Welcome to the Boards OnlySaneOne! You’ll find there are a LOT of Callahan and Robinson fans here and it’s always good to meet another! That said, please don’t take offense when I strongly disagree with you about Callahan’s Key:
I hated Callahan’s Key. I hated the cutsie “in jokes” with what I assume were real fans, I hated the guest appearance of Pixel, I hated the travelogue through Key West, I hated the superbaby, and I hated the damned parrot most of all. I can’t believe the Spider Robinson who’s work I’ve know and loved for 25 years wrote it!
I’m not saying you’re wrong for liking it, just that I hated it a lot. It’s only the years of “credit” that Robinson has built up by writing good books that I didn’t stop reading him in hardcover after Key.
That said, I’ve been a fan of Robinson’s and Callahan’s since one of the early stories appeared in Analog (not “The Guy with the Eyes” it was a later one) and I really, really liked Robinson’s newest one Free Lunch. I even subscribed to Galaxy/Worlds of If (and even worse, the ‘bookzine’ Destiny) soley to get Robinson’s brilliant SF review column “Spider vs the Hax of Sol III” (best damned review column ever! )
My favorite Robinson is probably Time Pressure, but if we’re limiting it to Callahan books it’s gotta be the first one, I think (Callahan’s Crosstime Saloon) or the second, before Robinson’s need to be nice to his characters destroyed Jake in the Deus Ex Machina scene where
it turned out that Jake hadn’t killed his wife and kid. That completely negated the growth that Jake had done and still had yet to do. And what’s funny/sad is that Jake became the irresponsible lunkhead he’d always feared in one of the later Callahan books (he didn’t bother to get/renew the liquor license!!! :rolleyes: Up 'till that point, Jake was one of my favorite characters. I identified with him and admired Robinson’s skill at crafting a character who’d made an unthinkable mistake, but was still trying to repay/repair it and go on. After the revelation, I lost all connection with and interest in him.
Anyway, Only, have you ever read Zenna Henderson? If you like Spider Robinson, you’ll like Henderson as well. She and Robinson are probably two of the most “restore your faith in humanity” authors around.