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Old 05-27-2019, 03:38 PM
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Looking for short stories set in a bar.


Hello my Straight Dope friends. I enjoy reading short stories of a group of friends sitting around telling each other stories. I've read

Asimov's
Azazel fantasy stories
The Black Widower Mystery stories
The Union Club Mysteries

Clarkes
Tales from the White Hart

Spider Robinson's
Callahan Crosstime Saloon

de Camp and Pratt's
Tales from Gavagan's Bar

Does anyone have other suggestions? I like mystery, science fiction, fantasy and anything in between. Thank you all.
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Old 05-27-2019, 03:52 PM
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The Draco Tavern-Larry Niven
Quote:
When a tremendous spacecraft took orbit around the Earth’s moon and began sending smaller landers down toward the North Pole, the newly arrived visitors quickly set up a permanent spaceport at Mount Forel in Siberia. Their presence attracted many, and a few people grew conspicuously rich from secrets they learned from talking to the aliens. One of these men, Rick Schumann established a tavern catering to all of various species of visiting aliens, a place he named the Draco Tavern.
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Old 05-27-2019, 05:30 PM
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I seem to recall a series of Star Trek novels under the collective title of "The Captain's Table." Each novel (sorry, not short stories) was a story told at a bar by a different starship captain.

Ah, yes. Here it is:
https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki...tain%27s_Table

Last edited by Tim R. Mortiss; 05-27-2019 at 05:31 PM.
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Old 05-27-2019, 05:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Nightfall1 View Post
Spider Robinson's

Callahan Crosstime Saloon

Are you including Time Travelers Strictly Cash and Callahan's Secret in that?
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Old 05-27-2019, 05:51 PM
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And the stories set at Lady Sally's bordello - Lady Slings the Blues and Callahan's Lady.
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Old 05-27-2019, 06:17 PM
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And the stories set at Lady Sally's bordello - Lady Slings the Blues and Callahan's Lady.

Yes, but aren't those novels instead of short story collections? I'm going by Wikipedia for the distinction--I've read them all, but it has been a long time.
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Old 05-27-2019, 07:28 PM
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Cripes, Stephen King has more than I can list.

The Breathing Method
The Man Who Would Not Shake Hands
One For The Road
[Anything from Castle Rock]
Mrs. Todd's Shortcut

many more
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Old 05-27-2019, 08:26 PM
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"Tales From the Spaceport Bar" has some good stories. (The second installment not so much.)

https://interloperminiatures.com/201...who-love-them/

I particularly recommend "Infinite Resources" by Randall Garret.
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Old 05-28-2019, 06:38 AM
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If you can find a copy, there' a tribute volume to Arthur C. Clarke and his Tales From the White Hart conceived of shortly after his death, called Fables From the Fountain.
It's edited by Ian Whates and includes the likes of Charles Stross, Ian Watson & Neil Gaiman.
It consists of 18 tall tales, as if told by a group of authors at their regular meet-ups in an old London pub.

Eric Brown had an episodic alien invasion novel called Kethani. The first 9 (of 12) chapters appeared first as short stories; evey chapter is set in a Yorkshire pub as the various customers relate their experiences over the years.
But maybe not quite what you're loking for.
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Old 05-28-2019, 07:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by running coach View Post
The Draco Tavern-Larry Niven


Niven also has "The Fourth Profession", which pretty much starts out as an "An Alien Walks into a bar..." joke, but then goes different places.
  #11  
Old 05-28-2019, 07:54 AM
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There's a portion of Gaimans SANDMAN comics that do that.
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Old 05-28-2019, 08:01 AM
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Hemingway's A Clean, Well Lighted Place is set in a café where two waiters speculate about the only patron in the place, a lonely old man.
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Old 05-28-2019, 08:10 AM
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I've read most of the ones in the OP, and Niven's Draco Tavern stories.

I haven't read Tales from the Mos Eisley Cantina, but they definitely fit the pattern:

https://www.amazon.com/Tales-Eisley-.../dp/0553564684

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tales_...Eisley_Cantina





I wrote a non-bar bar story* that was published in Analog (October 2013) -- "Putting Down Roots"



*It's set in the back yard of a home brewer, who gets his friends together for a tasting. But it's definitely in the class of "bar stories"
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Last edited by CalMeacham; 05-28-2019 at 08:12 AM.
  #14  
Old 05-28-2019, 09:16 AM
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Robert Heinlein's 'All You Zombies...' (the definitive time travel story, IMO) is set in a bar as the protagonist tells his story.
  #15  
Old 05-28-2019, 09:46 AM
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Thanks everyone for answering my question. Keep the suggestions coming. I'll check into the books I haven't read.
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Old 05-28-2019, 12:50 PM
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The first I remember was Tales of a Wayside Inn, a collection of short stories/poems by Longfellow. It seemed ancient to me as a kid (looked it up, published in 1863).

My dad, on a rainy night during a car trip through Vermont, found an old copy in The Eagle Tavern, and read much of it to us. We found him his own copy, and he kept it by his bed.

Come to think of it, speaking of old books...
Quote:
The Canterbury Tales begin in a tavern just outside London. A tavern was one of the few places where a group of people from such varied social classes and occupations might cross paths, allowing the chance meeting of them all that leads to the creation of these pilgrims' fellowship.
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Old 05-28-2019, 01:38 PM
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Star Trek did a limited series called The Captain's Table where there was a Bar inspired by Callahan's where Captains across Time and Space could go and and drink and swap stories. Each Novel was a story a Trek Captain told at the Bar and was written in the first person from their perspective. I think there may have been framing story across all the novels but might be misremembering.
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Old 05-28-2019, 08:23 PM
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If you like vintage mysteries of the Golden Age (1930s), look at Dorothy L Sayers for several short stories set in bars:
https://www.fadedpage.com/books/20190252/html.php "A Shot at Goal" and "False Weight" in this collection
https://www.fadedpage.com/books/2011...ml.php#Page_77 "Sleuths on the Scent" in this one
  #19  
Old 05-29-2019, 04:54 AM
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You have your Decameron; there's no bar but they are all drinking, partying, and telling each other stories.
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Old 06-05-2019, 09:02 PM
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I forgot the short story collection by Janet Asimov, Pshrinks Anonymous. Not bad.

Last edited by Nightfall1; 06-05-2019 at 09:04 PM.
  #21  
Old 06-07-2019, 08:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madmonk28 View Post
Hemingway's A Clean, Well Lighted Place is set in a café where two waiters speculate about the only patron in the place, a lonely old man.
I came in to say this. It's considered one of the finest short stories ever written.
  #22  
Old 06-07-2019, 09:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nightfall1 View Post
Hello my Straight Dope friends. I enjoy reading short stories of a group of friends sitting around telling each other stories. I've read

Asimov's
Azazel fantasy stories
The Black Widower Mystery stories
The Union Club Mysteries

Clarkes
Tales from the White Hart

Spider Robinson's
Callahan Crosstime Saloon

de Camp and Pratt's
Tales from Gavagan's Bar

Does anyone have other suggestions? I like mystery, science fiction, fantasy and anything in between. Thank you all.
All You Zombies by Robert A. Heinlein
  #23  
Old 06-07-2019, 11:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meurglys View Post
If you can find a copy, there' a tribute volume to Arthur C. Clarke and his Tales From the White Hart conceived of shortly after his death, called Fables From the Fountain.
It's edited by Ian Whates and includes the likes of Charles Stross, Ian Watson & Neil Gaiman.
It consists of 18 tall tales, as if told by a group of authors at their regular meet-ups in an old London pub.
<ears perk> Sounds interesting.
<googles>
<checks Amazon>
<starts swearing>
How does a KINDLE book go out of stock?

ETA: The paperback version is available.

Last edited by Morgyn; 06-07-2019 at 11:01 AM.
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Old 06-07-2019, 02:39 PM
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I seem to be doing nothing but citing P.G. Wodehouse today, but he's apropos here too: his Mr. Mulliner short stories are all inflicted by the eponymous raconteur upon his drinking companions, usually in the Angler's Rest pub.
  #25  
Old 06-07-2019, 07:54 PM
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Originally Posted by burpo the wonder mutt View Post
Cripes, Stephen King has more than I can list.

The Breathing Method
The Man Who Would Not Shake Hands....
Those are both set in an elegant but oddly menacing gentleman's club and not a bar, aren't they?
  #26  
Old 06-07-2019, 08:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elendil's Heir View Post
Those are both set in an elegant but oddly menacing gentleman's club and not a bar, aren't they?
As is often the case, the thread title and the text of the OP are not asking for exactly the same thing; and some people are responding to one, some to the other.
  #27  
Old 06-07-2019, 08:32 PM
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Thank you, T. Boink. A bunch of the other King stories (in particular, the Castle Rock stories) are told in a general store, on a porch, or some similar venue, so, yeah, I was playing fast and loose with "bar." But usually, alcohol is involved.

Last edited by burpo the wonder mutt; 06-07-2019 at 08:33 PM.
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Old 06-07-2019, 09:41 PM
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I came in to say this. It's considered one of the finest short stories ever written.
You both beat me to it. Read it when I was about 16. Now I am the old waiter. But I do have confidence now.

Last edited by Mike Mabes; 06-07-2019 at 09:41 PM.
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Old 06-08-2019, 10:01 AM
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If stories told in a gentlemen's club by "an old man trying to cadge a drink" as the author puts it count, then the Jorkens stories by Lord Dunsany fit this category. They've been collected recently under the title The Collected Jorkens, in three volumes.

I haven't read any of them yet, but I plan to. I'm reading The King of Elfland's Daughter, and Lord Dunsany can really write.

Last edited by Dendarii Dame; 06-08-2019 at 10:01 AM.
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Old 06-08-2019, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Dendarii Dame View Post
If stories told in a gentlemen's club by "an old man trying to cadge a drink" as the author puts it count, then the Jorkens stories by Lord Dunsany fit this category. They've been collected recently under the title The Collected Jorkens, in three volumes.
Afanasyev's collected tales (modelled after Grimm's) can be regarded like that. He even left in some lines where the narrator complains his throat is a bit dry...
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Old 06-08-2019, 01:47 PM
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Hi everyone. Even though I said stories taking place in a bar I was thinking anyplace where friends gather to tell tall tales. Thanks.
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Old 06-08-2019, 05:31 PM
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This is a stretch:

In Richard Adams's, "Watership Down," the rabbits tell each other tall tales; I think there are at least three "short stories" scattered throughout the novel (One of the stories is the opening narration of the 1978 animated movie.) Telling successful stories is a badge of honor amongst the lagomorphs.
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Old 06-08-2019, 06:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nightfall1 View Post
Hi everyone. Even though I said stories taking place in a bar I was thinking anyplace where friends gather to tell tall tales. Thanks.
The first Miss Marple stories were like this.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Th...t_introduction
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Old 06-08-2019, 08:22 PM
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Hi everyone. Even though I said stories taking place in a bar I was thinking anyplace where friends gather to tell tall tales. Thanks.
Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. Some of the pilgrims are friends travelling together; others have met by chance, and they all gather to tell tales, tall or not, in the inns on their way from London to Canterbury.
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