The Outpost by Mike Resnick
Hardcover - 384 pages (May 2001)
Tor Books; ISBN: 0312854854
Review by Ernest Lilley 2001 Ernest Lilley / SFRevu  
Check out this book at: Amazon US / Amazon UK

The grizzled reviewer sidled up to the bar and put down a bag of books that no normal man could have lifted against the one gee field I keep on to make expatriate Earthers feel at home.

"Sarsaparilla," He said, in a voice as dry as the face of Mercury closest to the sun. "in a dirty glass."

"Welcome to the SFR Bar." I said as I slid the newcomer a frothy mug of the brown poison, well, poisonous for half the nonhumans traipsing through the system these days.

The stranger took the brew, and tossed me a coin, which told me he'd been around as much as anything else about him, 'cause I caught it. Most people can't get the hang of throwing in artificial gravity, because the field strength drops off log-a-rythm-cally as you get further away from it. Our old reptile brainstems can't get used to it though, and I make a fair profit digging solars out of the tiles

"Now that I know what your drinking, do you mind telling me what you're reading?"

"This here is the tallest collection of tall tales ever told in a bar in a science fiction story." He avowed, wiping his mouth with the back of his spacesuit sleeve and setting down the mug on the bar...which has it's own field, by the  way.

"Taller than Tales from the White Hart (Arthur C. Clarke, 1957)?" I asked.

"Hardly even worth comparing. Clarke crippled himself with all that technical accuracy."

"Well, you can't expect me to believe they're taller that some of the yarns that come out of Callahan's Bar?"

"Son," He took a long draught on his soda. "I don't expect anything...but you might try reading it for yourself."

So I did. If you want a rough and tumble collection of tales from the frontier, look no further. Mike Resnick assembles as outlandish a colleciton of space frontiersmen (and women) as you'll ever find and sets them to playing "can you top this" in an out of the way corner of the galaxy.