After Hours: Tales from Ur-Bar
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After Hours: Tales from Ur-Bar (Hell on Earth 0.8)

3.63 of 5 stars 3.63  ·  rating details  ·  94 ratings  ·  25 reviews
Science fiction and fantasy readers have long shown an affinity for a good "bar story". Now some of today's most inventive scriveners have decided to tell their own tall tales-from an alewife's attempt to transfer the gods' curse to Gilgamesh, to Odin's decision to introduce Vikings to the Ur-Bar, from the Holy Roman Emperor's barroom bargain, to a demon hunter who may jus...more
Paperback, 310 pages
Published March 1st 2011 by DAW (first published January 4th 2011)
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April Steenburgh
Imagine an eternal bar managed by Gilgamesh himself. It has existed everywhere and when, and always has exactly what its patrons need on tap (which sometimes differs from what they think they want). What started as an idea a group of authors came up with while in their cups translated magnificently into a collection that is the perfect combination of humorous and haunting. Each story has something new to offer- a bit of insight, a cunning use of Gil and his bar- and they all come together to bui...more
Maria Snyder
Jan 14, 2012 Maria Snyder rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
I downloaded this to my new Acer tablet I bought to take on my tour. Yes, i have a copy, but didn't want to lug the extra weight around :-)

Well it seems I don't really like to read on my tablet - a book in hand is my preferred method of reading, so this took me quite some time to finish since I only read it when I was traveling.

The short stories are all centered around a bar owned and operated by Gilgamesh are interesting and diverse.

And I must admit I wrote one of the stories so the rating an...more
Melissa J. Katano
A strong collection of fantasy tales, all woven around the "What if Gilgamesh finally achieved immortality, but he has to be a bartender in a bar that travels in time and location?"

The stories start in Kish (by Benjamin Tate) and sets the bar, um, in more ways than one. It tells how Gilgamesh became the bartender.

From there, we travel to find out why the Vikings have no bars, to the Holy Roman Empire, to Scotland to Japan to France during the time of the Sun King, to Colonial Boston, to the Con...more
It took me a long time to work my way through these stories. As with any anthology there were some that stood out and some that I struggled with. The stories were all of a very high quality - I suspect the trouble was with me more than anything.

The stories that really stood out of the collection for me were "The Tavern Fire" by D.B. Jackson and "The Alchemy of Alcohol" by Seanan McGuire.

My two favorites from the collection show a couple of interesting things. First, good writing is good writing....more
Paul Bonamy
A man/woman/dog/ghost/time traveler/god walks into a bar. Maybe it's just an ordinary bar, staffed by ordinary people. But maybe, just maybe, it's the Ur-Bar, the one establishment of its age that captures the essence of the very first bar, where the gods of old first granted the ancient Sumerians the recipe for beer. In that case, magic runs more freely than it otherwise might, and the giant of a man behind the bar is Gilgamesh, who found the immortality he sought but at a price.

After Hours is...more
15 stories set in a bar that moves and morphs with the times. I really like the concept, but some of the stories are just not to my taste, someone who likes historical fantasy more than I do would probably like more of the stories. I would be interested in reading more stories by other authors set in this bar. I'll add ratings below only for the ones I liked.

An Alewife in Kish by Benjamin Tate - liked this, good set-up for the anthology. 4 stars

Why the Vikings Had No Bars by S.C. Butler - inte...more
Tales from Ur-Bar was a fun short story collection. The prologue starts "Fifteen authors walked into a bar..." and out came this compilation. It wasn't that simple, of course, but it sounded good. Anyway, this collection of stories is hung together on the premise that Gilgamesh did get his wish for immortality - as a bartender in an immortal bar. Yes, it's the bar that is immortal, not that it is a bar for immortals. The bar cannot be destroyed, but that it will reincarnate in another place and...more
Book Review: After Hours: Tales from the Ur-Bar

One of the warnings I've been given as a fantasy writer is to avoid cliché tavern scenes. Enter AFTER HOURS: TALES FROM THE UR-BAR, an anthology about a time-traveling tavern that carefully breaks this rule and others.

Disclaimer: Since I know the editors and some of the authors of this book, I have tried exceptionally hard to be objective in reviewing. That said, I think the concept is cool. Check it out: (Shamelessly pilfered from http://afterhour...more
Mrs Giggles
Imagine this: there is a bar. It's a magical bar in that it can travel through time and appears at any place in this world, apparently at its own whim, and its appearance changes accordingly in order for it to blend in with its surroundings. At the whim of the owner-cum-bartender, you may be served a special brew that can make a wish come true. The bar is a prison for this person, however: the person is blessed with immortality, but this person can never leave the bar. The stories in After Hours...more
Mar 18, 2012 Shauna rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of fantasy anthologies who don't care about Gilgamesh
I thought I would love this anthology centered on a bar owned by Gilgamesh that travels through time. I have been intrigued with ancient Mesopotamia since high school, I've published a novel about Gilgamesh, and I'm teaching a course on the "Epic of Gilgamesh" in the fall. I also enjoy time-travel stories.

Sadly, this anthology was not at all what I expected. Gilgamesh is a minor character at best in these stories; in one, he doesn't even appear (he's sleeping in another room). Gilgamesh is a car...more
David Caldwell
This is a collection of 15 short stories by different authors.The theme for the collection is that all of the stories include a magical bar that moves from place to place throughout history.The bar also changes its appearance when it moves.The bartender is cursed so that they can never leave the bar and is immortal.The only way for the bartender to give up their position is if someone willingly takes up the post.For most of the stories, Gilgamesh is the immortal bartender.

Stories range from okay...more
I rarely have luck with anthologies. I think that's the norm for a lot of people based on reviews I've read here and there.

That said, I saw a review for this particular anthology. Can't remember who was so in favor of it, but it was a 'trusted agent' and I put it on the WWBL. Then B&N must have been having a heckuva sale and it was put in the shopping cart and on Mt Git'r'Read.

I think it only languished for a bit before I was in the mood for this type of read.

And what a swell decision! Ev...more
Pull up a stool, grab your favorite poison and listen...

This was an "out of the box" read for me (I won it from Avery Shade). I was attracted by the premise of the anthology. A bar run by Gilgamesh that continues to exist through out time. Each author starts with this premise and writes a tale in their own reality and time.

I loved every single one of these stories (there are 15)! All the authors were unknown to me before this book. Each one thrilled me with tales of adventure, sacrifice and hum...more
In After Hours: Tales from the Ur-Bar, editors Joshua Palmatier and Patricia Bray have taken the clichéd tavern meetup of fantasy stories and role playing games and turned it on its head in an entertaining anthology that revolves around a time-traveling bar. Benjamin Tate establishes the origins of this Ur-Bar in the first story of the collection, "An Alewife In Kish". In ancient Sumeria, perhaps in the city of Ur, Kubaba has been cursed to live an immortal life spent tending her drinking establ...more
Anthologies are often tricky for me to rate, and this one is no exception. Some of the stories were awesome and some weren't. Most of the stories grew up organically around the premise of Gilgamesh's immortal bar, but there were a few that gave the distinct impression of being half written before the idea for this anthology and the immortal bar was thrown in ex post facto. This volume is definitely worth reading and it introduced me to a few authors that I'd like to check out in the future, as w...more
Kate  K. F.
After Hours is based around the idea of a Bar that moves through space and time with a bartender that can never leave. Each story is set in a different city and place throughout history and the styles range from pure fantasy to comedy to horror. Overall this is a strong anthology but the arrangement of the stories in chronological order at times does them a disservice as the tones change more than the eras. I would recommend this anthology for lovers of the variety possible in fantasy and reader...more
D.B. Jackson
Oct 11, 2011 D.B. Jackson rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  (Review from the author)
In the spirit of full disclosure, I'll admit that I have a story in this anthology. But I can honestly say that the rest of the stories are just terrific, and that Joshua Palmatier and Patricia Bray did a terrific job editing the collection. They were just terrific to work with and helped make my story as good as it could be. So, yeah, I'm in the antho, and my recommendation might not be the most unbiased out there. But it really is a good collection.
Val Ford
I liked pretty much all the stories in this anthology - the fact that it ended the way it ended was my only objection (full disclosure - I really hate zombie stories. Really hate. Even well-written ones). That being said, I loved the premise - an anthology of stories all written in the same bar, in different times and different places. This is very well-written, and I highly recommend it.
After Hours is a fun, enjoyable anthology. The stories all have a common thread - a mysterious bar run by an imprisoned Gilgamesh that travels through time and place. I think my favorite story was The Alchemy of Alcohol by Seanan McGuire (it comes with drink recipes!) but honestly, I enjoyed all of the stories immensely and found myself wondering as I began each story, where it would take me.
Beth Johnson
Good collection of short stories. Nice to get a chance to read work by some unknown-to-me writers. Reminded me a bit of Callahan's but without the puns and set scenes -- this place moves forward through time, changing its location and appearance with each new civilization.
Anthologies are a mixed bag.

I never like everything in an anthology but I always like Seanan McGuire's work.

I thought I'd like it better because it was about a supernatural tavern but the stories really didn't grab me much.
Cute but boring after a few stories. I'm not gripped by short stories a much as I was as a kid. The concept was good and many of the story very funny.
Great premise to a collection of short stories. There were two that I didn't really like, but the rest were very entertaining.
Karen Desmond
A great theme with the time-travelling bar and barman - standout stories from Seanan McGuire, Patricia Bray and Anton Stout.
Jun 11, 2011 Lulu marked it as to-read
I won this book from the first reads giveaways and I am so excited to read it. I started reading it now. Thanks.
Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides
Apr 03, 2011 Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommended to Snail in Danger (Sid) by: Laura Anne Gilman (blog)
Cool concept but none of the stories really grabbed me.
Lyn Mckenzie
Lyn Mckenzie marked it as to-read
Jul 20, 2014
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Joshua Palmatier was born in Coudersport, PA, but since his father was in the military he moved around. Alot. He's lived in the states of Pennsylvania (three times), Florida (twice), Washington, California (briefly), Virginia, Texas (twice), and now resides in upstate New York. He has spent the majority of his life so far going to school, earning a Bachelors of Science and a Master of Arts degree...more
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