Robert Asprin was a fantasy and science fiction author who was known for his sense of humor Legend adventures Novels and for co-editing Thieves world The Common World anthology series. Author and editor Bill Fawcett first met Asprin at a board game convention in 1980.
“He became a very important figure in the fan scene,” Fawcett says in The Guardian episode 542. Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy Podcast. “Bob was probably the smartest person to have people sit at his table in the bar and entertain for hours and hours, and everyone was amused.”
Asprin owes much of its success to the network of fans and colleagues it has cultivated over years of attending science fiction conventions. He took all the money he made from me myth Books and some of the money he earned from them Thieves worldand he went to anywhere from 15 to 25 conferences a year, for five or six years,” Fawcett says. “He set up court and entertained everyone, and he became so well known that people were out buying his books.”
After years as a prolific author and editor, Asprin’s output slowed in the 1990s due to a combination of personal and financial problems. Fawcett says Aspirin’s imagination reflects the full range of his complex personality. “Humor doesn’t work without pathos, and it doesn’t work without emotional depth, because then it’s slapstick,” Fawcett says. “And Bob wrote humor, and it came from him. There was pathos in his life and humor, good things and bad, romance and divorce, romance, romance, romance.”
Asprin passed away in 2008, but he passed away Legend adventures The series was continued by his friend and collaborator Jodi Lyn Nye, and continued to influence many of the authors and musicians he mentored. “Someone like him doesn’t come around often,” Fawcett says. “It was featured in his books and it was featured in Friends, and we still remember him very fondly — even those who died of money, we remember him fondly.”
Listen to the full interview with Bill Fawcett on episode 542 of The Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy (above). And check out some of the highlights from the discussion below.
Bill Fawcett on Aspirin’s Childhood:
His father was also a martial artist – Bob was a fencer – and his best weapon was a machete. Filipinos are learning to machete. His father had to flee the Philippines due to an incident with the son of an important person who tried to pull a gun on him, his father took the man’s hand with a machete, and going to another country became a good idea after that. So he came to Chicago, and spent a lot of time as a youngster trying to convince the mob that he didn’t want to be an enforcer and leave him alone. And Bob vividly remembered those conversations. He was telling it with some bitterness.
Bill Fawcett on the tuck:
in Legends Persons, “Woof Writers” are Richard and Wendy Pini. And there is a colleague in it, the vampire’s agent Wilhelm, who has a phone permanently attached to his head. That was me. Everyone in this book, every person, is someone from the group we were around at the time. And it was fun to pick them out and decide, “Well, this is such-and-such.” And he would tell the person, get permission, but they asked you not to tell anyone else, at least until the book was published, so everyone could figure it out for themselves.
Bill Fawcett on Legend adventures series:
They are optimistic books, they are happy books. Not only do the good guys win, but sometimes the bad guys – like Big Jolly – turn around and become one of the heroes instead. Because Bob has always been the one who believes that, with a few exceptions, the villains are misunderstood, and if you understand that they think they are the heroes, you can turn them into real heroes. …I had to imagine why he thought that way. Maybe because he had a few shenanigans in himself, but he considered himself a hero and he was. And so he wanted this to be the world.
Bill Fawcett on Thieves world:
They will hold an annual meeting, and everyone will decide what to do. There were a lot of personal struggles in it, and that was reflected in the stories. Janet Morris and another author couldn’t stand each other, and their characters escalated as they wiped each other out—or nearly annihilated each other—in the first six books, one at a time, so that they started out as thieves and soldiers and ended up like demigods fighting over town, because Each of them was constantly trying to outdo the other. In fact, in order to protect his personality, one of the authors made his character immortal.
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