Friday, May 23, 2008


Robert Asprin, RIP

I learn from Cheryl Morgan's blog that Robert Asprin has passed away. Kevin Standlee has more information.

I was a huge fan of the MythAdventures in high school, and followed the adventures of Skeeve and Aahz for years through a dozen or so novels before life distracted me and I lost track. In my twenties, I went back and reread most of the series, and was somewhat surprised to find that I liked it almost as much as an adult. Asprin was a much better writer than some gave him credit for, I always thought, and in amongst the groan-inducing puns of the MythAdventures books there are some really fine ideas and terrific characterization (to say nothing of a nicely worked out magical system).

Bob Asprin was a feature of the Dallas area conventions when I was a kid, the Dallas Fantasy Fairs and the like, and I must have seen him on a dozen panels over the years. For all I know it was his example that lead me to adopt as a career goal that I'd one day be on the other side of a panel, myself. (Once I was up there, I learned it wasn't as much fun as it looked, but I was able to tick it off the list, even so.)

A few years ago I was a program participant at an otherwise unremarkable convention in Huntsville, Alabama, where Asprin was one of the guests, and had the good fortune to be able to buy him a drink and tell him how much his books had meant to me as a kid. (I think I distressed him a little because I kept talking about how great it was to see the Myth books back in print, when apparently they'd never been out of print, but evidently merely not widely available.)

In my brief interactions with him in person, Bob seemed an affable, amiable guy, who was genuinely gracious with a goofy stranger who he didn't know from Adam. I remember his books with much affection, and in his memory I may get a couple of them down next week and revisit them.

Rest in peace, Bob.

Holy crap, that sucks.

My older daughter and I have been reading the entire Myth Adventures series at bedtime for the past few months (currently about halfway through Myth-ing Persons) and she absolutely loves them.

Granted, the quality hasn't been nearly as high since he revived the series with Nye, but still... that's an unfortunate loss.
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