Asprin, Robert L(ynn) 1946-

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ASPRIN, Robert L(ynn) 1946-

PERSONAL: Born June 28, 1946, in St. John's, MI; son of Daniel D. (a machinist) and Lorraine (an elementary school teacher; maiden name, Coon) Asprin; married Anne Brett (a bookkeeper), December 28, 1968 (marriage ended); married Lynn Abbey (an editor); children: (first marriage) Annette Maria, Daniel Mather. Education: Attended University of Michigan, 1964-65.

ADDRESSES: Home—New Orleans, LA. Agent—c/o Author Mail, Ace Books, 200 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10016.

CAREER: University Microfilm, Ann Arbor, MI, accounts payable clerk, 1966-69, accounts receivable correspondent, 1969-70, payroll-labor analyst, 1970-74; junior cost accountant, 1974-76, cost accountant, 1976-78; freelance writer, 1978—. Military service: U.S. Army, 1965-66.

MEMBER: Science Fiction Writers of America.

AWARDS, HONORS: Hugo Award nomination, World Science Fiction Convention, 1976, for The Capture; Locus Award for editing, 1982.



The Cold Cash War, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1977.

The Bug Wars, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1979.

The Star Stalkers, Playboy Press (New York, NY), 1979.

(With George Takei) Mirror Friend, Mirror Foe, Playboy Press (New York, NY), 1979.

Tambu, Ace Books (New York, NY), 1979.

(With Lynn Abbey) Act of God, Ace Books (New York, NY), 1980.

(With Bill Fawcett) Cold Cash Warrior: Combat Command in the World of Robert Asprin's Cold Cash War, Ace Books (New York, NY), 1989.

Phule's Company, Ace Books (New York, NY), 1990.

Phule's Paradise, Ace Books (New York, NY), 1992.

(With Lynn Abbey) Catwoman, Warner (New York, NY), 1992, published as Catwoman: Tiger Hunt, Millennium (London, England), 1992.

(With Linda Evans) Time Scout, Baen Books (New York, NY), 1995.

Wagers of Sin, Baen Books (New York, NY), 1996.

(With Peter J. Heck) A Phule and His Money, Ace Books (New York, NY), 1999.

(With Linda Evans) The House That Jack Built, Baen Books (Riverdale, NY), 2001.

(With Peter J. Heck) Phule Me Twice, Ace Books (New York, NY), 2001.

(With Peter J. Heck) No Phule Like an Old Phule, Berkley Publishing (New York, NY), 2004.


Another Fine Myth, Donning (Norfolk, VA), 1978, revised edition, illustrated by Phil Foglio, 1985.

Myth Conceptions, illustrated by Polly Freas and Kelly Freas, Donning (Norfolk, VA), 1980.

The Demon Blade, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1980.

Myth Directions, illustrated by Phil Foglio, Donning (Norfolk, VA), 1982.

Hit or Myth, illustrated by Phil Foglio, Donning (Norfolk, VA), 1983.

Myth Adventures (includes Another Fine Myth, MythDirections, and Hit or Myth), Doubleday (Garden City, NY), 1984.

Myth-ing Persons, illustrated by Phil Foglio, Donning (Norfolk, VA), 1984.

Little Myth Marker, illustrated by Phil Foglio, Donning (Norfolk, VA), 1985.

(With Kay Reynolds) M.Y.T.H. Inc. Link, illustrated by Phil Foglio, Donning (Norfolk, VA), 1986.

Myth Alliances (includes Myth-ing Persons, LittleMyth Marker, and M.Y.T.H. Inc. Link), Doubleday (Garden City, NY), 1987.

Myth-Nomers and Im-Pervections, illustrated by Phil Foglio, Donning (Norfolk, VA), 1987.

M.Y.T.H. Inc. in Action, illustrated by Phil Foglio, Donning (Norfolk, VA), 1990.

The Myth-ing Omnibus (includes Another Fine Myth,Myth Conceptions, and Myth Directions), Legend (London, England), 1992.

The Second Myth-ing Omnibus (includes Hit or Myth,Myth-ing Persons, and Little Myth Marker), Legend (London, England), 1992.

Sweet Myth-tery of Life, illustrated by Phil Foglio, Donning (Norfolk, VA), 1994.

(With Linda Evans) Ripping Time, Baen Books (New York, NY), 2000.

(With Jody Lynn Nye) License Invoked, Baen Books (Riverdale, NY), 2001.

Myth-ion Improbable, Meisha Merlin Publishing (Atlanta, GA), 2001.

(With Linda Evans) For King and Country, Baen Books (Riverdale, NY), 2002.

Something M.Y.T.H. Inc., Ace Books (New York, NY), 2003.


Myth Adventures One (previously published in magazine form), illustrated by Phil Foglio, Starblaze Graphics (Norfolk, VA), 1985.

Myth Adventures Two (previously published in magazine form), illustrated by Phil Foglio, Starblaze Graphics (Norfolk, VA), 1985.

(With Lynn Abbey) Thieves' World Graphics, six volumes, illustrated by Tim Sales, Starblaze Graphics (Norfolk, VA), 1985–87.

(With Mel White) Duncan and Mallory, Starblaze Graphics (Norfolk, VA), 1986.

(With Mel White) Duncan and Mallory: The Bar-NoneRanch, Starblaze Graphics (Norfolk, VA), 1987.

(With Mel White) Duncan and Mallory: The Raiders, Starblaze Graphics (Norfolk, VA), 1988.


Thieves' World, Ace Books (New York, NY), 1979.

Tales from the Vulgar Unicorn, Ace Books (New York, NY), 1980.

Shadows of Sanctuary, Ace Books (New York, NY), 1981.

Sanctuary (includes Thieves' World, Tales from theVulgar Unicorn, and Shadows of Sanctuary), Doubleday (Garden City, NY), 1982.

Storm Season, Ace Books (New York, NY), 1982.

(With Lynn Abbey) The Face of Chaos, Ace Books (New York, NY), 1983.

(With Lynn Abbey) Wings of Omen, Ace Books (New York, NY), 1984.

(With Lynn Abbey) Birds of Prey, Ace Books (New York, NY), 1984.

(With Lynn Abbey) Cross-Currents (includes StormSeason, The Face of Chaos, and Wings of Omen), Doubleday (Garden City, NY), 1984.

(With Lynn Abbey) The Dead of Winter, Ace Books (New York, NY), 1985.

(With Lynn Abbey) Soul of the City, Ace Books (New York, NY), 1986.

(With Lynn Abbey) Blood Ties, Ace Books (New York, NY), 1986.

(With Lynn Abbey) The Shattered Sphere (includes The Dead of Winter, Soul of the City, and Blood Ties), Doubleday (Garden City, NY), 1986.

(With Lynn Abbey and Richard Pini) The Blood of TenChiefs, Tor (New York, NY), 1986.

(With Lynn Abbey) Aftermath, Ace Books (New York, NY), 1987.

(With Lynn Abbey) Uneasy Alliances, Ace Books (New York, NY), 1988.

(With Lynn Abbey and Richard Pini) Wolfsong: TheBlood of Ten Chiefs, Tor (New York, NY), 1988.

(With Lynn Abbey) Stealers' Sky, Ace Books (New York, NY), 1989.

(With Lynn Abbey) The Price of Victory (includes Aftermath, Uneasy Alliances, and Stealers' Sky), Doubleday (Garden City, NY), 1990.

(With Lynn Abbey) Thieves' World: First Blood, Tor (New York, NY), 2003.


The Capture (script for comedy slide show), Boojums Press, 1975.

Tambu Anthology (science fiction short stories), Ace Books (New York, NY), 1980.

(With Esther Friesner) E. Godz, Baen Books (Riverdale, NY), 2003.

Myth Adventures Three, Meisha Merlin Publishing (Atlanta, GA), 2003.

Myth Adventures Four, Meisha Merlin Publishing (Atlanta, GA), 2003.

Asprin Wars, Meisha Merlin Publishing (Atlanta, GA), 2004.

Work represented in anthologies, including Forever After, Baen Books (New York, NY), 1995.

ADAPTATIONS: Several of Asprin's novels have been recorded on cassette tape.

SIDELIGHTS: Robert L. Asprin is known in the science fiction and fantasy genres for his humorous novels which parody genre conventions and for his editorship, with wife Lynn Abbey, of the "Thieves' World" anthologies. Writing in the St. James Guide to Fantasy Writers, Stan Nicholls explained that "Asprin can take some credit for helping to move humorous fantasy away from the short form in which it was more usually found and making it acceptable at novel length. Sales as large as his suggest a readership extending far beyond fantasy enthusiasts, so it would be fair to assume he has contributed to the process of bringing the [fantasy] sub-genre to general attention." Comparing his work to that of author L. Sprague de Camp, Richard A. Lupoff commented in the St. James Guide to Science Fiction Writers on the "typical Asprin characteristics of rapid pace, slapstick action, and broad humor."

The Cold Cash War was Asprin's first published novel. Drawing from his personal experience as a financial analyst, Asprin wove a futuristic tale about mega-corporations that wage bloodless "warfare" on each other using war-game simulations. Ignoring the efforts of actual governments to stop them, these moneyed superpowers eventually lose control of the game when real weapons enter the picture and the hits become lethal. Calling it a "very good treatment of a SF concept popular in the 50s," a Publishers Weekly reviewer praised The Cold Cash War for its "satire, action, and character."

Asprin's second novel, the fantasy Another Fine Myth, was inspired by such heroic characters as Kane and Conan the Barbarian. Basing his two main characters—an apprentice wizard named Skeeve (who also serves as narrator) and his shifty-eyed cohort, Aahz—on the relationship between Bob Hope and Bing Crosby in their classic screwball "Road" films of the 1940s, Asprin developed a winning duo whose antics have fueled an entire series of humorous "Myth" books. Dragons, demons, and an amazing assortment of fantastic ne'er-do-wells keep Asprin's fumbling heroes on their toes throughout the series. The lighthearted tone and steady barrage of puns, jokes, and bumbling antics have made the series a popular and entertaining read. "Asprin isn't trying to be profound," Tom Easton noted in a review of Hit or Myth in Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact. "He's having fun."

In his continuing effort to keep the job of writing fun, Asprin has strived to keep his subject matter from becoming stale. As he once noted, "My first three books are intentionally dissimilar. The Cold Cash War is speculative near-future fiction involving corporate takeover of world government. Another Fine Myth is a sword-and-sorcery farce full of dragons, stranded demons, and very bad puns. The Bug Wars does not have a human in the entire book. It was written 'first-person alien, reptile to be specific' and has been one of my greatest writing challenges to date."

In 1990 Asprin added a new hero to his catalogue of space adventurers in Phule's Company. Willard Phule is a captain in the Space Legion, but his devil-may-care attitude soon finds him exiled to a remote command, where he is put in charge of a rag-tag band of fellow miscreants. Undaunted, the savvy Phule eventually shapes his troops into a highly effective—and profitable—military outfit. "This lighthearted tale is part science fiction, part spoof, part heart-warmer," noted a Publishers Weekly critic.

Another novel leaning more toward science fiction than fantasy is Asprin's Time Scout, which he wrote with Linda Evans. Taking place in the near future, the novel features a world where time travel has become a common vacation pastime. Kit Carson, a retired "time scout"—one of the daring explorers who enter new passages through time in advance of the common folk—must train his headstrong granddaughter to survive as the first female time scout. Calling the novel "engaging, fast moving, historically literate," and reflective of Asprin's broad knowledge of the martial arts, Booklist reviewer Roland Green dubbed Time Scout "first-class action sf."

In addition to writing novels, Asprin has also collaborated with Lynn Abbey to edit the popular "Thieves' World" series. Called "the toughest, seamiest backwater in the realm of fantasy" by Carolyn Caywood in a review of Soul of the City in Voice of Youth Advocates, "Thieves' World" brings together a collection of original short fiction written by a host of predominantly women writers, including Abbey, Janet Morris, and C. J. Cherryh. Each book in the series centers around the ongoing struggle between the evil Queen Roxanne and her nemesis, a blood-sucking enchantress named Ischade. The continuing battle between these two powerful witches continues through such collections as Soul of the City and Blood Ties, each of which takes place in a mythic city called Sanctuary.

Asprin has characterized the overall message behind his writing as "the case for Everyman. Like all science fiction writers, I promote space travel and development. I feel, however, that we will never see it until the average guy on the street can see a place for himself in space. We will have to have the support of the common man, not just the scientists and test pilots. . .. We are going to need grease monkeys as well as computer programmers. Few people see themselves as Superman, and as long as science fiction writers portray space travelers in that light, the taxpayers and voters could not care less about getting off the planet."



St. James Guide to Fantasy Writers, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 1996.

St. James Guide to Science Fiction Writers, 4th edition, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 1996.


Analog Science Fiction-Science Fact, October, 1984, Tom Easton, review of Hit or Myth, p. 147; September, 1987, p. 163; February, 1991, p. 181.

Booklist, December 1, 1977, p. 598; January 15, 1984, p. 715; April 1, 1986, p. 1120; March 15, 1987, p. 1097; June 15, 1990, p. 1960; January 15, 1992, pp. 915, 921; January 15, 1995, p. 689; December 15, 1995, Roland Green, review of Time Scout, p. 689; October 22, 2001, review of Myth-ion Improbable, p. 54.

Library Journal, November 1, 1977, p. 2279; January 15, 1980, p. 228.

Locus, March, 2001, review of License Invoked, p. 33.

Publishers Weekly, July 11, 1977, review of The ColdCash War, p. 75; June 8, 1990, review of Phule's Company, p. 50; January 20, 1992, p. 60; August 5, 2002, review of For King and Country, p. 57.

School Library Journal, March, 1980, Claudia Morner, review of Tambu, p. 146.

Science Fiction Chronicle, April, 2001, review of License Invoked, p. 38; April, 2001, review of The House That Jack Built, p. 39.

Voice of Youth Advocates, April, 1981, p. 52; June, 1986, Carolyn Caywood, review of Soul of the City, p. 84; February, 1987, p. 290; December, 1987, p. 241.*