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Callahan's Crosstime Saloon by Spider…

Callahan's Crosstime Saloon (1977)

by Spider Robinson

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Callahan's (1)

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1,146237,132 (4)48
  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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I confess that I am a fan of Spider Robinson's work. He has a wonderful imagination and a sure writing style. Callahan's is a bar where you might find anyone or anything. This collection of stories shows him at his best. ( )
  gypsysmom | Aug 17, 2017 |
Callahan's Place is a bar, and yet so much more. It's a place you find when you're down on your luck and world has been giving you the once-over. The owner/bartender and the regulars will listen to your troubles (provided that you follow the rules), and bend over backwards to any man (or woman) (or alien) that admits their faults and seeks to do right by those they've harmed. Puns abound and not even the local doctor is above taking a well-aimed oneliner out for a zing or two.

The book is a reprinting of several stories that appeared in magazine for over several years when the author was writing for hire. The stories are very human - full of insight and wit. I was really quite impressed with the author's ability to turn a good tale. ( )
  helver | Aug 3, 2017 |
I remember this this book back when I was introduced to Spider Robinson back in college. At that time Callahan's Cross-Time Saloon, Shogun and Asimov's Foundation trilogy were my favorites.

Well, Spider's tales are not up there with those great writers. In fact the stories are pretty strange, enlightening and give a lesson at the end. Even now in my reread, the lessons seem a bit trite. But I am getting ahead of myself.

First published as a collection in the 70s, Robinson's bar joint with its misfit clients came to life between the covers of Analog Magazine. And though more fantasy than science fiction, makes for some interesting reading.

These nine stories always start with some pretty crazy characters. The narrator is Jake; the barkeep is Callahan and whoever walks into that bar usually has a story to tell as we say a toast and crash our glassware into the fireplace!

Callahan is a tough Irish barman, but he meets his match when he hears the story of a man who lost his wife and was locked away, forgotten, in a South American prison cell for over ten years. Or an alien who has been assigned to recommend annihilation of the human race! Or another, who was once Adolph Hitler (could Callahan forgive that?!). And a woman who has lived over 200 years and has a death wish; interesting solution to that problem. Or a time traveler who wants to stop a certain tragedy and would the boys in the bar help him out?

And the puns in this book are just horrible! And a few philosophical lines like "joy always equals pain in the long-run" are a bit beyond my understanding but what the heck - it's a Spider story!

Because the stories were written in the 70s, references to Vietnam and Nixon are evident. Despite these dated situations, you should have a great time visiting Callahan's Cross-Time Saloon, meet a few wild and crazy people and throw your glass half-full of Bushmill's Brew as you tell a tall tale.


Other Spider Books:

The Free Lunch
Very Hard Choices
The Callahan Chronicals
( )
1 vote James_Mourgos | Dec 22, 2016 |
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 |
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» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Spider Robinsonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Bova, BenIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Di Fate, Vincent, 1945-Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Warhola, JamesCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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"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
To Ben Bova
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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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