David Barr Kirtley is joined by old friend Bill Fawcett to talk about editing the book Myth-Interpretations: The Worlds of Robert Asprin.
Whoever said the word ‘myth’ couldn’t be used creatively never met Robert Lynn Asprin, the mastermind behind the whimsical fantasy series, Myth Adventures. Asprin, along with Jody Lynn Nye, has created a world that not only tickles your funny bone, but also makes you think twice about your pun usage. Perhaps more influential than Shakespeare (okay, maybe that’s a stretch), they’ve made it impossible to look at the word “myth” without thinking of missed opportunities, missteps, or some other creative mis…take.
The series’ inventive titles draw readers in like a moth to a lamp post in a dark and pun-ridden alley. The inaugural book, “Another Fine Myth”, is the brainchild of a catalogue typo and the mind that thought “Hey, ‘myth’ sounds like ‘miss’… I can work with that!” Now every title in the series leverages the same ‘myth’ wordplay. After reading a couple of books, you’d be hard-pressed to avoid mentally (mis)construing every use of “miss” or “mis” in your daily life.
The magical universe of Myth Adventures takes us through various dimensions (don’t worry, I won’t mislead you), each more fascinating and pun-laden than the last. From the backwater dimension of Klah (inhabitants are Klahds – pun intended) to the high-tech Perv, the pun game is on point. And let’s not forget Deva, where you count your relatives after a deal with the Deveels, or Avis, where you better enjoy the company of sentient birds. Perhaps, a visit to Gastropo might excite the escargot aficionados, but mind the slow pace of life. You’d feel “snailish”.
The characters, too, leave a permanent, and often amusing, impression. Skeeve, the journeyman magician from Klah, pairs up with Aahz (don’t you dare call him a demon) for magical adventures. They even start a magician-for-hire enterprise, M.Y.T.H. Inc., to pay the bills. And who can forget Gleep, the baby dragon who proves that vocabulary size doesn’t limit intellect (if only that worked for humans, too)?
Other supporting characters add to the charm of the series. Massha, a woman who flaunts bright orange hair and a gaudy fashion sense. The bodyguard duo, Guido and Nunzio, defy stereotypes with their intellectual prowess, despite their burly exterior. Even the “nymphish” Tanda and Big Crunch aka Chumley add their own spice to this mythical soup.
Now, if you thought this was just a merry adventure with loads of puns, you’d be mistaken. It’s the clever wordplay and engaging storytelling that hooks you, but it’s the deeper themes and emotional undercurrents that keep you coming back for more. Each book is filled with laughs, but they also dive deep into the complexities of friendship, loyalty, and finding your place in a world (or dimension) that often seems out of control.
In the end, Myth Adventures is not just about the adventures or the puns. It’s about the journey of the characters, and their growth along the way. It’s about embracing the absurdity of life and finding joy in the chaos. So, dive in, brace yourself for the pun-storm, and get ready for a (mis)adventure of a lifetime. Or should we say, a “myth-adventure”?