Friday, May 23, 2008

Requiscat in Pacem

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.

LawDog

23 comments:

Black Ice said...

:( RIP, Robert.

D.W. Drang said...

I will treasure nights in the Fiddler's Green Pub in Ypsilanti, MI, drinking and singing with the Dorsai Irregulars and their Peerless leader, Mr. Asprin.
That, and the day I ran into him and Lynn Abbey at a gun show in Detroit, walking up and down the aisles muttering into a tape recorder, taking notes for what turned out to be the Bazaar on Deva.
You'd be lucky to merely get kicked out of a gun show for that, today...

"word": qifuafbs !??!

Nyx said...

The Myth books were entertaining. Sadly, I never could really "get into" the Phule books. But, yes, the Time Scout books... I have read and re-read Ripping Time and The House That Jack Built. Somehow, it never occured to me that Robert Asprin could die one day. I quote him regularaly to people, from whichever book it was that at the beginning he said, "I am not a fast writer. I am not a slow writer. I am just a half-fast writer."

Cypher said...

Awwwww man. I just finished the STEN series, too. Now I gotta spend even more money at the bookstore in between buying Discworld books three at a time.

ArkieRN said...

Thanks for letting us know of his passing. He will be Mythed.

LauraB said...

Och, no...thanks for the sad news. But you forget the Thieves World series for which he was Editor. He signed my tattered original copy of the 1st book ages back.

I left it on the bus on the way home - and have bemoaned it since.

What a fine author...

Stench, Son of Oder said...

Sorry the hear this. I met Yang in SCA back in the 70's at a meet at the Barony of the Flame(aka Louisville) among his accomplishments was being a founder and Grand Kacan of the Dark Horde, sort of a Medieval Cycle Gang,...without the cycles. Think Mongolian raiders only heavier armed. At one time, he had his name in the phone book as Y. T. Nauseating. I will miss his humor.

Cybrludite said...

I had the pleasure & honor of meeting & getting to hang out with Bob at Midsouthcon last year. Hell of a nice guy. Figures I'd have to go to Memphis to meet someone who lived in the same city at I do.

As far as deaths go, passing suddenly while sitting on your couch reading a sci-fi novel & waiting for friends to pick you up to go to a con rates way up my list.

Tam said...

One by one...

:(

Gay_Cynic said...

Awww....

Many's the night I read the hours away to the Myth series, and I just became enchanted with his new "Dragon " novel that was planned as part of what is now likely an eternally unfinished series.

RIP, Robert.

armedandsafe said...

He will be sorely missed. Thank you for the heads up.

Pops

Cybrludite said...

For those in the area, unofficial wake will be tomorrow (Sunday the 25th) at Fahy's Irish Pub. (540 Burgundy St.) 9pm 'til.

gifted_one22 said...

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!

Of all the authors I've read, I wanted to meet him the most. I guess it'll have to be post-mortal now. The Myth books are my favorite series, and I'd just bought a copy of his newest book(which was to be a series), Dragon's High. He will be sorely missed, and it will be well nigh impossible to find someone who can continue the projects he's left.

Anonymous said...

'Nuther friend of Bob's checking in here.

He was nothing short of FUN. I'll miss him a lot.

- Ioseph of Locksley (in the SCA)
Proud member of the Great Dark Horde (who are just peaceful pastoral nomads who do not want to conquer your Kingdom really we don't .....)

Bryan said...

Damn damn damn. Another favorite author gone.

Rest well.

BryanP

Bryan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rick O'Shea said...

Rats. Big, hairy rats.

As an old SCA'er and a big fan of his work, all I can say is that this truly sucks.

Arkiern, your last sentence is perfect.
That should be his epitaph.
I think RLA would approve.

The Old Man said...

No more phun with Cpt. Phule... The literary giants of our youth pass into Valhalla - or someplace...

OldManMontgomery said...

Let the record show this is not good news.

On the other hand, I suppose the Good Lord wanted a good story teller around.

I never met the man personally, but I'm sure I'd know him if I met him. His personality certainly reflected in both the Great Skeeve and Captain Phule. I've read his stuff for more than twenty years, I'm sure... (haven't really counted.)

He'll be missed and went too soon, just like Roger Zelazny and Douglas Adams.

Anyone left?

BobG said...

One of my favorites; sad to hear of his passing, especially at such a young age.

kateykakes said...

R.I.P. :(

Phyphor666 said...

Damn.

The Myth series of books were always good for a chuckle, as well as the Phule series of books.

He'll definitely be missed.

Janie said...

When I read on our local SCA list that he had died, I shed a tear or several.

The only MYTH chapter quote I can recall is "You can tell the level of success of a man by the size of his bodyguards"--Prince.

Now I need to go find a set of MYTH books for my children to split sides over.