This bar travels through time and space, and possibly dimensions, as well.

Billy is a banjo player in an Irish music band which performs in Cowboy Feng’s Bar and Grill. Once again, a nuclear bomb has detonated near the bar destroying pretty much everything. Except the bar which has again jumped through space and time to a human colony which is not on Earth. The first jump was from London to the Moon, then to Mars, and again to Venus. Billy and his friends don’t know why or how they are jumping around. They haven’t stayed in one place long enough to find out. However, they might be long enough in New Quebec to do some research. Like who is blowing up all those places?

This is short an amusing read but pretty light. Alas, I also guessed the twist ending beforehand and I usually suck at that. There’s a lot of humor and the characters are pretty cynical as is usual for Brust. However, this time they might be a bit too cynical. It’s pretty hard to understand why they haven’t looked into all of the weird happening before this. After all, they come from mid-1980s and didn’t have Lunar colonies back them.

Each short chapter starts with a couple of lines from different folk songs. The narrative is full of music and food. Half of the characters are the band who tend to practice and perform. There’s a short Intermezzo between almost every chapter. The first one is a dialogue where it becomes clear that someone has built and sent the Bar and Grill, and that someone is trying to blend into the 1980s culture. Other interludes are short character studies from different characters’ pasts. Frankly, I liked those more than the main story.

Then, suddenly the action starts and it’s very violent. The change what pretty weird. On one page, they’re a band and pretty normal characters. And on the next page, they’re cool gunslingers. Except for Billy, he doesn’t even carry a gun. In fact, Billy reminds me strongly of Vlad Taltos: the thinking type and unlucky in love.