Thursday, January 8, 2009

A horse walks into a bar...

Actually there are no horses in Callahan’s Crosstime Saloon. The book is a collection of stories about the people and events in a bar in Long Island. The puns run pretty thick. The camaraderie of the men in the bar is to be envied. The stories are funny, heart-breaking, and entertaining.

The stories were first published in Analog magazine, so there is a Science Fiction element, but it most of them it's a pretty small part. I'll give you a taste of the types of stories: The Guy With the Eyes seems like it’s a story about Tommy Janssen , off heroin for 7 months, but then the guy with the eyes steps up and reveals that he’s an advance scout for an alien race and he is about to recommend that we all be destroyed. Of course, the guys in the bar refuse to destroy him to prevent him from doing his job. In the end he overcomes is programming and joins them as a regular at the bar.

The only thing that shocks the folks at Callahan’s is a woman walking in the door. And she’s great at puns, good thing she showed up on Punday Night.

The biggest challenge comes when a alien explains how his race his manipulated us all these years to become adept at killing ourselves (think Vietnam). Great discussion of absolution coming with atonement, which is different from just apologizing.

The man who loaned me this book said I would find most of the issues that Spider Robinson wrote about in 1977 are still relevant today, and he was right. Very interesting and fun to read!

Laura blogs regularly at The Imperfect Blog.

1 comment:

Cindy B said...

I've never heard of this one, but it sounds really different!