The Callahan Chronicals [With Headphones]
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The Callahan Chronicals [With Headphones] (Callahan's #1-3)

4.31 of 5 stars 4.31  ·  rating details  ·  1,512 ratings  ·  66 reviews
This omnibus edition collects Spider Robinson's first three books about the Long Island bar that attracts the weirdest clientele and the tallest tales in the known universe. Callahan's Crosstime Saloon, Time Travelers Strictly Cash, and Callahan's Secret are playful, pun-filled delights from the pen of a truly inimitable writer, winner of the Skylark and John W. Campbell a...more
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Published January 1st 2010 by Playaway (first published 1988)
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Jeff
There's a place out on Route 25A in Suffolk County, Long Island, New York; a unique tavern, indeed, but you couldn't tell by looking at it. Oh sure, the jumble of parked cars out front would seem a little odd, like a bumper cars rally frozen in time, or the fact that there was no mirror behind the bar like you'd see in any other drinking institution.
But that's all superficial and easily explained. What makes this institution so very special would require you to spend some time seated at the bar...more
Dave
Feb 15, 2009 Dave rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of humorous science fiction or fantasy.
Shelves: fiction-read
A wonderful collection of connected short stories. Imagine a series like the TV show 'Cheers' or 'Night Court' (two of my favorites) where the characters not only care about each other but come from across time and space to talk about their troubles in a very unusual bar with a lovable, quirky group of characters. Community is a constant theme in the stories and I presume throughout the series' other books as well. As I read I laughed at the puns and the many joking references to classic science...more
Christian Lipski
Nov 25, 2008 Christian Lipski rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: science fiction fans, pun lovers, beer snobs, smart people
Recommended to Christian by: alt.callahans
Spider Robinson's tales about the denizens of the bar called Callahan's Place are the prescribed elixir for depression and worry. I avoided re-reading these stories for a while because they were unfailingly "perfect": everything happens exactly right, the right things happen to the right people, and it's all unrealistically utopian. But then, that's exactly what I want to read when I'm convinced that there ain't no justice in this world. I want to read about people who all get along and love eac...more
soul
Кофти сготвена кръчмарска яхния от скучни, тъповати истории без никаква свързваща нишка, на светлинни години от фентъзи, фантастика и хумор.
По-лошото в книгата обаче е стилът или подобието на стил в опит да се имитира Хайнлайн и ужасният, дразнещ, изнасилен жаргон, използван за целта.
Твърде, твърде далеч от литература и без грам оригиналност ...
"Нахвърли се на храната като женкар на порносписание."

От изгубено време за част тази толкова прехвалена боза мога да си направя два извода:
1. Безвъзвра...more
Frank
The collection of all the stories that take place in Callahan's. Full of puns, some obvious some subtle. And a valuable lesson; Pain is reduced when shared, and joy in multiplied when shared. You got to love a bar where you can break a glass in the fireplace and the mirror leads to another dimension.
Laurie
I have a copy of this that Spider very graciously inscribed for me at Darkover XX (it is one of my most treasured possessions, fully as much for the content as the inscription!)
Jen
Oh, the humanity!
While listening to this, I sort of forgot for long stretches that I was listening to a sci-fi story; it's way more about interactions and acceptance than any sci-fi I've ever come across. Callahan's Bar, the setting for every story, never gets old and never gets tiring. It is peopled with aliens, time travellers, telepaths...and people. I was amazed at how some of the stories sucked me in totally, made me laugh (and groan at the sheer audacity and amount of terrible, terrible p...more
Katie Mercer

I briefly touched on my love of Spider Robinson in my ancient post about Super Secret Guilty Reading Pleasures. Spider Robinson was just one of those authors - along with David Eddings he arguably shaped why exactly I love reading for fun. I picked up Callahan's Crosstime Salon for 100% the opposite reason most people do - I got a kick out of the cover. I've heard time and time again that people hate the cover of this compilation book. Well, it made me laugh and for better or for worse, I grabbe...more
Don
This book is case-in-point for "don't judge a book by it's cover." I've read some of Spider's other books and enjoyed them, but skipped this one for quite a while. Partly, it's because I'm not a drinking man so a book about a bar didn't have much appeal. And, partly, it's because of the cover art.

That said, READ THIS! I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The puns are so bad they're hilarious and the way the characters evolve and solve the unique situations they find themselves in is a lot of fun. And...more
Swankivy
All I can say is, I want to go make a toast at Callahan's Place, and become a regular at this bar where the patrons are lifelong friends and "family" first, rotten punsters second, and drinking buddies last. (I have no idea why "Chronicals" is spelled that way; Chronic-cals, maybe?)

This is a collection of short stories about Callahan's Place, a rather odd bar in which patrons come to have a drink, see friends, play games, and--more often than not--spill their guts (no, not literally). This saloo...more
John
Dec 09, 2008 John rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Dr Who fans. Nerds with humor. Perpetrators of perfectly pugnacious puns.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Brian Layman
This is by far the best book I have read in years and by far these are the best short stories I have ever read. Just based on the first five, I am wondering if I have a new favorite author. I'll just have to force myself to read more of his works to test that theory.

*Continued*

Two pages after this, the storyline took a twist that I didn't like as much, but this is still one of my favorite books and that story is then again referenced in the last story of the book, so that makes it a little bette...more
Terri
Theis collects three of Spider Robinson's books about Callahan's Place. Callahan's is an unusual Long Island bar where patrons share the joy and the pain of the people that cross it's threshold. Each tale spins very interesting charachters (MOST of whom are human) and their lives, loves, and adventures.Spun with lots of humor, some irreverance and often a kick in the pants about the human condition, one never knows what to expect from one tale to the next, but one can be insured that they will b...more
Mouse
Spider Robinson wrote stories here that were more than pure entertainment. They actually have the power to heal a torn soul. If life has beat you down, pick up this book. You'll be introduced to a cast of characters that won't stop until you can smile again.

These stories get shoved into Science Fiction category, but if you aren't a fan of that genre don't walk away. They are actually stories that defy easy classification. Technically, they may fall into the "you won't believe what happened in th...more
Kate
In terms of sheer fun, you really can't top Spider Robinson's Callahan stories. My husband and I read this version aloud years and years ago, and I still clearly recall how loudly we both laughed. While I remember the laughter best, these stories also delve into what truly matters about the human condition, in the best way possible -- without being heavy handed, sometimes without us really noticing it all, until we were through the story and talking it over.
The individual stories made for good s...more
Allen Berry
This is Sci Fi for Joe Sack-a-Doughnuts, the working crowd at the bar who like a little Sci-Fi with their brews. Although by today's standards, some of the tech might be out of date, a good story never gets old. This is true of Callahan's.

It's a place you can only find if you need to, and when you need to, you'll be glad you did. Belly on up to the bar at Callahan's, where a load shared is a load off. No matter what time or sector of space you've happened to come from, you'll always have a place...more
Srochat
Get ready to laugh and to love. This is a collection of three of Spider Robinson's classic "Callahan's" novels: "Callahan's Crosstime Saloon," "Time Travelers Strictly Cash," and "Callahan's Secret."

The stories center around a Long Island bar that is the merriest place in the universe, where coincidences (and puns) pile up like home runs in Coors Field, and which you only find if you need to. And this bunch of barflies may be the only hope for saving our species.

Not only fun, but SMART fun. Ye...more
Dylan
When I first picked this up at Chapters I thought it would be something like Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, instead I got this. It was funny, but the heavy use of puns can get on your nerves. Beyond that, Spider Robinson is a highly human writer and you get a sense that for all humans failings, it can’t be all bad if there’s a bar full of generally nice guys and aliens and time travelers and talking dogs who get together and hang out, or at least someone who can think up something like that.
AmblingBooks
"Blackstone Audio has created a combination impossible to beat in its pairing of The Callahan Chronicals and narrator Barrett Whitener�.This production has the tone of a one-on-one conversation with a remarkable individual whose deep insights illuminate an even more remarkable universe and its inhabitants." � AudioFile

Listen to The Callahan Chronicals on your iPhone, desktop, or smartphone.
Catherine
It gets a good rating because it's basically a bunch of short stories and these are very difficult to do well. For me, if it's a good story then it's too short and and if it's not, well.... So when they are enjoyable without the total frustration aspect - that's well done.
But while they are well written and highly entertaining, the stories don't have the great world weaving or depth of character or other aspects that make the really great novels.
So overall, it's probably just 3 stars.
Keith
The first 3 Callahans book are collected in this book. They are a sum that is greater than the whole. Some people may not enjoy the punny nature of Mr. Robinson, but I have been punny from birth. Even if you don't enjoy puns, the key element of all Spider writings is "What it truly means to be human." Much like Heinlein, to whom he is often compared, his stories in this book will make you laugh, cry, and you almost cannot help being a better person by the time you have finished.
Jessica Booth
I was re-reading this favorite of mine (actually listening this time, since the audio book was available through my library website) and now I wish they had the rest of the series available the same way! I'll just keep suggesting things, and hope they acquire them... :)
Blanche
If you love a good pun (or 500), then this book is for you. If you love compelling characters, then this book is for you. If you enjoy sci-fi... then this book might take you aback for a bit. If you enjoy a compilation of short stories about a remarkable collection of empathetic barflies, populating an establishment where the paranormal is normal, accepting anyone who comes along and committed to lessening the pain in the world, then this book is DEFINITELY for you.
Kurt von Wasmuth
So, here's the thing: this book is stupid. If you took Cheers and cross-bred it with the X-files, you might have something close to the feel of this bar. I should have hated this book. Here's the other thing: I read the whole thing and looked forward to reading it every night. I simply cannot explain how something as ridiculous and far-fetched was able to distill the feeling of belonging to a community. I will undoubtedly read this stupid book again.
Dave
I read most of these when they first appeared in Analog. I have just recently re-read this compilation and find most hold up quite well. If you like puns, Spider is your man. The stories are funny and wise. I can't give it 5 stars, because there never seems to be any downside to people who spend much of their lives hanging out and drinking. Real world experience doesn't agree. But these stories are SF/F, so the bar too is something of a fantasy.
Laura Tyler
This collection of short stories is one of my favorite possessions. I truly believe that every one should read it at least once. The humorous science fiction is lovely, but the messages involved are actually quite important. Shared sorrow is divided while shared joy multiplies. The world would be a much better place if more people thought about the things that Spider Robinson brings up in this brilliant work of fiction.
Chuck Cannon
I made it through the first four or five of these short stories. They were well-written but were that type of sci-fi where a bunch of guys are talking in a bar and then one is a robot or a psychic and then they talk for five more minutes and it ends. Not what I'm interested in. It still reminds me of some Ray Bradbury short stories, in a good way, except I wanted to finish the Bradbury.
Jenny Schmenny
I went into a science fiction bookstore and asked someone to recommend something funny and light. These are a set of stories set in a kind of warm-hearted roughneck "Cheers" bar where the regular rules of interaction and reality don't always apply. It was funny, a bit puffy, and sincerely caring enough to dig me out of the funk that had brought me to a sci-fi bookstore in the first place.
Nathan
A light-hearted collection of short stories. Robinson, like Brooks, understands humanity, and weaves that into his fiction. The stories are a tad linear, and the pattern gets a little predictable after a while, but the characters are exceptionally interesting, and the stories are fantastical fairy tales that, as Chesterton said, teach us that dragons can be defeated.
Jeff
I have never read a collection of science fiction stories that had so little to do with science fiction. Despite that fact, or perhaps because of it, they were some of the stories that I will treasure carrying around with me for the rest of my life. Not only that, but I'll spend the rest of my life looking for a place like Callahan's. Time traveling bartender optional...
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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) Callahan's Secret (Callahan's Series, #3)

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“In 1971, after seven years in college, with that magic piece of paper clutched triumphantly in my fist, the best job I was able to get was night watchman on a sewer project in Babylon, N.Y. guarding a hole in the ground to prevent anyone from stealing it. God bless the American educational system!” 10 likes
“Shared joy is increased;
Shared pain is lessened.”
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