Spider Robinson is a American-Canadian Hugo award winning writer. His stories are mostly magazine articles that have been collected into volumes although he does have a few books that have been written specifically as novels. His stories tend to start funny but then get rather serious closer to the end of each. Mostly they take place, much like this book, in Callahan’s Place. Callahan’s is a place unlike any bar I’ve ever known in that everyone knows each other, think Cheers, and everyone is in pain in some way; however, Callahan’s has a policy and belief, that a pain shared is lessened and a shared joy is magnified.
This collection has several of his best stories with one in particular being a stand-out, “The Time-Traveler” in which the newcomer refers to himself as a time traveler, but, not the typical Sci-Fi kind. He’s been imprisoned in South America during a revolution and locked away with little contact and forgotten. When he is finally released, it has been many years now. Much has changed in the world, several presidents have come and gone, man has made it to the moon, etc… so, in his own way, yes he has traveled in time.
I know it sounds depressing and in some ways, it is; however, there’s much humor as well with “Doc” Webster and Jake Stonebender and their pun battles and a whole slew of interesting characters.
Everyone is welcome…share your joy, share your pain. There’s just one rule, don’t pry. If someone is not willing to share, that’s their business.
Callahan’s is a fascinating combination of sci-fi, drama, humor, and some understanding of what drives people and what makes them who they are.
If you enjoy this, try all the others:
- Time Travelers Strictly Cash
- Callahan’s Secret
- Callahan’s Lady
- The Callahan Touch
- Callahan’s Legacy
- Callahan’s Key