Running away to Piers Anthony's house

 Xanth Piers-1 Recently on This American Life, a man recounts how as a lonely, miserable teenager in 1987 he escaped into the fantasy novels of Piers Anthony and then escaped, albeit briefly, into the real life of Piers Anthony. It's a wonderful, moving story, reported by Logan Hill, and reveals how close someone can feel to a writer who not only touches us with fictional stories but also invites us to "know" them through interviews, blog posts, Tweets, and, in Anthony's case, the lengthy author's notes he appended to his novels. "Just South of the Unicorns"


  1. Loved that podcast because I was a big fan of Piers Anthony through a Jr. High friend of mine. The interview with the author at the end  of the story was the greatest.

      1. Loved the Xanth novels but loved the Blue Adept series better, because they actually had an end. Besides, what prepubescent boy didn’t like the way he described a half naked, female robot. (Though the scantily clad nymphs in Xanth were great too. Now I’m torn. . .)

  2. I enjoyed Piers Anthony in Jr. high and HS, albeit not in my top 10. 

    However, I didn’t know he had the sort of sense of humor that would move him to wear a tee-shirt printed  with ‘So many boobs, so little time’.

    1.  Pretty sure that reads “books”, not “boobs”.  That said, it’s my understanding that Mr. Anthony openly and proudly considers himself to be a Dirty Old Man.

      1. It’s hard to imagine him as anything other than a dirty old man given how some of his books read like a PG-13 version of an Anne Rice novel (but with puns instead of vampires). 

      1. He was reading something into it.

        (Really loved this TAL episode.  Piers Anthony showed himself to be an incredibly decent human being.)

  3. Incredible story! As moving and wonderful as the whole thing is, my favorite part is when the one nerd’s story, which is pretty good and he is rightly proud of, is utterly trumped by the second nerd’s story, which the first guy knows because it is a legendary part of the cannon. What a strange and fabulous convergence!

  4. So Piers Anthony’s not dead? 

    I had a bad feeling when first saw this story. I’m glad i was wrong. Two of my favourite childhood authors in one day would be too much. 

  5. thanks so much for the shout-out. i’ve been a boingboing reader for forever–and was really hoping you might notice. thanks, logan hill @loganhill33:twitter 

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