Sunday, March 29, 2009

Myth-ing Authors

Virtually every time I go into a book store, I check to see if a new installment of Robert Asprin's "MythAdventures" has come out. The Myth series is a light-hearted fantasy comedy, filled with whimsical humor and (very, very) bad puns. I've been reading it since my 5th grade teacher introduced it to me when I was 10.

Coming home for spring break, I ducked into a book store to buy a gift for Jill, and, as is custom, I looked to see if any new books had come out. And, to my delight, not just one but two new stories (both co-written with his relatively recent collaborator, Jody Lynn Nye) were on the shelf. I happily purchased both (along with Jill's gift of course), and brought them home.

I finished the first book before Jill arrived, but the second, Myth-Fortunes (what did I say about bad puns?) had to wait until my plane ride back to Chicago. I felt a little bit silly -- there is no denying the Myth series is a children's series, and I generally take a bit of pride in reading some footnoted academic tome while traveling. But at the end of the book (which I quite enjoyed), there was an epilogue. It turns out that series creator Robert Asprin had died suddenly last summer. He was 61.

For some reason, this hit me quite hard. I've read Asprin's work (including his Phule series, though less religiously) for a long time -- it is one of the few continuous links between what I do today and what I enjoyed as a child. Growing older means those sorts of links begin to die, in this case literally.

Nye indicated that she will likely continue the series on her own. That's good -- I still want to hear more about the adventures of Skeeve and the gang. But still, it is a bitter pill that one of my favorite authors has passed away.

RIP, Robert Asprin.

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