Callahan's Key by Spider Robinson

By Spider Robinson

Not anyone blends strong technology with undesirable puns as brilliantly as Spider Robinson, as his legion of dedicated enthusiasts will attest. Now from the writer of the Callahan sequence comes an incredible story of imminent doom, a highway journey, area, medicinal drugs, and rock 'n' roll.Callahan's KeyThe universe is in determined peril. the us' personal safety method, orbiting above an unknowing population, is extra weak than its creators may have predicted. Now, bombarded through a freakish cluster of normal phenomena, the final word safety has develop into an ideal doomsday computing device. Its aim: not only the united states, not only Earth, however the complete universe. And just one guy can cease the devastation this unholy weapon will wreak.Unfortunately, he is not available.So the activity falls as an alternative to bar proprietor Jake Stonebender. And his spouse, Zoey, and superintelligent baby, Erin. let alone dozen busloads of ex-hippies and freaks, Robert Heinlein's wandering cat, a whorehouse parrot, and misunderstood genius-inventor Nikola Tesla, who's in reality alive and well.It'll take a flow to Key West, an scan in mass telepathy, and 1000's of gallons of Irish espresso to avoid wasting everything-as-we-know-it from annihilation. yet it is not anything Jake Stonebender hasn't performed before....Callahan's key's the tale of a gaggle of humans-more or less-who band jointly in a cosmic adventure-more or less-to make the universe secure for...well, most likely extra of a similar.

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Special thanks must go to the superb Key West writer Laurence Shames, whose contribution to this story (like those of Rees, Guth, and Coleman, above) was crucial, although quite unwitting. callahans Usenet newsgroup, for keeping me grounded. All their efforts-and any efforts of my own-would have come to naught without the massive ongoing love and support of my cherished wife Jeanne… or the acumen of my agent Eleanor Wood . . or the sagacity and kindness of my editor Patrick LoBrutto, who found several structural defects and showed me how to fix them.

The Duck gave me his most insolent grin. He held up his hairy right hand, its hairy fingers clenched in the makings of a fist. A shiny quarter rested atop them. “Call it,” he told me, looking me in the eye, and snapped the coin straight up in the air with his thumb without looking at it. As if I needed the demonstration. “On its edge,” I said automatically, kept looking at his mocking grin, and waited for the sound of the coin hitting the floor. After a while I got tired of waiting and looked up.

Intellectually, I am perfectly aware that you are of high normal adult intelligence. After all, I was present on the night of your birth: I myself helped you interface with Solace, with the Internet, so that we could defeat the Lizard’s dark side and save humanity. I know Solace accelerated the maturation of your cortex, and I’m aware that you’ve been raised with the help of an Al kernel she left behind when she died. But I confess that emotionally, I have continued to think of you as merely a very precocious infant-perhaps because your strength and coordination lag somewhat behind your intellect.

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