Jeff Yoak's Reviews > The Callahan Chronicals

The Callahan Chronicals by Spider Robinson
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's review
Apr 23, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: audio-collection, read-in-2011, read-in-2015
Read from February 18 to 25, 2015 , read count: 2

This is a delightful collection of short stories. They all share a common setting, Callahan's place, and a common cast of characters. From a plot / construction standpoint, the stories are a little weaker than what would normally trigger a four-star rating. The characters / sense of place and time are a bit better. All-in-all, I really enjoyed the read.

2015: I think it is a little better the second time around. :-) There is a nostalgic feeling returning to The Place.

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Reading Progress

02/18/2015 marked as: currently-reading
02/27/2015 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-6 of 6) (6 new)

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message 1: by Kevin (new)

Kevin Spider's Callahan Chronicles is so much better than Variable Star.

Spider does much better as Spider and not trying to write a pale echo of a Heinlein story filled with puns and sarcasm. (I'm talking about Variable Star if that's not clear)

Jeff Yoak Variable Star is a favorite of mine and is the book that got me interested in Spider Robinson. From there I went to the Stardance trilogy and really enjoyed it as well, if not as much as I did Variable Star.

So we're clearly operating from different evaluations, but I would be thrilled beyond measure if Callahan is better for me than Variable Star was. I plan on reading it quite soon, so you'll see my thoughts here.

message 3: by Kevin (new)

Kevin Interesting. I came from the other direction and I guess it seemed too much like sacrilege to have anyone else write a Heinlein novel.

I'll be interested to see what you think.

Jeff Yoak I share an appreciation of Heinlein that could allow a term like "sacrilege" to apply. :-)

I thought it was a perfect blend. The structure of the story and the characterization unquestionably had the paw of the dean in them, but Robinson avoided making a caricature of a Heinlein novel. He didn't structure it as though it were written in the 50's, even calling attention to it being written in a different era from Heinlein's by having terms like "Googling" remain in the future lexicon. He applies his own sense of humor to the situations and the people, and pulled his own interest in art and music into the mix.

To me it was an effective fusion. Even had I not known the backstory, I couldn't have failed to notice Heinlein's influence. His story is unmistakably there. But I also felt there was no copy-catting. Robinson put his own mark on it as well.

I look forward to the Callahan novels as well. I certainly write something about it after reading it, and welcome any comments or conversation.

message 5: by Denis (new)

Denis Have you listened to Spider's pod casts at "Spider On The Web"?

Really good stuff: music and story.

Spider is a CanAm treasure.

Jeff Yoak Denis, every episode. I wish he were still doing them regularly.

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