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After Hours: Tales from Ur-Bar Mass Market Paperback – March 1, 2011

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: DAW; paperback / softback edition (March 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0756406595
  • ISBN-13: 978-0756406592
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.9 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,845,062 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jean Marie Ward on April 19, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Check out any pantheon, the gods of land, sea and sky always make a place for a god of beer or wine. Writers, too, if only because the bar is where you'll find other writers, and they've got the best stories.
The fifteen tales in AFTER HOURS span all of recorded history and mythology. The spirits on tap--and holding down the bar--can be forces of nature (Benjamin Tate's "An Ale Wife in Kish")or the soul of kindness (Maria V. Snyder's "Sake and Other Spirits"). Sometimes they offer lessons that play out over the decades to follow (Laura Anne Gilman's "Paris 24" and Juliet E. McKenna's "Grand Tour"), and sometimes all they can offer is a hard choice (Barbara Ashford's "The Tale That Wagged the Dog" and Ian Tregillis's "Steady Hands and a Heart of Oak").
The characters range from rowdy Vikings (S.C. Butler's "Why the Vikings Had No Bars") to obscure Holy Roman Emperors (Jennifer Dunne's "The Emperor's New God") to ghosts, time-travelers and zombies (Jackie Kessler's "Where We Are Is Hell", Avery Shade's "Forbidden" and Anton Stroud's "Izdu Bar", respectively). There are "behind the curtain" peeks at the Affair of the Poisoners (Kari Sperring's "The Fortune-Teller Makes Her Will"), and what the Harkers, as in the family of Jonathan Harker, were really up to in Transylvania (Patricia Bray's "Last Call").
Plus, an anthology like this allows the reader to experience some of their favorite writers in times and places not their own, such as Seanan McGuire's "The Alchemy of Alcohol" and "The Tavern Fire" by D.B. Jackson (aka David Coe).
I enjoyed them all and heartily recommend them to anyone who loves fantasy and history--and isn't that everybody here?
Slainte!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By H. Grove (errantdreams) TOP 500 REVIEWER on April 15, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
After Hours: Tales from the Ur-Bar is an anthology edited by Patricia Bray and Joshua Palmatier. It includes fifteen stories set in and around the bar, touched by its magic and its unusual proprietor. It's a fertile concept, reminiscent of the "shop of mysteries" conceit in which tales revolve around a store filled with curios and mysterious (often dangerous) items of interest.

The first couple of stories were interesting, light fare. There were some inconsistent details between tales that I found a little jarring: for instance, in one tale Gilgamesh is bored and unimpressed by gods, while in the next he seems deferential. In one story the bar is filled with living and dead legends, while in most of the others the primary clientele is made up of ordinary working people.

Several tales provide an interesting peek into an alternate version of historical events, while others delve straight into the wild and weird. Some of the story plots are well-used tropes, while others show some very nice originality.

Ultimately After Hours is a solid read, although not outstanding. Several of the stories were moving and original, and most fit the premise quite well.

[NOTE: review book provided by publisher]
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Sharon Stogner VINE VOICE on March 29, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Pull up a stool, grab your favorite poison and listen...

This was an "out of the box" read for me (I won it from Avery Shade). I was attracted by the premise of the anthology. A bar run by Gilgamesh that continues to exist through out time. Each author starts with this premise and writes a tale in their own reality and time.

I loved every single one of these stories (there are 15)! All the authors were unknown to me before this book. Each one thrilled me with tales of adventure, sacrifice and humor. Each author was able to let me slip seamlessly into their reality. I felt as if I was in "that" bar listening to stories being told the way they are suppose to, under dim lighting with a drink in my hand and huddled in a corner <G>. No matter what genre you enjoy, this anthology will keep you entertained!

Just be careful if Gil offers you his special brew, and be careful what you wish for ;)
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
In After Hours: Tales from the Ur-Bar, editors Joshua Palmatier and Patricia Bray have taken the clichéd tavern meetup of fantasy stories and role playing games and turned it on its head in an entertaining anthology that revolves around a time-traveling bar. Benjamin Tate establishes the origins of this Ur-Bar in the first story of the collection, "An Alewife In Kish". In ancient Sumeria, perhaps in the city of Ur, Kubaba has been cursed to live an immortal life spent tending her drinking establishment. While the origins of her curse and the nature of the magic are never really elaborated, that is not the point. When her bar is visited by Gilgamesh, she strikes a deal that allows them both to achieve their ultimate desires.

With Gilgamesh, known as Gil to many of his patrons, at its head, the Ur-Bar evolves a second meaning as the earliest or original Bar. Popping into different time periods, the bar brings Gil in contact with many people and cultures in its travels. There are a few common elements to each story - mainly that Gil runs the bar and makes at least a peripheral appearance in every tale. I found that he was a remarkably consistent character for being written by such a diversity of authors. Other recurring elements include a stone tablet that contains the gods' original beer recipe. Gil himself has a mystical quality, which comes into play in some of the stories. Whether he can mix that most exemplary (and maybe magical) drink, or if it's just to talk, Gil helps his guests with their problems.

The stories follow "An Alewife In Kish" in chronological order, from the Vikings to ancient Rome, on to Europe and America in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and even into one possible future.
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