Review: The Outpost by Michael Resnick

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  • File Size: 1586 KB
  • Print Length: 377 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: WordFire Press

There is an old joke about the difference between a Fairy Tale and an old soldier’s story that goes something like this: A Fairy Tale begins with “Once Upon a time…” and an old soldier’s story start’s with “No sh*t, there I was…” Mike Resnick took this to the next level with his novel of The Outpost, a bar at the end of the universe where all the old heroes go to drink without crowds of gawking hero-worshiping people around.

The bar, highly reminiscent of Callahan’s Saloon, is peopled by such figures as Reggie the robot bartender, Catastrophe Baker, a living legend, Hurricane Smith, a hero with a weakness for female aliens, Three Gun Max, a mutant gunfighter with three arms, and a variety of other larger than life participants, all under the care of Thomas Aloysius Hawke (known as Tomahawk), the bar’s owner and peacekeeper.

The novel is actually more of a series of short stories, a kind of massive one-upmanship between the drinkers at the bar, who wind up in the middle of an interplanetary war as they try to save humanity from marauding aliens. The stories are all told in past tense to the bar’s local historian and resident barfly, Willie the Bard, who writes down the stories with appropriate embellishments for the book he is writing about the universe’s greatest heroes, as a tribute to keep their memories alive.

Divided into three sections, Legend, Fact and History, the heroes tell what they were doing to bring them to The Outpost, how they became so well-known and/or feared, and what they did during the war (always good for a chuckle).

The book is a re-release of a 2001 novel and for fans of Resnick will bring back memories of forgotten stories. For new fans, it’s a good way to meet a great writer and fantastic storyteller (who may or may not have been seated in The Outpost with these folks during the proceedings, scribbling furiously).

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