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The question of whether Vance was dead or not became more than academic when he found himself in a bathtub up to his chin in ice water like some forgotten cocktail garnish, a demonic woman standing over him, and no memory of how he got there.
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The Callahan Chronicals

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The Callahan Chronicals

    Callahan's Crosstime Saloon is the neighborhood tavern to all of time and space, where the regulars are anything but: time travelers, talking dogs, alcoholic vampires, cybernetic aliens--and a group of people who really, truly care about each other. It's the rare kind of place where bad pun are as appreciated as good conversation.

Time Travelers Strictly Cash is their policy, but then again everybody pays cash at Callahan's. Lay your money on the bar, name your poison, step up to the line drawn on the barroom floor, and after drinking make a toast and throw the glass into the fireplace. It's an odd tradition (don't worry about the cost--Callahan gets the glasses at a bulk discount), but one's that's led to some interesting stories.

Callahan's Secret may be something even the regulars would never guess. then again, it may be as simple as listening to those post-toast stories. After-all, like Callahan says, shared pain is lessened and shared joy in increased--a simple concept that could, after a few drinks, lead to saving the world....

This omnibus edition contains the trio of books that introduced the world to Mike Callahan, Jake Stonebender, Doc Webster, Mickey Finn, Fast Eddie Costigan, Long-Drink McGonnigle, Ralph Won Wau Wau and the rest of the regulars of Callahan's Place in the stories that helped Spider Robinson to win both a John W. Campbell Award and a legion of fans.

Comment:I'm about a third of the way through and wishing that I was finished with The Callahan Chronicals. And not because I'm enjoying it, if that was in question. The stories, prose wise, are fine. A bit better than fine. But you really have to squint to see the science fiction in them. Worse, I can't find a scrap of a sense of wonder. Sure, the puns are fun, but the stories are anecdotal, mostly of the shaggy dog sort. Perhaps the popularity came from being different than the rest of stuff appearing in Analog during the seventies. This is my first encounter with Spider Robinson. I suspect it will be my last. It struck me at about the three-quarters mark, that one of the things that bothers me about Callahan stories is that they have give me strong feeling of indulgence or what I am forced to describe as fan fiction (that is, "I am such a fan of Callahan's that I am going to write glowingly about it.") or, more charitably, utopian fiction (i.e. "Callahan's is the perfect bar.") To be fair, most fiction is a form idealization or the smoothing away of the less-than-esthetic elements and contradictions of reality. Alas, to paraphrase a famous saying, one man's utopia is another's distopia. Or another's irritatopia irritating-topia. Warning: This is a work in progress. -- Fritz. (e)
Type:Anthology
Author:Spider Robinson
Published:1997
Genre:Science Fiction
Tags:Publication, Book, Science Fiction, Unpick, Read, Read as Audiobook
Comment:I'm about a third of the way through and wishing that I was finished with The Callahan Chronicals. And not because I'm enjoying it, if that was in question. The stories, prose wise, are fine. A bit better than fine. But you really have to squint to see the science fiction in them. Worse, I can't find a scrap of a sense of wonder. Sure, the puns are fun, but the stories are anecdotal, mostly of the shaggy dog sort. Perhaps the popularity came from being different than the rest of stuff appearing in Analog during the seventies. This is my first encounter with Spider Robinson. I suspect it will be my last. It struck me at about the three-quarters mark, that one of the things that bothers me about Callahan stories is that they have give me strong feeling of indulgence or what I am forced to describe as fan fiction (that is, "I am such a fan of Callahan's that I am going to write glowingly about it.") or, more charitably, utopian fiction (i.e. "Callahan's is the perfect bar.") To be fair, most fiction is a form idealization or the smoothing away of the less-than-esthetic elements and contradictions of reality. Alas, to paraphrase a famous saying, one man's utopia is another's distopia. Or another's irritatopia irritating-topia. Warning: This is a work in progress. -- Fritz. (e)
Viewpoint:First Person
Library:Titles C (Library Box Cross Ref)
Box:E2 (e)
ISFDB:title entry, cover gallery
Amazon:Search for book The Callahan Chronicals
Goodreads:"The Callahan Chronicals"

Table of Contents

   viii • Backword (The Callahan Chronicals) • essay by Spider Robinson
   5 • Introduction: Spider Robinson: The SF Writer as Empath • (1977) • essay by Ben Bova
   11 • Foreword (Callahan's Crosstime Saloon) • (1977) • essay by Spider Robinson
   15 • The Guy with the Eyes • [Callahan] • (1973) • short story by Spider Robinson
   28 • The Time-Traveler • [Callahan] • (1974) • novelette by Spider Robinson
   52 • The Centipede's Dilemma • [Callahan] • (1977) • short story by Spider Robinson
   57 • Two Heads Are Better Than One • [Callahan] • (1975) • short story by Spider Robinson
   76 • The Law of Conservation of Pain • [Callahan] • (1974) • short story by Spider Robinson
   97 • Just Dessert • [Callahan] • (1977) • short story by Spider Robinson
   102 • "A Voice Is Heard in Ramah ... " • [Callahan] • (1975) • short story by Spider Robinson
   145 • The Wonderful Conspiracy • [Callahan] • (1977) • short story by Spider Robinson
   157 • Fivesight • [Callahan] • (1979) • short story by Spider Robinson
   174 • Dog Day Evening • [Callahan] • (1977) • short story by Spider Robinson
   186 • Have You Heard the One ... ? • [Callahan] • (1980) • novelette by Spider Robinson
   197 • Unnatural Causes • [Callahan] • (1975) • novelette by Spider Robinson
   206 • Mirror/rorriM Off the Wall • [Callahan] • (1977) • short story by Spider Robinson
   231 • The Blacksmith's Tale • [Callahan] • (1985) • novella by Spider Robinson
   270 • Pyotr's Story • [Callahan] • (1981) • novelette by Spider Robinson
   301 • Author's Note (Pyotr's Story) • essay by Spider Robinson
   306 • Involuntary Man's Laughter • [Callahan] • (1983) • short story by Spider Robinson
   320 • The Mick of Time • [Callahan] • (1986) • novella by Spider Robinson
   381 • Post Toast • [Callahan] • (1996) • short story by Spider Robinson
   395 • Author's Final Note (The Callahan Chronicals) • essay by Spider Robinson
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