Robert Lynn Asprin
Asprin in 1993
Asprin in 1993
Born(1946-06-28)June 28, 1946
St. Johns, Michigan, U.S.
DiedMay 22, 2008(2008-05-22) (aged 61)
New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
Pen nameBob Asprin
OccupationFiction writer
Alma materUniversity of Michigan
GenreScience fiction, fantasy
Notable awardsInkpot Award (1988)[1]

Robert Lynn Asprin (June 28, 1946 – May 22, 2008)[2] was an American science fiction and fantasy author and active fan, known best for his humorous series MythAdventures and Phule's Company.


Robert Asprin was born in St. Johns, Michigan, and attended the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, Michigan from 1964 through 1965. From 1965 through 1966 he served in the United States Army. He was married, twice, and had two children. He was active in science fiction fandom and in the early years of the Society for Creative Anachronism using the name "Yang the Nauseating", and co-initiated the society Great Dark Horde during 1971. He was also the initiator and an influential member of the Dorsai Irregulars.[3] In 1976, he was nominated for the Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation for The Capture, a cartoon slide show written by Asprin and drawn by Phil Foglio.[4]

Early writing

Asprin's first novel, The Cold Cash War, an expansion of an earlier short story of the same title, was published in 1977.

During the next few years, he created and edited (with his then-wife, Lynn Abbey) the Thieves' World[5] series of shared world anthologies, credited as the first project of its type. Many of the authors later produced novels and stories of the theme which were not included in the anthologies, beginning with Beyond Sanctuary by Janet Morris, the first "authorized" Thieves World novel, published in 1985. Janet Morris and Chris Morris later produced two more authorized Thieves' World novels and a series of related novels about their character Tempus and the Sacred Band of Stepsons.[6] A series of graphic novels followed during the mid-1980s, and several other authors, including Andrew J. Offutt and David Drake, published novels about their characters. In 2002, Lynn Abbey revived the series with the novel Sanctuary.

During 1978, Asprin began the "MythAdventures" series, chronicling the comic adventures of Skeeve and Aahz, with the book Another Fine Myth. Illustrated originally by Frank Kelly Freas, and later by Phil Foglio, the pun-rich books concern a "demon" magician who has lost his powers and his inexperienced human apprentice as they travel through a variety of worlds. Some of the early "Myth" novels were adapted later as comic books by Foglio and others. The Myth books have been published by three publishing companies over the years: Donning Starblaze, Meisha Merlin and, as of 2008, Wildside Press.

During the 1990s, Asprin's "Phule" novels concerned the humorous science-fiction exploits of a rag-tag "Space Legion" and its wealthy and iconoclastic commander, Willard Phule.

Hiatus in writing career

Due to a series of personal and financial problems, Asprin published little during the 1990s, although he had two books on The New York Times Best Seller list, which piqued the interest of fans and the Internal Revenue Service. He eventually negotiated an agreement with the IRS[7] that encouraged him to resume writing, and during the early 2000s he published several novels, mostly in collaboration with authors Peter Heck, Jody Lynn Nye, and Linda Evans. These novels included continuations of the series "Myth Adventures" and "Phule's Company" as well as works of new series.

Later work

One of Asprin's last projects was NO Quarter, originally co-authored with Eric Del Carlo, and later edited by Teresa Patterson. It is a dark fantasy/suspense/murder mystery novel set in the author's beloved New Orleans French Quarter. Although the novel's fantasy elements (voodoo and black magic, tarot readings and precognition, ghosts and mysticism) are secondary to the brutal murder that is the emphasis of the plot, it is set in the same milieu as Asprin's Griffen McCandles novels (Dragons series), Dragons Luck and Dragons Wild. The two protagonists of NO Quarter, Maestro and Bone, also appear as minor characters of the Dragons novels. Maestro, the mysterious professional pool player and fencing master in NO Quarter, is fictionalized but based recognizably on the author. NO Quarter was published November 2009 by DarkStar Books.

Asprin's ofttimes co-author, Jody Lynn Nye, has completed one further Griffen McCandles novel, Dragons Deal, and continued the Myth Adventures series. Dragons Deal was published by Ace in December 2010.

Death and aftermath

Asprin died on May 22, 2008, of heart failure at his home in New Orleans.[8][9] He was found lying on a sofa with a Terry Pratchett novel still open in his hands.[10] He was to have been the Guest of Honor at Marcon that weekend.[11]

During 2008, his heirs donated[12] his archive to the department of Rare Books and Special Collections at Northern Illinois University.[13]

Partial bibliography

Myth Adventures series

Main article: MythAdventures

Omnibus editions

Duncan and Mallory series

A series of three graphic novels published by Starblaze Graphics.

Phule's Company series

Main article: Phule's Company (series)

Time Scout series

Cold Cash series

Wartorn series

Griffen McCandles (Dragons) series

Other novels

Selected short fiction


Thieves' World series

Main article: Thieves' World

Other writing


  1. ^ "Inkpot Award".
  2. ^ "Memorial page".
  3. ^ Dorsai Irregulars website Archived January 21, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "Performing Arts". Recursive Science Fiction. New England Science Fiction Association. August 3, 2008. Archived from the original on November 9, 2016. Retrieved August 21, 2010.
  5. ^ Thieves' World
  6. ^ The Sacred Band of Stepsons saga, Janet Morris and Chris Morris (1985–2010)
  7. ^ "Robert Asprin and Eric Del Carlo: No Quarter", Crescent Blues, Volume 4, Issue 5 (August 2002).
  8. ^ "Trans World News Notice of Death". Archived from the original on July 19, 2011. Retrieved May 24, 2008.((cite web)): CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  9. ^ "SFScope Notice of Death from Natural Causes". Archived from the original on July 21, 2011. Retrieved May 24, 2008.((cite web)): CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  10. ^ Friendship never forgotten; by Lynn Abbey; published May 23, 2008; retrieved June 25, 2018
  11. ^ Jody Lynn Nye, "Afterward", Myth-Fortunes. Wildside Press 2008
  12. ^ "".
  13. ^ "Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) Collection". Archived from the original on July 20, 2011. Retrieved June 3, 2012., Northern Illinois University (via