Talk:Spider Robinson

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Given that the Callahan's stories have now been collected and re-collected so many times, maybe what we need is actually a list of the stories cross-referenced with what books they've appeared in. --Phil | Talk 08:37, Jun 15, 2004 (UTC)

Actual Copy Reminder[edit]

Let's all please remember *not* to post links to online copies of Robinson's stories (just as with all authors) -- with the exception of authorized postings like those at the Baen Free Library.

  • Someone just posted a link to an online copy of "God is an Iron". The copy has no indication that it is psoted with permission, and does not even carry a copyright notice. Wikipedia's policy is not to link to probably copyright violations. i am removing the link. DES 28 June 2005 16:14 (UTC)
  • an anecdotal addition to the above. I wrote to Spider regarding this online copy. He was "not happy to see it online.". However, the site owner did not remove it after a polite hint. Some people...

JS 06 December 2005 14:10 (UTC)


Can we get his real name? DS 16:38, 23 March 2006 (UTC)

Apparently not. At least I've never been able to find a reliable statement as to what it is - except that I keep running across assurances that it is his real name. This may be the case: it may be his real and legal name, although possibly not his original real and legal name :) - Vedexent 17:17, 23 March 2006 (UTC)
The Wikiquote entry on the subject states that Spider has no idea how the rumour started. He has all but given up on the idea that he may ever be successful in removing this allegation from internet circulation. --Dorthonion 21:22, 30 April 2006 (UTC)
It is, of course, partly his own fault. He put in writing that "his own mother" called him by the wrong name for years. As a young and unsophisticated reader, I construed this to mean that he was *called* this "wrong" name for years by the person who had the legal power to name him - by his parents. When he had the power to get it changed, I believed, he did so. If the facts are that his mother simply got his name wrong, as his words *said* (but not as a somewhat-reasonable reader inferred from those words) all I can say is, if he wanted to set the record completely straight, instead of straight-with-a-hole, he could. Birth certificate? Or was he one of those hospitals-burned-down kinds of deal? On another note, it's rather intrusive for fans, even fans working on his biography, to consider obtaining someone's personal identification, with or without implicit consent of the subject. Let's note the controversy or curiosity and move on. 10:19, 12 July 2006 (UTC)
This whole thing pisses me off. I don't care what people choose to be called, but we're trying to accurately record peoples' lives here, and can't have a bunch of half-guesses and assumed identities. There's no indication "spider" is his birth name, and if it isn't, there have to be legal records indicating what it actually is. Any Wiki detectives out there? Alvis 09:02, 23 September 2007 (UTC)
His legal name at this moment IS Spider Robinson. If he wanted us to know his birth name, I am pretty sure he'd let us know... (talk) 23:47, 24 January 2008 (UTC)
We all know what he chooses to be called now, but for a biographical article, especially for a living person, there is NO reason that his birth name shouldn't be included. Whatever his wishes are has nothing to do with what wikipedia should have in an article on him. Alvis (talk) 08:25, 12 August 2008 (UTC)

Stephmtl (talk) 22:46, 9 October 2009 (UTC) Once again, Paul is not his birth name, and is in fact an error. If need be I can cite his request to me directly to have this changed. Unless someone can dig up a birth certificate with it as a hard citation, it should be treated as an internet rumor. Without a hard document any other 'real name' guesses are simply speculation.


There is a category:old-school Mac users; if Spider's actual use of a Mac, as opposed to praising it, can be documented, he should be added. Septentrionalis 22:24, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

He replaced his "old" Mac with a Powerbook recently, so you could say he IS a Mac user. I just cannot locate the category mentioned above. Also, the information stems from personal communication, which might not be good enough to be verifyable. 22:28, 23 October 2006 (UTC)

The first edition of Callahan's Lady (1989) contains a diagram that was "created by Spider Robinson with a 512K Macintosh and an Imagewriter I." There are numerous references to Macintosh usage within his stories. -- Macduff 21:06, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

Publisher of First Stories?[edit]

I'm sure that it wasn't Galaxy, but rather Analog (under the editorship of Ben Bova, who wrote the foreward to Callahan's Crosstime Saloon. See the Index to Science Fiction Anthologies and Collections; "The Guy with the Eyes" is listed as appearing in the February 1973 Analog.

"Paul Robinson"[edit]

Why is this name even mentioned, if there is no source given for it and Spider states that it's not true? Or is this a joke of some sort? I seem to remember reading a quote somewhere as to why Spider chose the name "Spider," but I don't remember the reason given, where I read it, or whether or not his earlier name was even given. -- Macduff 20:58, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

It isn't about whether it is true or not - it is included because it is one of those rumors that keeps echoing around about Spider - see here. If you don't put it in, and explain that it is wrong, then someone who has heard the rumor, and doesn't know it is wrong, will stumble into this article and "correct" the "oversight". -- Vedexent (talk) - 21:13, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
Then perhaps it should be moved out of the lead-in, to a section explaining that this is a popular rumor but that Spider refutes it. As someone who was not already aware of the rumor, I found it confusing that false information, which the subject refutes, was presented without any citations. -- Macduff
Just want to disagree (politely, I hope) with Macduff. I have been an obsessive fan and collector of Spider's stuff for years, and could probably recite the culpable language in Spider's own writing off the top of my head. And when I come across an encyclopedia entry that doesn't deal with his first name, I assume it's missing something - because I don't know about the denial. When the misinformation is as broadly spread and deeply entrenched as it is here, one of the important services the article can offer is to prominently correct it. Like Horace Greeley ever having said "Go West, young man." Etc.Eh Nonymous 21:31, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

Bibliography:novels vs. short stories[edit]

I just got through the first chapter of Lady Slings the Booze before realizing just that: that it was a chapter, not a short story. Could someone please denote the short story anthologies in the list as such? I was suprised to see a novel in the series. Thanks, samwaltz 23:58, 3 June 2007 (UTC)

Very Bad Deaths Series?[edit]

I suppose that "Very Bad Deaths" and "Very Hard Choices" should not be listed as standalone novels, since they are part of a series (of two, so far). Anyone know what a good name for this series might be? --Watchsmart (talk) 06:36, 11 July 2008 (UTC)

What, you don't think The Very Bad Novels is an appropriate series title? (talk) 04:23, 29 June 2009 (UTC)

Out of print[edit]

A quick shufty on Amazon suggests that the majority of his books are currently out of print, including titles that were published in the last few years. Why is this? Independent publishers, legal troubles, the nature of the market, or some other reason? -Ashley Pomeroy (talk) 13:20, 10 January 2010 (UTC)


Canadians who move to the U.S. and then successfully apply for U.S. citizenship deserve all they get. Apart from that, they are known as Canadian-Americans. Logically then, shouldn't someone born in the U.S. and then moves to Canada where he successfully applies for Canadian citizenship get every praise to which they are entitled? Oh, and apart from that, should they not be known as American-Canadians? Just a thought. Vincent (talk) 23:48, 18 June 2013 (UTC)

I think you may be confusing self-description of national/ethnic origin and nationality. But regarding the former, do you have sources for what SR describes his national/ethnic origin as? The Crab Who Played With The Sea (talk) 08:08, 19 June 2013 (UTC)
Well, the above was tongue-in-cheek. However how a person chooses to identify themselves should not influence how others prefer to identify them. In any case, I actually prefer "American born Canadian" because Canada doesn't really like to think of its citizens as hyphenated. Vincent (talk) 04:04, 20 June 2013 (UTC)
@Vfp15:("Vincent") No, an American born Canadian is an American who was born as a Canadian. What you want would be American-born Canadian. Whether anyone likes hyphens or not, that's the way it works in written English.--Thnidu (talk) 04:11, 6 December 2016 (UTC)

Table of works issue[edit]

I am not wiki adept, so some help here :-)

The table of Spider's works says it can be sorted by the data fields, but on my iPad I do not find the columns to be sortable. I know it is possible as I have seen entries where it is functional. Is there a simple way to implement the sort functionality? If it is not actually sortable then the blurb that describes it as sortable should be removed, no?

Thanks — Preceding unsigned comment added by William.quay (talkcontribs) 19:03, 7 August 2015 (UTC)

William.quay, I find it easily sortable. It may be that this does not work properly on the mobile version of Wikipedia. If you still can't get it to work, I suggest posting at WP:VPT where people skilled in such issues often hang out. DES (talk) 19:13, 7 August 2015 (UTC)