Germ Books in Philly is Post-Apocalyptic Pleasure

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Last week, we profiled a beloved local scifi bookstore in San Francisco, Borderlands. This week, Dave writes in to rave about Germ Books, a Philadelphia bookstore and art gallery specializing in cyberpunk, post-apocalyptic fiction, and conspiracy theories. Here you can see Wred and Crazy Carl, two members of the Underground Literary Alliance, posing in front of Germ before a reading. And Germ doesn't just sell tales about alien conspiracies — those stories ran in bookstore founder Jennifer Bates' blood. Her dad was a secret agent, you see.

In an interview a couple of years ago, Bates told Philly's City Paper, "After he died, I discovered he had various aliases, and that the name I knew him by wasn't [his real name]."

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Sadly, Bates died last year, but she left a wonderful legacy to the Philly area. Her bookstore — you can see the interior above — is home to great art events, excellent readings, and a life-sized poster of Robby the Robot. If you doubt Germ's sense of spooky, smart fun, just read this description of the bookstore's origins, from their Web site:

GERM Books + Gallery began out of a need for a truly alternative independent bookstore that would provide access to ideologically unpopular books; books that address difficult social topics; books that don't cater to the lockstep mentality of the current counterculture; and books that reveal who our true masters are: The UFO Overlords.

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If you want to drop in, be sure to do it on Friday, Saturday or Sunday, which are the only days Germ is open. Image of interior by Gac.

Germ Books

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