Callahan's Key
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Callahan's Key (Callahan's #8)

3.99 of 5 stars 3.99  ·  rating details  ·  1,135 ratings  ·  30 reviews
The universe in is desperate peril. Due to a cluster of freakish phenomena, the United States' own defense system has become a doomsday machine, threatening the entire universe. And only one man can save everything-as-we-know-it from annihilation.
Audio CD
Published September 1st 2003 by Blackstone Audiobooks (first published July 2000)
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Conor
I think this may have been the worst place to start with Spider Robinson. I was thrown into a world of communal chaos, with bits and pieces of science fiction thrown in. The text itself was witty, but a shy of the lyrical idea work that I normally look for in Science Fiction. I'll try another of his, but based on this one alone, I'm not impressed.
***Dave Hill
Heir to Heinlein - And I mean that review title for both good and ill. Like Heinlein's last few works (everything starting with Number of the Beast), the Callahan series has (d)evolved into tales of Extraordinarily Talented and Witty People, (over)laden with cultural in-jokes, references to earlier tales, and a twee jolliness that makes for light, breezy reading when it's not just irritating.

Robinson has seemingly fallen into the "How do I trump what I did last time?" trap, and while it's nice...more
Steven
This book is a little bit of a train wreck. It is novel-length with a single story, unlike Spider Robinson's superior connected-vignette-novel or short story collections. Unfortunately the story itself is pretty weak. The opening allows for lots of strangely used resources—characters with “extra powers” not really using them, and characters known for being truly good people engaging in blackmail, extortion, and truly antisocial behavior. The middle of the book is a meaningless long car trip with...more
Sean
I loved this series. Really did. "Callahan's Chronicles" was easily one of the best reads I'd had in years. Lady Sally's place that followed was...different. A downgrade, but good fun.

But the last few books in the series have gotten too "big". Callahan's works best when it's a collection of drunk oddballs helping out more drunk oddballs with their drunk oddball problems, not saving the country/world/universe from annihilation, eg. nuclear terrorist pacifists in Lady Slings the Booze, saving the...more
Hobbes
Jul 26, 2012 Hobbes rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Hobbes by: Devin Murphy
Another wonderful book in a beautiful series. Jake gets a visit from Tesla who tells him that once again the end of the world is nigh and it is up to Jake and his motley band of bar flies to save it. Jake decides that it is time to reopen the bar, but not in Long Island. Jake, Zoey, and super intelligent baby Erin move to the Florida Keys, and take the rest of the Callahan crew with them. Parts of the book were a little bittersweet for me, reading about the drive through Florida, especially when...more
Jeff Yoak
My first thought at first being exposed to Callahan's was that it belonged in Key West and everything reminded me of my time in Florida. It's nice that they've finally caught on and moved down there. The plot in the Callahan's stories is always on the light side and mostly it is enjoyable interactions in a bar. The plot in this one is so light that they might not have bothered and just had it be a story about moving a hundred people and a bar from New York to Florida. That element is truly excel...more
Travis
Fun read as the Callahan's crew encounter circumstances that lead them to packing up and moving from Long Island to Key West.
Uneven, as Spider has trouble when the Callanhan crew has to leave the bar and interact with the 'real world'. It's an awkward fit.
Otherwise, Key West comes across as paradise, the dialogue and humor are still brilliant and funny and the crisis is interesting and suspenseful.

There are no bad Callahan books. Just good ones and brilliant ones. This is one of the merely good...more
Kallierose
These short stories, all tied together with a common place/cast, make you feel like maybe human beings aren't such cruel animals after all. Opening the first several Callahan books feels like a refreshing visit with old friends. You know them, and their quirks, and that if they're involved with a situation they will do whatever they can to make it better. These are good people. The in last couple of books the formula gets a little bit stale, but they are still enjoyable.
Dave
More merriment, madcap science fiction and meandering commentary on part of the human condition that feels real to me. A road trip with literary allusions, pointed puns, inside jokes and references to classic and not so classic science fiction, space geekery, and Robinson's customary observations on community, bureaucracy, folly, bureaucracy, love and lessons we learn from life experiences. Clearly I've become a fan.
Thursday
Did a re-read of this installment of Spider Robinson's Callahan's books. The newer books certainly have a very different feel than the older ones, but Callahan's Key is a fun, fast read.

During this read, I noticed a few more nods to other sci-fi writers than I have in the past. Obvious Heinlein tributes, of course — but there's a quiet plug for John Varley, as well.
Dragondreamsjen
This is one of my favourite books in the series and yet it makes me incredibly sad every time that I read it. The underlying messages of acceptance, tolerance and wonder seem to fall on deaf ears in our era. If more people read these books and lived by some of their credos... The world would be a much better place. Thanks for trying to spread such a great message, Spider!
Scott wachter
this series has some escalation issues.

The original stories about drunken oddballs helping strangers out sci-fi predicaments with the power of group therapy, shots and puns. then they stopped aliens from wiping out the planet. So now everything has to find a way to top that.

this book has 4/5ths road trip stories and 1/5 save the universe.
Craig
This wass the best new entry in Robinson's long-running Callahan's series for some time. Many of the familiar characters return, and some intriguing new ones are introduced. Robinson's trademarked admiration of Heinlein is well represented, puns abound, and it's a familiar fast-paced romp.
Marichee
This one was probably the weakest in the series, but I loved it anyhow. Sometimes the ones that don't make much sense to the average human are the best ones in my humble opinion.

Or as Erin says:
"I know it doesn't make sense, daddy, but neither do John Tesh fans!"

hehehe.
Mike
A more or less entertaining read, but Spider's later books pale so much in comparison to the early Callahan short stories that are collected in the first three books. Misses a whole lot of the charm and wonder that the early stories had.
AmblingBooks
"I'd nominate Spider Robinson as the new Robert Heinlein." � New York Times

Listen to Callahan's Key on your iPhone, desktop, or smartphone.
Ray Charbonneau
Writing about how the author's not going to write about what's going on is a sign of a bad, padded book. For fans only.
Sarah
I like all the Callahan books so that I liked this one was not surprise. Robinson writes like a cross between Douglass Adams and Robert Heinlein. Very quick, entertaining, easy reads that are pure entertainment.
Keith
This was good. Lot's of typical Spider/Callahan fun. I found some holes in the logic and actions it this one more than any other Spider book but the story and the characters made it easy to overlook them.
April
I'm rereading this, one of my favorite pick-me-ups as I really need it at the moment.

Worked very nicely though I did also have to augment it with a Terry Pratchett...
Helen Jackson
My first Spider Robinson, after a recommendation by an online friend. Callahan's Key is a lot of fun. I'll definitely look out for the earlier books in the series.
Jonathan
Some cute puns, and the prose is wonderful as always. Had trouble getting into this one compared to the other Callahan books though.
Chris
Re-read the whole series 7/2012. All are feel-good light reading. Series goes gradually downhill, but all are enjoyable.
Sara
I recently re-read this since becoming a parent. I feel like the book is more accessible now that I've become a parent.
Ben
Oh, Spider Robinson. You're a hippy, but I like you anyway.
Meghan Pinson
this can't possibly be the best one ... i need to find the first one.
Matt Shively
so far the least of this series.
Lori
Awesome again!
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19317
Spider Robinson is an American-born Canadian Hugo and Nebula award winning science fiction author. He was born in the USA, but chose to live in Canada, and gained citizenship in his adopted country in 2002.

Robinson's writing career began in 1972 with a sale to "Analog Science Fiction" magazine of a story entitled, "The Guy With The Eyes". His writing proved popular, and his first novel saw print...more
More about Spider Robinson...
Callahan's Crosstime Saloon (Callahan's, #1) Callahan's Lady (Lady Sally's, #1:Callahan's Series, #4) Time Travellers Strictly Cash (Callahan's Series, #2) Lady Slings the Booze (Lady Sally's, #2: Callahan's Series, #5) The Callahan Chronicals (Callahan's Place Trilogy, #1-3) (Callahan's Series, #1-3)

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