Monday, May 26, 2008

Passing of a Legend

Thirty years ago I fell in love. No, not with a girl, but at that age I’m sure I had a few crushes running rampant. I fell in love with my first author, three of them to be exact. My addiction to books I think started there. So who were my first loves? Robert Asprin, Anne McCaffery and Christopher Stasheff. These three writers affected me more than anyone else in those youthful years. One gave me the wonder of new worlds and flying dragons. Another filled me with the wonder of magic and science. The last gave me laughter.

This past week the laughter died. To my eternal sadness Robert Asprin passed away. If any one writer can be held to blame for my comedic bent, it is him. I’ve read other comic geniuses over the years, but none were as close to my heart as he was. Asprin showed me a book could be funny. You can fall in love with characters so odd and surreal that you can’t escape from them, even thirty some odd years down the road. I couldn’t let today pass without noting his passing and eulogizing him in my own feeble way.

There is a certain sadness when a writer dies. The world is forever deprived of the wonderment they had yet to create and share. I have a host of books on my shelf that stand as a testament to Robert Asprin’s greatness but I will always be filled with an empty spot where his next book should have gone. I’m not sure if everyone feels like this, but I’m sure you do. I had the same feeling when Louis L’Amour passed away years ago, another one of my first loves.

I know this blog is normally about Romance, but I think first loves have a place here. They deserve a place here! More so in Robert’s case, because he brought something to the literary world that few can, laughter. For those of you who have never dipped into his pool, please hunt down one of his books and share in the madness. Whether it’s Myth, Phule, Thieves World or any of the other series he gave birth to, his pen has made a mark that will never be erased.

Ah, Jmo, this is highly appropriate. Great writers need to be acknowledged, I don’t care what genre they write in. I was in college when I first discovered Robert Asprin. By then I was already a fan of Anne McCaffrey and had read The Hobbit and LOTR nine times. I’ve converted many people into Asprin readers, not the least of which were my husband, and then a few years ago my son. After I gave him the first myth book, oh somewhere around fifth grade, he’s fought me to be first to read any of the newest releases. Same thing happened starting with Harry Potter book three. He wasn’t buying the “I’ve got to read it before you to make sure it’s appropriate” line anymore.

It was a sad day when we heard the news. I know we normally say, Long Live Anne McCaffrey. To this is I add, Long Live Robert Asprin. And he will. In our hearts.

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