Imagine a series of novels—twenty or so, let’s say. They are sword-and-sorcery high fantasy involving alternate dimensions, monsters, magic, kings and queens, intrigue, danger, and lots of action. The two main characters have much the same chemistry as Sam and Dean Winchester, Aziraphale and Crowley, or Harry Potter and Ron Weasley, and the other characters are just as fun, funny, and engaging. The books have puntastic titles like Hit or Myth, Myth Directions, and M.Y.T.H. Inc. Link. Best of all, they’re funny. God, are they funny! Sounds like a literary property over which Netflix, Hulu—heck, all the streaming services should be fighting over, right?
Sadly, to my knowledge, there’s been nary a scuffle. Not a set-to. Not a tiff. The streamers aren’t even giving each other stink-eye over the rights to this series, Robert Asprin’s Myth Adventures, which began in 1978. (Before Good Omens. Before Discworld. Before Hitchhiker’s Guide.) In fact, the only person writing humorous fantasy back then was Piers Anthony, who grew up in Vermont but was born in England.
Come to think of it, the authors of the other books I just mentioned—Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett, Douglas Adams—are all English as well. Did Robert Asprin, who was born in Michigan and lived for many years in New Orleans, invent American comic fantasy?