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Encyclopedia > Incarnations of Immortality

Incarnations of Immortality is the name of an eight-book fantasy series by Piers Anthony. The first seven books each focus on one of seven supernatural "offices" (Death, Time, Fate, War, Nature, Evil and Good) in a fictional reality and history parallel to ours, with the exception that society has advanced both magic and modern technology. The series covers the adventures and struggles of a group of humans, called "Incarnations", who hold these supernatural positions for a certain time. For other uses, see Fantasy (disambiguation). ... Piers Anthony Dillingham Jacob (born August 6, 1934 in Oxford, England) is an American writer in the science fiction and fantasy genres, publishing under the name Piers Anthony. ... A Western depiction of Death as a skeleton carrying a scythe. ... This article is about the personification of time. ... For other meanings, see Fate, a disambiguation page. ... For other uses, see Four Horsemen. ... Mother Nature is a mythical personification of nature. ... This article is about the concept of Satan. ... This article is about the term God in the context of monotheism and henotheism. ... The Sorceress by John William Waterhouse Magic, sometimes known as sorcery, is a conceptual system that asserts human ability to control the natural world (including events, objects, people, and physical phenomena) through mystical, paranormal or supernatural means. ... Look up incarnation, incarnate in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... For other uses, see Supernatural (disambiguation). ...

Contents

Novels in this series

The first book of the Incarnations of Immortality series by Piers Anthony deals with the story of a man who accidentally kills death and has to take over his job and life. ... Incarnations of Immortality is the name of a seven-book fantasy series by Piers Anthony. ... Incarnations of Immortality is the name of a seven-book fantasy series by Piers Anthony. ...

Themes

Incarnations uses its premise to ponder questions regarding the nature of life. As each character goes from a mortal life to the "office" of an Incarnation, they are forced to contemplate their actions on a daily basis. Each Incarnation may use their office, within limits, as they see fit. This system humanizes what would otherwise be impersonal forces, leading to both extensive considerations of the effects of the incarnation's work and the impact it has on humans.


Another humorous side of Incarnations is the portrayed magic/technology duality. Most series emphasize one or the other means of understanding and manipulating the world, but in Incarnations each method is equal in usefulness and respect. This leads to a number of amusing parallels, such as competition between automobile and magic-carpet manufacturers. By the future time period of Norton, magic is referred to as the Fifth Fundamental Force, with its own primary particle, the Magicon (similar to a graviton). A few other series have used the technology/magic combined motif, notably Apprentice Adept by Piers Anthony and Four Lords of the Diamond by Jack Chalker. A fundamental interaction is a mechanism by which particles interact with each other, and which cannot be explained by another more fundamental interaction. ... This article is about the hypothetical particle. ... The Apprentice Adept Series is a seven-book fantasy and science-fiction series by Piers Anthony. ... The Four Lords of the Diamond is a series of four science fiction novels by author Jack L. Chalker. ... Jack Laurence Chalker (born December 17, 1944) is a science fiction author. ...


Anthony uses the number five extensively, often with things that exist in fours in our world. The five Incarnations are associated with the five elements (Death with Earth, Fate with Water, War with Fire, Nature with Air, and Time with Void), and often other items with fives (the previously mentioned Book of Five Rings). There are five fundamental interactions, magic being the fifth. The Llano consists of five songs. In On a Pale Horse, Gaea teaches Zane five patterns of thought, each represented by diagrams of five short lines. 5 (five) is the natural number following 4 and preceding 6. ... Four is devoted to the development of an uninhibited artistic exploration of ideas, discourses and new trends in contemporary art and its practices. ... A fundamental interaction is a mechanism by which particles interact with each other, and which cannot be explained by another more fundamental interaction. ...


A fourth theme of Incarnations is the multigenerational human story between the Incarnations. Previous characters repeatedly appear in later novels, and by the final novel, every major character is related by blood, marriage, or affair. See the family tree below.


Characters

See Characters from the Incarnations of Immortality for a detailed biography of the characters in the Incarnations of Immortality series. This article contains brief biographies for major characters from Piers Anthonys Incarnations of Immortality series. ...


Family tree

Cedric
 
 
 
 
 
Niobe
(Fate)
 
 
 
Pacian
 
 
 
Blanche
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Mym
(War)
 
 
 
Orb
(Nature)
 
Parry
(Evil)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Gawain
 
Orlene
(Good)
 
 
 
Norton
(Time)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Gawain II
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Magician Cedric Jr.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Blenda
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Luna
 
Zane
(Death)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Note: Colors for each of the Incarnations used are from the covers of their respective books.
Note: Gawain II was conceived by Norton and Orlene, but has Gawain's genetic material instead of Norton's (a favor performed by Gaea) This article contains brief biographies for major characters from Piers Anthonys Incarnations of Immortality series. ... This article contains brief biographies for major characters from Piers Anthonys Incarnations of Immortality series. ... This article contains brief biographies for major characters from Piers Anthonys Incarnations of Immortality series. ... This article contains brief biographies for major characters from Piers Anthonys Incarnations of Immortality series. ... This article contains brief biographies for major characters from Piers Anthonys Incarnations of Immortality series. ... This article contains brief biographies for major characters from Piers Anthonys Incarnations of Immortality series. ... This article contains brief biographies for major characters from Piers Anthonys Incarnations of Immortality series. ...


Relationships:

  • Zane (Thanatos, the Incarnation of Death) is the lover and protector of Luna Kaftan (Niobe's granddaughter).
  • Norton (Chronos, the Incarnation of Time) is the lover of Orlene (who becomes Goddess) as well as the lover of Clotho.
  • Niobe (Clotho, and later Lachesis, Aspects of the Incarnation of Fate) is Orb's (Gaea) mother, and grandmother to Luna (Death's wife), and Orlene (Goddess). She is also lover to Chronos.
  • Mym (Mars, the Incarnation of War) is father to Orlene (Goddess).
  • Orb (Gaea, Mother Nature) is mother to Orlene (Goddess).
  • Parry (Satan, the Incarnation of Evil) is married to Orb (Mother Nature), and stepfather to Orlene (Goddess).
  • Orlene (Goddess, the Incarnation of Good) is Nature's daughter, War's daughter, Fate's granddaughter, Time's lover and mother to his biological son (prior to either of them taking their office), Evil's stepdaughter, and Death's wife's cousin.

It is interesting to note that, when the male Incarnations leave their offices (with the exception of Chronos (Norton)), they die and go to either Heaven, Hell, or Purgatory, while the female Incarnations return to life as an ordinary mortal. (The fate of a former Incarnation of Good is never mentioned, while the Incarnation of Night has apparently never been replaced.) However, it is noted in And Eternity that the gender of any officeholder is merely traditional, and not set in stone (Fate has a male aspect, and Good is replaced by a woman).


Lesser Incarnations

  • Hypnos - Incarnation of Sleep
  • Eros - Incarnation of Love (Serves Nature)
  • Hope - Incarnation of Hope (Serves Nature)
  • JHVH - Incarnation of Jewish Faith (assumed to be Jehovah)
  • Phobos & Deimos - Although these are named after the moons of the planet Mars, these lesser Incarnations act as assistant to Gaea (Nature). Their functions are not explained in the books (although Phobos is presumed to be fear).

Lesser Incarnations serving War/Mars

  • Pestilence - disease that happens after major battles
  • Conquest - manager of individual battles
  • Famine - starvation consistent with battles (although this incarnation has served Death/Thanatos on at least one occasion)
  • Slaughter - a representation of the bloodshed associated with battles

Cultural references

  • The Showtime series Dead Like Me was loosely based on the book On a Pale Horse.[1]
  • Disney sold the TV rights to On A Pale Horse to Touchstone/ABC. They are filming a pilot program, which (if it works out) may lead to a series and potentially a movie.[2]

This article is about the pay TV channel. ... Dead Like Me is an American television comedy-drama starring Ellen Muth and Mandy Patinkin as grim reapers in Seattle, Washington. ...

References

  1. ^ Erickson, Hal. All Movie Guide: Dead Like Me. All Movie Guide. Retrieved on July 8, 2006.
  2. ^ Piers Anthony's Newsletter

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Amazon.com: On a Pale Horse (Incarnations of Immortality, Bk. 1): Piers Anthony: Books (734 words)
Amazon.com: On a Pale Horse (Incarnations of Immortality, Bk.
On a Pale Horse (Incarnations of Immortality, Bk.
Wielding a Red Sword (Incarnations of Immortality) by Piers Anthony
Incarnations of Immortality - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (4793 words)
Incarnations of Immortality is the name of a seven-book fantasy series by Piers Anthony.
One minor problem with the continuity of the series is that, throughout the rest of the novels, the official title for the Incarnation of Death is Thanatos and everyone recognizes this, both Incarnations, dead souls, supernatural beings, and mortals.
Norton experiments with his hourglass, recognised by all the Incarnations as being the most powerful magical device in the universe, to halt and/or reverse time, travel many millions of years into the Earth's past, and work with the Incarnation of Fate, who needs his hourglass to help fix tangles in her threads of fate.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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