Thursday, February 4, 2010

FFB Another Fine Myth by Robert Asprin

FFB Another Fine Mythby Robert Asprin

I find myself writing more and more personal Friday Forgotten Book entries as of late, and this one isn't any exception. I started off thinking about the generation gap between me and several of the other regular contributors. I read about people discovering the 60s and 70s reprints of old pulp stuff, seeking out original 50s pulps before the collectors boom and even having been around to see some of that stuff when it hit the shelves.

I on the other hand grew up in the 80s. Things were changing, book stores started to become more and more prevalent, the book section of general merchandisers was shrinking if not vanishing and the market was shifting. This was true also of many other forms of media, but we are talking about books. I didn't have a chance to discover a lot of stuff by stumbling across it on a spinner rack. Despite living in a college town with several better than average book sellers (of both new and used books) my discoveries were more from word of mouth, or from other media.

Robert Asprin was a writer that I discovered for another reason. I was friends with his son, who went to my school and he was the scout master of my younger brothers cub scout troop. He was known for his Thieves World anthology series and his Myth Adventures series. It is the later of these that is my forgotten book for this week.

Another Fine Myth stars a magician's apprentice, Skeeve, who after his master is killed finds himself looking for the killer. With the help of a demon named Aahz (say it out loud). Skeeve sets out on a quest, and craziness ensues. The book is a comic romp filled with puns and silliness that is light fun and engaging. I have to admit that a lot of the puns went right over my head as a young reader and I didn't really know exactly what was being satirized.

Asprin passed away in May 2008. Around that time I re-read Another Fine Myth, and found it to be fun, refreshing and light. Not the kind of thing that I tend to read these days-- maybe that's not exactly true. I read a lot of crime fiction and a story where a apprentice has his master killed, and set's out with another master to avenge the killing would fit nicely into many a crime story. Maybe I am not as far afield from where I started as I thought.

Looking back on Another Fine Myth, also got me thinking about being a teen in the 1980s. Watching too much TV, eating junk food, and reading then current mass market Sci Fi and Fantasy with my friends. I look at so much of that 80s stuff now and it seems so soulless and cliched, but the Myth books and Another Fine Myth in particular skewers and knowingly plays with those conventions.

Thoughts, Comments?


pattinase (abbott) said...

Interesting to read about the personal connection.

George said...

I read a few volumes of this series back in the 1980s and they were great fun.

Randy Johnson said...

Interesting post. Asprin was a favorite of mine, a writer I happened to meet and speak with at a convention a few years before you discovered him.

He told a couple of amusing Asimov anecdotes, one self-deprecating, which showed me he never got to full of himself like another writer or two I've meet.

Evan Lewis said...

I'd forgotten how much I enjoyed the Myth books!

Iren said...

Patti-- I don't really know why all this personal stuff has popped up in my FBB as of late, but I am hoping it gives them a little more weight.

George and Evan- Asprin also wrote several Phule's Company books, which were about a bunch of misfits soldiers in Sci-Fi military setting.