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It's the distant future and the Tyrant of Jupiter is dead. Over the course of his lifetime, he has had multiple wives and sexual partners, been accused of incest, murder, and cannibalism, and became a great leader comparable to Caligula, Napoleon, and Adolf Hitler. Much has been written about him, but, as the author of the introduction to the first installment of the Bio of a Space Tyrant series reminds us, the Tyrant deserves to have a word about himself. The Bio of a Space Tyrant series, written by Piers Anthony, is about Hope Hubris, a man who rose from being a poor refugee from Callisto to becoming the Tyrant of Jupiter.

Refugee focuses on Hope's mid-adolescence as a poor boy from Callisto who is forced to leave due to a powerful scion's threats to press charges for Hope and Spirit's attacking him to defend their older sister Faith from his unwanted advances. They flee Callisto on a refugee bubble headed for Jupiter and are attacked multiple times by rapists and Space Pirates. One by one, Hope's family members are killed or separated from him.

Mercenary details Hope's struggles as a migrant laborer who gets drafted into the Jovian navy. He manages to rise from enlisted ranks into the officer in command of an anti-Space Pirate task force, putting together a team of experts that makes it successful enough to draw attention from powerful interests that don't really want the problem solved. When the smoke clears, Hope is reunited with Spirit, gains an honorable discharge and Jovian citizenship, and decides to go into politics.

Politician tells the tale of Hope's political career, learning the ropes of Jovian politics and eventually running for President. The story has a framing device of him kept captive and amnesiac by mysterious enemies, with him only regaining his memory via Neuro Vault. In the end, the election escalates to the point that a constitutional convention is called and leaves Hope as the ruler of Jupiter.

Executive tells the tale of Hope's reign as the Tyrant of Jupiter.

Statesman is about Hope's career after he is exiled from Jupiter and begins working with a Saturnian general on a project that could change the future of humanity.

The final novel, The Iron Maiden, covers the events of the previous novels from the perspective of Hope's sister, Spirit.


This series includes examples of the following tropes

  • All Men Are Rapists: Considered standard behavior.
  • Aren't You Going to Ravish Me?: When Hope is marrying a Pirate Girl to secure an alliance between the Jovian navy and the Space Pirates, he is expected to rape her and hope that she doesn't knife him. However, she has taken a liking to him and wants him to rape her, but given his past, Hope is not willing be a rapist and doesn't touch her at all until she asks for it. She feels humiliated by having to ask for sexual contact when she expected to be raped, a strange inversion of Rape as Drama.
  • Immune to Drugs: Hope Hubris has a hyperactive immune system that lets him shake off the effects of most drugs while immunizing him to future doses. Subverted at the end of the series, when relying on this talent after recovering from food poisoning lets the damage to his kidneys become irreversible - while causing the failure of all but the most primitive forms of dialysis, with even that option doomed to stop working in the near future.
  • No Party Like a Donner Party: What the refugees of the bubble resort to due to dwindling food supplies.
  • Pirate Girl: Spirit becomes the Sweet Polly Oliver version of this. Hope ends up marrying one of these.
  • Posthumous Narration: While these were written by Hope Hubris in his lifetime, they are being edited for publication by his daughter, Hopie Hubris.
  • Promotion to Parent: In Refugee, Helse and Hope become a surrogate mother and father duo to all of the children on the bubble after all of the adults have been killed or spirited away.
  • Rape as Backstory: Helse reveals to Hope that her family rented her out as a concubine to rich Lolicon men.
  • Rape as Drama: Loads of it. Hope's family leave Callisto in the first place because Hope attacked his older sister Faith's would-be rapist and now he's threatening to press charges. The bubble that the Hubrises leave for Jupiter on is attacked by multiple groups of men who rape at least one of the women. And in Mercenary, it turns out that all soldiers are required to have sex with another soldier of the opposite sex on a regular basis whether they like it or not. Rape also turns out to be part and parcel of the Space Pirate wedding ritual.
  • Scarpia Ultimatum: A group of men who claim to be there to rescue those who are in the bubble bring candy that turns out to be more than just a sweet treat as the children who eat them fall down one by one. The men tell them that they won't give the children the antidote to the poison if the women don't have sex with them.
  • Sliding Scale of Gender Inequality: Level 3 in Refugee as Hope becomes the bubble's leader because he is, at that point, the oldest male. In the later books, it seems to be Level 4.
  • Space Pirate: Many of the bubble's attackers are these.
  • Sweet Polly Oliver: Helse turns out to actually be a girl. Unlike most examples of Sweet Polly Oliver, she goes by her actual name when masquerading as a boy. Spirit joins a group of Space Pirates as this.
  • Trauma Conga Line: The events of Refugee are Hope's.
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