Callahan's Con by Spider Robinson

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Synopsis

The discreet little bar that Jake Stonebender established a few blocks below Duval Street was named simply The Place. There, Fast Eddie Costigan learned to curse back at parrots as he played the house piano; the Reverend Tom Hauptman learned to tend bar bare-chested (without blushing), Long-Drink McGonnigle discovered the margarita and several señoritas, and all the other regulars settled into comfortable subtropical niches of their own. Nobody even noticed them save the universe.

Over time, the twice-transplanted patrons of Callahan’s Place attracted a collection of local zanies so quintessentially Key West pixilated that they made the New York originals seem, well, almost normal. The elfin little Key deer, for instance—with a stevedore’s mouth; or the merman with eczema; or Robert Heinlein’s teleporting cat.

For ten slow, merry years, life was good. The sun shone, the coffee dripped, the breeze blew just strongly enough to dissipate the smell of the puns, and little supergenius Erin grew to the verge of adolescence. Then disaster struck.

Through the gate one sunny day came a malevolent, moronic, mastodon of a Mafioso named Tony Donuts Jr., or Little Nuts (don’t ask). He’d decided to resurrect the classic protection racket in Key West—and guess which tavern he picked to hit first? Then, thanks to very poor accessorizing (she chose the wrong belt—and no, we’re not going to explain that one), Jake’s wife, Zoey, suddenly found herself in a place with no light, no heat, and no air. And no way home. The urgent question was where—precisely where—but that turned out to be a problem so complex that even the entire gang, equipped with teleportation, time travel, and telepathic syntony (you can look it up) might not be able to crack it in time.

And while all this was going on, Death himself walked into The Place. But this time he would not leave alone. . . .
 

About Spider Robinson

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Spider Robinson, winner of three Hugos and a Nebula, was born in the Bronx and raised on Long Island, and has been a Canadian resident for 30 years. Holder of a bachelor's degree in English from the State University of New York, he worked as a folksinger and journalist before publishing his first story in Analog in 1973. He now lives with his wife Jeanne Robinson (co-author of the Hugo- and Nebula-winning Stardance trilogy) on an island outside Vancouver, B.C., where they raise and exhibit hopes. Eleven of his 31 books are set in Callahan's Place, a fabulous tavern founded by a time traveler, where puns flow as freely as beer, and smell far worse. The most recent is Callahan's Con [Tor July 2003]. He has contributed a regular editorial column, "Future Tense," to Canada's national newspaper, The Globe & Mail, since 1995. In 2000, he released Belaboring the Obvious, a CD of original music with the legendary Amos Garrett ("Midnight at the Oasis") on lead guitar, and in 2001 he was a celebrity judge at the Cannabis Cup in Amsterdam.
 
Published June 22, 2011 by Spectrum Literary Agency, Inc.. 288 pages
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Action & Adventure, Literature & Fiction, Humor & Entertainment. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Callahan's Con

Publishers Weekly

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Blend a madcap plot involving the legendary Fountain of Youth with a zany cast of barflies, garnish with a thin SF twist, and you've got the ingredients for the latest frothy concoction in Hugo

Jun 16 2003 | Read Full Review of Callahan's Con

Publishers Weekly

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Lovable narrator and bartender Jake Stonebender, who took over from lovable narrator and bartender Mike Callahan after Mike decided to go time-traveling, gradually introduces the large cast of oddball drunks and barflies who inhabit the Long Island tavern known as Mary's Place (which itself repla...

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Publishers Weekly

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Robinson, apparently unable to fill a book with the wit and wisdom of Callahan's Place (although the introduction cagily implies that there will be a second volume), includes quotes from varous other sources, including Heinlein, Theodore Sturgeon, Chip Delany, Tom Waits and The Rockford Files .

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Publishers Weekly

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The universe is again threatened with destruction, but fans of Jake Stonebender and his team will fear not, for they know that these heroes will not only save the day but will make it safely to happy hour.

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SF Site

In 1973, Spider Robinson moved to Nova Scotia, where he met and married Jeanne Robinson, a choreographer/dancer, and founder of Halifax's modern dance company, Nova Dance Theatre.

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