Robert Lynn Asprin
28 JUN 1946 to 22 MAY 2008
Army vet, author, early Society for Creative Anachronism participant (under the name "Yng the Nauseating"), and Master of the Pun.
I learned of Robert Asprin when I picked up a Phil Foglio illustrated copy of the "Myth" series, but it was not until I discovered "Time Scout" -- a book he co-authored with Linda Evans -- that I became a true fan.
It wasn't just that one of the antagonists in the series is the mass of arbitrary bureaucracy catchily named "the Bureau of Access to Time Functions" (BATF), nor the common-sense view of guns -- although those didn't hurt any -- it was his ability to make history interesting and alive that caught my eye.
Of course, the slyly wicked quotes that opened each chapter of his "Myth" series are classics in their own right. Some of my personal favourites from Mr. Asprin:
"To function efficiently, any group of people or employees must have faith in their leader." - Capt Bligh (ret.)
"Careful planning is the key to safe and swift travel." - Ulysses
"With the proper consideration in choice of allies, victory may be guaranteed in any conflict." - B. Arnold
"Numerical superiority is of no consequence. In battle, victory will go to the best tactician" - G.A. Custer
"What is this, a Chinese fire drill?" - Sun Tzu
"...and then the fun began." - N. Bonaparte
"Superior firepower is an invaluable tool when entering into negotiations." - G. Patton
Rest in peace, sir.