Monday, May 26, 2008

The Closing of a Chapter



Well, I found out on Sphinx Ink’s blog that Robert Asprin died on Thursday, May 22 at his home in the French Quarter here in New Orleans. He was only 61. There’s a much longer piece on him here. I was sorry to hear this, as I am whenever a writer I know of passes. I never met him, and I don’t think he often attended local SF cons, but from all I hear he was a nice fellow with a great sense of humor. I never read the humorous fantasy for which he is best known, the “myth” adventures, but I will always remember him as one of the architects of the “Thieves’ World” series of shared adventures, which I loved and consider to have been the kind of breakthrough idea that really does advance a genre. Apparently he died reading. There was a book in his hand, a humorous fantasy by Terry Pratchett. That’s probably fitting. I hope he had a smile in his heart.

Rest in peace, Robert Asprin.

Also, don't forget this Wednesday that Ello is hosting the author of The Lolita Effect on her blog. It should be worthwhile to stop in.

26 comments:

Stewart Sternberg said...

I always enjoyed Asprin's work. Thank you for posting a remembrance. He will be mythed.

laughingwolf said...

rip indeed, robert :(

Randy Johnson said...

I met Mr. Asprin years ago, 1979 or '80, at a con in Greensboro, NC. He was there with George Takei, along with Gordon Dickson( a drinking buddy from before his writing days), promoting a novel they'd written. He was indeed a charming and funny man.
He told the audience a number of wonderful stories involving drinking or Isaac Asimov. And in one case, both.
I've been a fan ever since. He will be missed.

Rachel said...

Oh that's sad! His writing always made me smile.

Travis said...

I hadn't heard this. I really enjoyed his M.Y.T.H books. I only read a couple of the Thieves World books.

Ello said...

I didn't read his books but I knew his name. So sorry to hear he passed on at such a relatively young age. how sad.

Thanks for the plug, Charles. It's much appreciated.

Charles Gramlich said...

Stewart, nice turn of "mythed" there at the end.

Laughingwolf, yes, for sure.

Randy, I kept hoping he'd come to one of the Crescent City Cons here but I never saw him, although there were usually rumors that he'd put in an appearance. Glad to hear he truly was a funny guy. Sorry I missed him.

Rachel, he had some neat titles for sure.

Travis, I'm the other way around, having read all of the Thieves' world stuff and none of the Myth stuff, although I have one or two around the house.

Steve Malley said...

Back when I lived in NOLA, he was quite a fixture around the pool tables in the Quarter. Man could shoot some stick!

I suck as a pool player, so we didn't hang out, though we did lift the odd beer together.

FOr me, Robert Asprin was something of a cautionary tale: when I met him, he was aggressively *not* writing. His ex-wife had won a share of royalties in future books (for a certain number of years) in the divorce settlement. He was so bitter about it that he refused to write ANYTHING until that period was up.

Far as I know, he may never have written again...

Heff said...

Dead at 61 ? That's a damn shame. I hope I live a hell of a lot longer than that.

SQT said...

I read this too. I'm bummed.

X. Dell said...

It's shocking when one dies unexpectedly, or too young (which at 61 Asprin was, relatively speaking).

Shauna Roberts said...

It's a shame he died so young, but what a perfect way to go!

Greg Schwartz said...

sorry to hear the news. I only read one of the M.Y.T.H. books, long ago in my younger days, but it was well-written and worth the read.

Steve Malley said...

FOund out from a link at Phinx's that he was actually quite prolific in recent years. That's so good to know.

I've lost a writer, but oddly, I've gained more of his work...

ANNA-LYS said...

R.I.P.

I am pondering about if we have meet writers we have read or not, the same goes for painters ... In a way we have meet them on a deeper surface than on the local café, haven't we?

(( hugs ))

Bernita said...

I delighted in his M.Y.T.H. books.

Erik Donald France said...

Sad. Seems like he was a cool guy. I raise a flask to him (and Sydney Pollack)

Demon Hunter said...

Wow, Charles. Thanks for mentioning this. I have never read his work. I'll have to take a look.

R.I.P Mr. Asprin...

Charles Gramlich said...

Ello, I know, I don't feel that far from that age myself.

Steve Malley, I'd heard something of that story about him "not writing" because of the royalty issue. What a crazy thing. He did pick up with a very successful humorous series, although I never read those. I see I should have hung out in the Quarter more.

Anna-lys, good point. I think maybe you are right.

Heff, me too. I'm not that far away.

SQT, yes, even though I didn't read his MYTH books he certainly brought joy to many I know.

X-Dell, I know, 61 seems young to me now.

Shauna, yes, probably the way I'll go as well, a book in my hand.

Greg, I'm going to have to read one of those. I've got a couple around here.

Bernita, that recommendation makes me want to try one post haste.

Erik, salud indeed.

Demon Hunter, his MYTH books should be easy to find. I know they were widely published.

writtenwyrdd said...

I read the extant Myth books in the 80s, but none since. They were light and funny.

When I heard he died it saddened me. So many big names in SFF have passed on these past few years!

Mary Witzl said...

I've seen this name -- it stuck in my mind for obvious reasons -- but have never read any of his books.

Dying with a book in your hands is a great way to go, though, and I aspire to have a similar death. I figure given the amount of time I spend gardening and reading, my chances of going out either way are pretty good.

ivan said...

Reading Terry Pratchett, huh?

Well, some of that way-out work could kill you.

Michelle's Spell said...

He looks like a sweetheart and that's cool about his work advancing a genre. I love the detail that he died reading. Of all the ways to go, that might be the one I would choose if I had a choice.

Mimi Lenox said...

Gone too soon.
What a talent. Thanks for letting us know. May he rest in peace.

Charles Gramlich said...

Writtenwyrd, it does seem like there have been a lot of big names fall out of the fold in SF and Fantasy just in the last few years. And with both Asprin and Gemmell they were fairly young.

Mary Witzl, besides reading, the only onther thing I do as much is writing so I might go that way. Or perhaps cheering at a football game on TV.

Ivan, personaly I am NOT a big Pratchett fan, but he also wrote the humorous fantasy stuff.

Michelle, I'd like to say I'd die providing an object lesson to someone else but most likely I'll go with a book to hand.

Mimi, he definitely could write.

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