Myth-Told Tales

Reviewer: Jake Beal

Author: Robert Asprin and Jody Lynn Nye

Published: 2007

Reviewed: 2007-08-26

Publisher: Ace

I'm an off-again-on-again fan of Robert Asprin, and a fairly steady
non-fan of Jody Lynn Nye, but when the two of them get together I've
enjoyed their partnership works. This one, "Myth-Told Tales," is
another addition to Mr. Asprin's long running "Myth" series, which Ms.
Nye has started co-authoring in recent books.

It fits somewhat oddly into the series, though, as it is a collection
of short stories that are scattered about in time and do not mostly
relate to one another except insofar as they are all test
collaborations and other odds and ends. Incidentally, there appears
to be another edition of this book available with only three of the
stories, which ought to be avoided.

In any case, "Myth-Told Tales" is nothing if not predictable for a fan
of the series, a group of which I would generally count myself a
member. We get to see our favorite old characters in new and bizarre
situations, often playing hard on the "oh, those wacky wacky
dimensions!" theme that the Myth books like to exploit. In
particular, I greatly enjoyed the story that sets up three of the
characters as hairdressers and the story about Massha's wedding.

If you aren't already well versed in the Myth books, however, you will
likely be quite lost. The stories are simply too interstitial in
nature to allow somebody to learn who the characters are and why the
situations they find themselves in are funny and interesting rather
than merely being bizarre caricatures. That's OK, though: the
authors are very upfront about it in the introduction, which is itself
an interesting piece and an insight into their styles of work.

All told, this book is probably best regarded as supplementary fan
material. Not so supplementary as something like an atlas or
bestiary, but still truly optional to understanding the rest of the
series, a flavor that enhances, but only as a grace note. Read it if
you're a fan and you've got an afternoon---like all of the Myth books,
it is a lightning-fast read---but stay away unless you're already an
intimate of Aahz and Skeeve.