Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Spider Robinson

I briefly touched on my love of Spider Robinson in my ancient post about Super Secret Guilty Reading Pleasures. Spider Robinson was just one of those authors - along with David Eddings he arguably shaped why exactly I love reading for fun. I picked up Callahan's Crosstime Salon for 100% the opposite reason most people do - I got a kick out of the cover. I've heard time and time again that people hate the cover of this compilation book. Well, it made me laugh and for better or for worse, I grabbed it.  So here's the long and the short of Spider Robinson's writing: The puns are so bad you can't help laughing out loud, and the characters are so delightfully human (mostly, but you know) that you really really wish Callahan's existed because it's somewhere you really do want to hang out it. The books aren't just about a bar and the people who drink there, they're about what happens to the regulars at a bar.

I don't think I've ever read a science fiction series that has so little to do with science fiction. These are stories I've carried around with me since I was 16, and are ones I'll carry around with me for the rest of my life. Both the Callahan's series, and the Lady Sally's series (hand to God, just go get it. It takes place in a brothel and it has Nikola Tesla as a main character.) and the post-Callahan's series are ones that will just put a smile on your face. One thing you'll hear time and time again from people who read these series is that they'll spend the rest of their lives looking for a place like Callahan's - and really, we should only be so lucky.

So here's the real thing about this book. This book is basically why I'm a librarian. “Librarians are the secret masters of the world. They control information. Don't ever piss one off. ” is a part of the book that's stuck with me since I was 16. I can't help but feel nostalgic whenever I pick up one of his books. They're some of the most human books out there, even if not all the characters are entirely (or at all human).  I'm not going to say this book will change your life like it at the very least impacted mine. But you'll finish it with a smile on your face, and the desire to go build yourself a community. I think we're missing a lot of community right now.

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