two books. They took the story to an excellent conclusion and I only wish I had searched earlier.
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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

Apprentice Adept (7 books)
  • Blue Adept  (Apprentice Adept #2)
  • Juxtaposition (Apprentice Adept #3)
  • Out of Phaze (Apprentice Adept #4)
  • Robot Adept (Apprentice Adept #5)
  • Unicorn Point (Apprentice Adept #6)
  • Phaze Doubt (Apprentice Adept #7)

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“A mortal person's mind is like a wilderness, with a tremendous volume of decaying constructs and half-understood experience forming natural harbors for wild animal effects.” 3 likes
“It was said that familiarity bred contempt, but surely ignorance bred error.” 1 likes
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