Ben Bova wrote the introduction to this book. It was published in 1977 and he bought Spider Robinson's first story for Analog in 1972. The title of the introduction is "Spider Robinson: The SF Writer as Empath." This is how he describes the author:
It just might be that Spider Robinson represents the newest and strongest trend in science fiction today. He's a humanist, by damn. An empath. He's sensitive to human emotions: pain, fear, joy, love. He can get them down on paper as few writers can.
The narrator is Jake. The owner and bartender is Mike Callahan. There are other regulars: Doc Webster, Tom Flannery. Strangers wander in and out and the stories are mostly about them. I can't really describe the stories and they might not be to everyone's taste, but you have to experience them firsthand to know.
The first story, "The Guy with the Eyes," introduces the saloon, some of the regular characters, including some of Jake's backstory, and there is an encounter with a very strange alien.
The second story, "The Time Traveler," is not science fiction or fantasy. It is a fairly long story, and shows some reactions to the Vietnam war at the time. The stories may seem dated to some, but that is one of the things I enjoyed most. I like to get a look at historical events from the times they occurred. Of course, I was around at the time, so maybe that is why it was interesting to me.
One night a week at Callahan's Saloon is Punday, and there is a punning competition. That appealed to me because my father loved puns. These stories often contain a lot of puns.
See this review at The Little Red Reviewer.
Spider Robinson was born in New York City but has resided in Canada for many years, and is now a citizen of Canada.
Publisher: Ace Books, 1977
Length: 170 pages
Series: Callahan series, #1
Setting: Suffolk County, Long Island
Genre: Science Fiction short stories
Source: My son gave me this copy.