I am currently reading my way through a long list of science fiction and fantasy titles. (http://www.npr.org/2011/08/07/138938145/science-fiction-and-fantasy-finalists if you are interested in the list).
I am rapidly coming to the conclusion that my sensibilities just do not mesh with those of author Spider Robinson. I think he is strong on writing skills, but his sense of humour and mine miss by a mile. He punning skills are high (and there is lots of it in his Callahan’s stories), but I find them more of a mental puzzle to figure out, rather than amusing. But that’s just me.
This little volume of stories has only 4 actual Callahan’s tales in it. The rest is filler—and much of it is now dated. One section became Chapter 2 of his novel Mindkiller (which I read earlier this year and was very “meh” about). There were a couple of speeches which were passably interesting, but a bit dated (hard to avoid that with thirty year old opinion pieces).
For those of you who are die-hard Callahan fans, don’t miss these stories. They were the best part of the collection. Those of you seeking time-travel tales may be somewhat disappointed—there is only one tale involving a time traveler who shows up at Callahan’s.
Robinson is a very good writer and I wish I could appreciate him more.
Book number 180 of my SF&F reading project.