Publication Order of Phule’s Company Books
|Phule's Company||(1990)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Phule's Paradise||(1992)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|A Phule and His Money||(1993)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Phule Me Twice||(2000)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|No Phule Like an Old Phule||(2004)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Phule's Errand||(2006)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
Also known for his Myth Adventures series, American science-fiction and fantasy author Robert Asprin is equally recognised for his Phule’s Company series. Creating a number of science-fiction series during his lifetime, he managed to produce a number of highly regarded books during his long and illustrious writing career. One such series was Phule’s Company which garnered a lot of attention during its highly influential run, the effects of which are still seen to this very day throughout the world of science-fiction literature. Coming together to form an Interplanetary Alliance, the humans have combined with alien species many centuries into the future for the good of the universe. Comprised of many elements, one division is known as the Space Legion who happen to be seen as a complete joke as nobody uses their real-name when enlisting. For those that have trouble here they are then demoted to the Omega Company, a group which one Captain Jester has been sent to as he looks to regain his title and his honor.
As with Asprin’s other series that use comic humor to good effect, this popular franchise is no different in that it provides funny characters in fun situations. For a genre that usually concentrates on scope and scale, this features a more light-hearted take that readers have taken to in their droves, as it is hugely popular. This is something that shall continue as its legacy lives on with a number of spin-offs such as games and comics still being created using its name.
Published originally in July of 1990, this was to be the book that started the entire series giving it the template it needed to continue. Creating much of the scenario that was to follow, it once again used Aspirin’s trademarked comic sense of humor that audiences had already come to appreciate over the years. Using characters typical to what he’s used before, it was to use a style that was well aware of its genre and was, therefore relaxed and confident throughout.
Featuring the story of a group of misfits, this is a story that champions the underdog as they manage to fight to regain their honor and climb back to the top despite the odds being stacked against them, a classic convention, but one that is used successfully and humorously nonetheless. Captain Jester himself is the driving force for all of this, the central protagonist originally known by his true name of Willard Phule, a one-time multimillionaire who fell from grace after attempting to strafe a peace-treaty ceremony. Court-martialled by the Space Legion, he is made to take charge of the Omega Company, as he must turn around this rag-tag group of misfits who, much like himself, reluctantly find themselves there after falling foul somewhere along the line.
Getting involved in a competition, he manages to prove himself against the regular army, despite them being supposedly superior to his troop of men. This is something his superiors do not like so much, as he manages to do it through a combination of team-work and group effort as they all band together to get the job done. They then meet up with new-time explorers from the Zenobian Empire, a lizard-like people who meet the group, as Jester then finds himself making a business deal on instinct selling them swampland for their new unheard of technological advances, something which further enrages his superiors yet again. Will they manage to be taken seriously or will they continue to fall foul of the establishment and those in charge? Can they ever make it out of the much disdained Space Legion proving their worth once and for all? What will become of the group of misfits now friends known only as Phule’s Company?
Following on from the first in the month of February, 1992, this was released shortly after the original and was to carry on in much the same style as the first. Using the same characters as before, it kept up the same themes and story narrative, retaining much of what has come to make the series so successful over the years. It also managed to further develop not only the plot, but the world and the characters inhabiting it as well.
Still leading his group known as Phule’s Company, Captain Jester is given a new mission by his superiors, as he heads out once again through the cosmos with his now trusted band of misfits. This time they are to defend a casino from the criminal element that seek to invade and steal from it, an operation that lead Phule to insert many of his men undercover into the casino itself. During this time he learns of a plot by one of the joint owners of the casino, crime boss Maxine, to surreptitiously steal from the establishment allowing him to push his partner out, thus seizing full control of the casino in the process. Will Phule be able to manage it once again, or will Maxine’s thugs prove to be too much for Phule’s men? Can he survive this mission, whilst also not giving away his cover? What will become of them all as they learn it’s a Phule’s paradise?
The Phule’s Company Series
Like many of his other series, this uses humor to broaden the appeal of a genre that isn’t typically known for being light-hearted. Using puns in his work to add a sense of levity to this epic science-fiction series, he’s managed to provide a sense of fun and silliness, which wouldn’t have otherwise been there. This is something which Robert Asprin’s fans remember him for, as his work was easily accessible and irreverent in both its style and its tone. Continuing to this day, his legacy lives on as generations of fans still flock to his work, each one finding something different and new within. With a whole mythology built around the series, Phule’s Company has set-up a self contained universe that still has much potential yet. There’s plenty of life left in this franchise yet, and the legacy that Robert Asprin left behind with this series is definitely one to be reckoned with.Book Series In Order » Characters » Phule’s Company