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]."
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.
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.
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