Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Book Review: The Callahan Chronicals

Based on how often I post here, you'd think I had stopped reading and taken up some other hobby... such as drinking to excess. Incorrect!

The Thanksgiving season makes me thankful for the love of my life and the finest friends I could ask for. Without them I'd surely turn to boozy self-medication, which I'd otherwise regard as a deeply mistaken approach to problem solving.

Spider Robinson presents a sci-fi version of the place where everybody knows your name. Even if your name is Txffu Mpwfs, the world-destroying cyborg from the short story "The Guy With The Eyes". This weekend I finished the short-story collection of Mr. Robinson's: 'The Callahan Chronicals'. (I love the wrap-around cover! (Shown Here) It turns out there are only 6 characters I can't name on it. Five if the cat reaching for the cash is Pixel from Heinlein's 'The Cat Who Walks Through Walls'.)

Mr. Robinson is previously known to me peripherally as the guy who co-wrote 'Variable Star' with Robert Heinlein's ghost. Long-time readers of my blog will know that book very nearly topped the list of my favourite books of the noughties. My manager Chris gets a great big thank-you for loaning me some of Mr. Robinson's earliest books and magazines (including early printings of the Hugo winning Telempath and Stardancer stories). But Spider Robinson is arguably most famous for Callahan's Place, which spawned great fan love online as the Interwebs were first being spun, and that love continues today. The Place is the kindest, most psychologically sympathetic bar you've ever heard of. At Callahan's the wretched and the weird discover 'shared pain is lessened, shared joy is increased'. I appreciate the bad jokes and the good intentions. This is some darn fine writing. I'm looking forward to continuing the series.

Oh, and if you have just under 4 minutes, here's Author/Music Man Spider Robinson performing his own The Drunkard's Song.

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