When a friend recently asked me about funny and well written sci-fi and fantasy books, Robert Asprin’s Another Fine Myth instantly came to mind. Caution, eating while reading Asprin’s tales can be hazardous to one’s health. His writing is hilarious, so much so that I almost choked on my shu mai. Other people in the restaurant were giving me odd looks while I tried (unsuccessfully) to contain my laughter. Since I suggested it to my friend I figured now would be a good time to finally write a review.
This comical read starts out with Skeeve apprenticing under a magician who gets assassinated under the orders of an old rival. Skeeve finds himself alone with Aahz, a purple-tongued demon that his master had summoned as a practical joke. The now jobless, teacherless Skeeve and powerless Aahz decide to team up and get even with Isstvan. During their travels, they have more than a few crazy encounters with Deveels, Imps, dragons, and unicorns and characters such as Frumple and Thockwoddle.
Another Fine Myth, and most likely the rest of the MythAdventure series, is extremely witty, funny, and punny. With Aahz being from Perv, one would think him a Pervert, but really he’s a Pervect. It’s a common misunderstanding and the reason for many unappreciated comments pointed his way. It doesn’t help that whenever Aahz introduces himself others think he’s sneezing or that it goes like this:
Asprin also points out other myth conceptions, like those commonly thought of as devils are really Deveels from Deva who should be more feared than warriors because they are the worst kind of merchants- Traders Supreme, or that those like Skeeve who are from Klah are- anyway…
Another Fine Myth is a quick and easy read loaded with fun that makes for a nice mental break. Asprin describes enough to tell the story, but most of its 200 pages is made up of the banter between characters. It’s good for reading aloud and if it were available as an audio book I’d probably get a copy just to hear the different characterizations. Although some of the humor may be lost on the young, its a fun and enjoyable read for children and adults alike.
Waiting on my shelves to make me choke and chortle are Myth Conceptions and M.Y.T.H. Inc. Link, as are the others from the MythAdventure series that I have yet to get. Although he had been in the sci-fi and fantasy community for years (Another Fine Myth was published in 1978), I hadn’t heard of Robert Asprin until this past summer when I found out about him in a rather unusual way. A few days prior to a convention where he was a guest of honor, Asprin passed away. The first jam/filk session became a wake and the night was full of stories, songs, and Scotch in Asprin’s honor. There were many there who knew him and his sense of humor and some who didn’t. But thanks to that memorable evening and what I’ve read, I’ve gotten to know at least a bit about Robert Asprin and that one may need aspirin from the ensuing laughter.
For “funny, well written sci-fi and fantasy” I also suggested to my friend P.R. Frost’s Tess Noncoiré Adventure series, Rod Serling’s Twilight Zone stories, and for some British humor, Rachel Green’s Ungodly Child, which I’m currently chuckling through. Any other suggestions for books that fit Carrot Top’s criteria?
Robert L. Asprin
06/28/46 – 05/22/08
Thanks for the laughter, sláinte!