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Callahan's Crosstime Saloon by Spider…
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Callahan's Crosstime Saloon (original 1977; edition 1999)

by Spider Robinson

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1,089207,645 (3.97)40
Member:shrike10997
Title:Callahan's Crosstime Saloon
Authors:Spider Robinson
Info:Tor Science Fiction (1999), Paperback, 224 pages
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Callahan's Crosstime Saloon by Spider Robinson (1977)

  1. 00
    A Night in the Lonesome October by Roger Zelazny (PghDragonMan)
    PghDragonMan: Odd characters caught up in odd happenings as told by master storytellers.
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The bar is run by Mike Callahan. The regulars are welcoming and willing to listen to any visitor's problems, no matter how strange, but do not snoop if a visitor is unwilling to share. Strange and unusual events and visitors turn up with frequency in the stories. Regulars at Callahan's include a talking dog, several extraterrestrials and time-travelers, an ethical vampire, a couple of Irish mythological beings, and an obscenity-spewing parrot. The stories make heavy use of puns. Irish whiskeys are the preferred beverage, with Tullamore Dew and Bushmills mentioned in nearly every collection of shorts or novel that references the saloon. The stories are seen by some as an hommage to L.Sprague De Camp's "Tales from Gavagan's Bar" , and Arthur C. Clarke's "Tales from the White Hart"

Lady Sally McGee, the madam of a house of excellent repute (and Mike Callahan's wife), stars in Robinson's Callahan's Lady and Lady Slings The Booze. The regulars at Lady Sally's brothel (where the employees are "artists" and the patrons are "clients") insist on the same empathy and humor as those at Callahan's, and they are just as likely to have fantastic backgrounds.

(Lady Sally's last name is almost certainly a tribute to the fictional character Travis McGee, who appeared in a number of novels by John D. MacDonald, whose works are referenced throughout the Callahan novels.)

This is the source of Callahan's Law (also known as the Law of Conservation of Pain and Joy): "Shared pain is lessened; shared joy, increased—thus do we refute entropy." Stated another way: "Just as there are Laws of Conservation of Matter and Energy, so there are in fact Laws of Conservation of Pain and Joy. Neither can ever be created or destroyed. But one can be converted into the other."


[edit] Characters
Jake Stonebender: The narrator of the Callahan stories; he tried to commit suicide after losing his wife and daughter to a car accident, but Doc Webster saved him and sent him to Callahan's. He's a master with his guitar, whom he calls "Lady Macbeth". In the last chapter of the audio-book for "The Callahan Chronicals" it is revealed that Jake is actually the writer, Spider Robinson, in another dimension.
Mike Callahan: The owner of the bar, he is always ready with a drink and a friendly word.
Doc Webster: M.D.; one of the oldest regulars and a master of puns. He works shifts at Smithtown General.
Fast Eddie: The bar's piano player; he jams with Jake and is equipped with a blackjack to discourage nosy questions.
Long Drink McGonnigle: one of the oldest regulars; a night watchman and also skilled at puns.
Tom Hauptman: an ex-minister and widower, who was locked away for ten years with his wife in a Latin American banana republic. Callahan offers him the job of assistant bartender after he tells his story.
Noah Gonzalez: A sergeant in the police force, he works on the bomb squad.
Michael "Mickey" Finn: He is a humanoid alien who was sent to destroy Earth. Coming to Callahan's makes him want to reconsider; and, with the bar patrons' collective efforts, he does not and instead joins them.
Tommy Janssen: A teenager who comes to Callahan's and gives up his heroin addiction.
Tom Flannery: One of the former regulars who has eight months to live at the start of the series.
"Slippery" Joe Maser: he is bigamous; both wives are aware of one another.
Marty Matthias: had a gambling issue, but got it fixed after he came to Callahan's.
Rachel: A woman, which is a rarity in itself at Callahan's. She also may be immortal, but is long-lived at the very least.
Shorty Steinitz: had his appendix removed by Doc Webster on Callahan’s bar; world's worst driver; makes a living restoring antique vehicles.
Big Beef McCaffrey: was kicked out of the bar in 1947 by Mike Callahan, without opening the solid oak door first. The door has been since mended, but poorly.
  bostonwendym | Mar 3, 2016 |
Humorous storytelling drunk on itself. Sci-fi and humor combine in these connected stories all set in the same saloon filled with regulars, some aliens, and a lot of fun. ( )
  dbsovereign | Jan 26, 2016 |
Love Robinson's Callahan books. Just off enough to make you think. ( )
  Greymowser | Jan 23, 2016 |
Read the first couple of stories, but tjhey were so dated I couldn't be bothered to carry on. ( )
  SChant | Mar 15, 2015 |
It has been 30 years since I read the original. The Kindle version brought back the same laughter and surprises. There is an affirmation of life and of goodness. I thoroughly enjoyed the stories.

Do be aware that if you hate puns, you will probably not enjoy the book. There are a few Anglo-Saxon vulgarities, but they are appropriate for the situation and probably no worse than one would hear in a PG-13 movie. Young adults would probably enjoy the humor even if they miss some of the more complex layers.

I've already downloaded the sequel: Time Travelers Strictly Cash. ( )
  Jean_Sexton | Jan 21, 2015 |
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» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Spider Robinsonprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bova, BenIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Di Fate, Vincent, 1945-Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Warhola, JamesCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
"There is nothing which has been contrived by man by which so much happiness has been produced as by a good tavern or inn."
-Samuel Johnson
Dedication
To Ben Bova
First words
Callahan's Place was pretty lively that night.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0812572270, Mass Market Paperback)

Callahan's Place is the neighborhood tavern to all of time and space, where the regulars are anything but. Pull up a chair, grab a glass of your favorite, and listen to the stories spun by time travelers, cybernetic aliens, telepaths...and a bunch of regular folks on a mission to save the world, one customer at a time.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:53 -0400)

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