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Callahan Books In Order

Publication Order of Callahan Books

Callahn's Crosstime Saloon (1978) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Time Travelers Strictly Cash (1979) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Callahan's Secret (1986) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Callahan's Lady (1989) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Lady Slings the Booze (1992) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Callahan Touch (1993) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Off the Wall at Callahan's (1994) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Callahan's Legacy (1995) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Callahan's Crazy Crosstime Bar (1998) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Callahan's Key (2000) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Callahan's Con (2003) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

The name ‘Callahan’ refers to a series of novels written by Spider Robinson which follow the exploits of the employees and guests of Callahan’s place, an eccentric tavern that offers sanctuary to the weary.

+The Story
The Callahan series is a collection of books each of which is also a collection of stories, essays, and speeches. People who are unsure as to whether or not the Callahan series is their cup of tea are often encouraged to read Callahan’s Crosstime Saloon, the first novel in the series which paints a vivid picture of what the rest of the novels in the series have to offer.

Callahan’s Crosstime Saloon introduces readers to Callahan’s Place, the primary setting of every story within the Callahan universe. Callahan’s place is a fictional bar owned by Mike Callahan.

But Callahan’s Place is so much more than just another drinking well. For one thing, the bar is only accessible to people who need it. And it does not discriminate. That means any random stranger walking down some random street in some random town could just as easily stumble into Callahan’s place if they are so heavy-laden with despair that they need a place to lay their head.

But that is also true for aliens traversing the vast reaches of space, or even time travelers escaping through rips in the fabric of the universe. Callahan’s place is open to any person or any creature, so long as they are plagued by seemingly insurmountable problems.

Those that walk through the doors of Callahan’s place are afforded a listening ear. The guests at the bar and even the employees are special. They will listen to any story you have to tell without offering judgment. They will not push or probe.

Rather, they will give you the space to find the freedom and the comfort to willingly share your sorrows. The clientele of Callahan’s place believes that sorrow is lessened when it is shared.

And when one has finished unburdening their soul with their tale of woe, they can expect to find help and assistance which can take all sorts of shapes and sizes.

The Callahan series has a pattern to it. Each story begins with a stranger coming to the bar. There they meet a crowd of sympathetic people who take turns listening to their problems and then offering help where possible. And then the story ends.

The Callahan series follows this rhythm so strictly that the individual stories become predictable after a while. Though, the author’s fans will defend the series by saying that Spider Robinson always finds a way to breathe new life into Callahan’s place by playing with different species and tackling difficult philosophical matters.

It wouldn’t be wrong to categorize the Callahan books as science fiction and fantasy, not when some of the guests at Callahan’s place include a talking dog, a bunch of aliens and ethical vampires.

You even have a few mystical creatures from Irish legends. Some of the most consistent characters in this series, those individuals who make regular appearances in Spider Robinson’s stories include Mike Callahan himself.

Mike owns the bar and you can always find him hanging around, either drinking or talking to the visitors. Mike is a nice guy and he is always ready to offer a friendly word to anyone that needs him. But he can also present a firm front to those who break his rules.

You also have Jake Stonebender who is technically the protagonist of the series. Introduced in the first Callahan novel, Jake tried to kill himself after losing his wife and child in an accident.

And even though he was absolved of fault, Jake couldn’t overcome the guilt, so he took the suicide route. Fortunately, his doctor got to him in time and revived him. Jake acts as the narrator of the stories that play out within Callahan’s place. He is never far from his guitar with which he is quite the master.

Jake has been known to jam with Fast Eddie Costigan who plays the bar’s piano.

Doc Webster, Jake’s physician and the man who not only saved his life but also sent him to Callahan’s place, is one of the oldest regulars of the bar. The author describes him as a man who loves his puns.

Tom Hauptman is the bartender at Callahan’s place. Along with Noah Gonzalez, Tommy Janssen, and Marty Matthias, the characters who inhabit the bar are as eclectic as one can get, and they are responsible for keeping Spider Robinson’s stories dynamic and engaging, preventing the series from losing steam and falling into a predictable rut.

Most readers tend to respond positively to the author’s Callahan stories. But they are not quite as engaged by the speeches and the essays.

+The Author
Spider Robinson is a Canadian author who was born in the United States. A former student of the State University of New York at Stony Brook, Spider was working as a guard whose job it was to secure sewers in New York when he wrote his first science fiction story.

The story was supposed to rescue him from his dead-end job and it succeeded in that endeavor.

Spider married Jeane Robinson. They had one daughter who also gave them a grandchild. Jeane and their daughter both died of cancer. Spider also struggled with health issues which eventually prevented him from pursuing his writing career.

+Callahan’s Crosstime Saloon
When Jake comes to Callahan’s Place, he has all but given up on life. But he quickly finds that Callahan’s place might be the one sanctuary within which he can find peace. The people there are kind.

The moment he arrives, they quickly pull up a chair for him, offer him a glass of his favorite beverage and then watch raptly as he tells his story. But Jake isn’t the only visitor that has come looking for sanctuary at the bar.

The guitarist must share his new home with aliens, time travelers, telepaths and the like.

+Time Travellers Strictly Cash
Callahan’s Place is back, a bar that offers a listening ear, a cold beer and a safe space to people of all races, creeds, and dimensions.

This book brings even more tales from Callahan’s place to curious readers, this including the story of a talking German Shepherd that loves gin.

Book Series In Order » Characters » Callahan