Spider Robinson, Author . Tor $23.95 (288p) ISBN 978-0-7653-0270-0

Blend a madcap plot involving the legendary Fountain of Youth with a zany cast of barflies, garnish with a thin SF twist, and you've got the ingredients for the latest frothy concoction in Hugo-winner Robinson's (Callahan's Key) multivolume tall tale. Laid-back barkeep Jake Stonebender has been serving customers in The Place, a Key West saloon whose oddball patrons routinely tickle the space-time continuum and occasionally save the universe, for 10 years when he's touched for protection money by Little Tony Donuts, a humvee-sized mafioso who hopes to ingratiate himself with the Five Old Men who own everything in the world. Jake's scientifically precocious daughter, Erin, comes to the rescue with a scheme to sell Tony the fabled Fountain and "prove" its existence with increasingly youthful incarnations of herself conjured through time travel. Mishaps involving Erin's uptight truant officer, misuse of a timehopping gizmo, and—in the tale's soberest moment—terminal illness for one of the regulars, steer the story down fantastically unpredictable avenues. There's more mixer than hard stuff in this fruity farce, but the fare that keeps Robinson's fans coming back for another round—atrocious puns and song parodies, snickering SF in-jokes and the outrageous eccentricities of the series characters—is available in abundance. New and repeat visitors to Callahan's turf will find this a harmless diversion from more serious concerns. Agent, Eleanor Wood. (Aug. 8)

Reviewed on: 06/16/2003
Release date: 08/01/2003
Genre: Fiction
Mass Market Paperbound - 288 pages - 978-0-7653-4165-5
Book - 1 pages - 978-0-7861-3090-0
Compact Disc - 978-0-7861-8442-2
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-4551-0486-4
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-7861-2813-6
Compact Disc - 978-0-7861-8347-0
MP3 CD - 978-0-7861-8453-8
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