Piers Anthony (b. 1934) is a prolific author of science fiction, fantasy and historical novels. To date, he has written over 170 books. He is the creator of several series, the most famous being the Xanth novels. He has also been a pioneer: maintaining an Internet Publishers Survey online for writers; inspiring the DOS video game Companions of Xanth; and investing financially to start Xlibris, the print-on-demand company. The 1999 Preditors and Editors Award was given to him as a special recognition for his services to writers, and the 2003 Friend of EPIC Award was presented to him for service to the electronic publishing community.
Anthony was born and raised a Friend, his ancestors having been Irish Quakers. His parents ran a food kitchen in Barcelona during the Spanish Civil War for the British Friends Service Committee. After his family’s emigration to the United States, he attended Westtown School. He did not like attending Meeting for Worship at Westtown, however, feeling he had been forced to go and disdaining many of those who offered ministry. Later, rejecting the Peace Testimony, he joined the U.S. Army. Presently he regards himself as an agnostic and is not a member of any Meeting. He still retains many Friendly beliefs, though, especially the Integrity Testimony.
I have read a few Xanth novels and enjoyed them greatly. They are quirky, Xanth being a land with a suspicious resemblance to Florida, though one where all the inhabitants have magical powers. (And puns run riot, sometimes literally). Very readable stories!