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Author Robert Asprin Dies

By Ian Randal Strock

Author Robert (Lynn) Asprin was found dead in his New Orleans home on 22 May 2008; his death was sudden and unexpected, but the coroner's report states that it was of "natural causes." Born 28 June 1946 in St Johns, Michigan, he was a fan favorite, and will be remembered for his MythAdventures, Thieves' World, and Phule's Company series.

After attending the University of Michigan for two years, he joined the Army for two years, and then was active in the early years of the Society for Creative Anachronism (using the name "Yang the Nauseating").

Asprin's first novel was an expansion of a short story: The Cold Cash War, was published by Dell in 1977.

In 1978, Asprin published Another Fine Myth, which was the first comic adventure of Skeeve and Aahz (a wannabe magician and his mentor, a powerless demon magician). These pun-driven stories became known as the MythAdventures books, the last seven of which have been co-authored with Jody Lynn Nye. The 19th volume in the series, Myth-Fortune (co-written with Nye) is forthcoming. For more on these books, see www.mythadventures.net.

In the late 1970s, Asprin and his wife Lynn Abbey (they divorced in 1993) created the Thieves' World series of shared world anthologies, which they edited. The first volume, Thieves' World, appeared in 1979. They produced a dozen yearly volumes.

Phule's Company, which appeared in 1990, was the first book in a new series of humorous sf stories about a rag-tag company of the Space Legion and its wealthy leader, Willard Phule. After the first two, Asprin took on Peter J. Heck as co-author of this now six-book series (2006's Phule's Errand is the most recent).

He won the Balrog Award for best collection/anthology in 1982 and 1983 (for Shadows of Sanctuary and Storm Season). For a more complete bibliography, see Asprin's Wikipedia entry. His Fantastic Fiction entry has cover images as well.

He was scheduled to be the Guest of Honor at this weekend's Marcon. Indeed, his death was discovered when a friend arrived to pick up for his trip to the convention.

Robert Asprin is survived by his mother, his sister, his daughter and his son, and his cat, Princess, not to mention countless friends and fans and numerous legendary fictional characters. Notes of condolence may be sent to Jodynye at yahoo dot com.

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