Daily Illuminator

May 24, 2008: Bob Asprin

Robert Lynn Asprin, author of the Myth Adventures series - and creator, with Lynn Abbey, of Thieves' World - died yesterday, apparently of a heart attack. He was 61.

When I first got serious about the SF convention circuit, in the 1980s, I ran into Bob over and over and over. That was fun. Bob was energetic and ebullient. He'd been a fan before he was a pro, and he loved conventions. I think he would have gone to an awful lot of them even if they hadn't been deductible!

Bob and I got to be friends, though we never worked together professionally. I was always glad to find out we'd be doing the same event, because that was a solid guarantee of some good filking, some raucous partying, and, when the partiers had fallen down, some intelligent conversation about the business of writing. He was interested in a lot of things, was pretty good at many of them, and he liked to share. Bob liked teaching. He'd give you advice about writing, about selling your writing, about fencing, about making music, about drinking, about the SCA, about making music while drinking in the SCA . . . and about dealing with people. That comes through in his books, too. If you ever wonder why Skeeve would stop, in the middle of some hilarous brouhaha, and reflect on the personnel-management issues he faced with his merry band of magical misfits . . . that was Bob talking.

I liked his writing. My favorite of his books was the relatively little-known The Bug Wars. Go read it. Myth fans will be surprised to find out that it's completely free of puns - in fact, it's completely free from human characters. Read it anyway.

Various personal issues knocked a decade out of Bob's writing career, but in the last few years of his life, he'd gotten back onto the horse, and more Myth novels had appeared, written in collaboration with Jody Lynn Nye. There's one more yet to come, and then, barring surprise re-emergences of unknown manuscripts, that's all we'll ever see from Bob.

We'll miss him.
-- Steve Jackson

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