I want to use this space to write about some of my favorite indie bookstores, starting with Mysterious Galaxy in San Diego. This one has been on my list of bookstores to check out for years and when a work conference brought me to San Diego, I finally had my chance. It definitely lived up to my expectations.
Mysterious Galaxy specializes in Science Fiction, Fantasy, Mysteries and Horror. This not only means a huge selections of titles that often don't find room in bigger stores with smaller SFF sections, it also means a great array of signed editions that are available, both on the shelves and for pre-order with the option to personalize.
Tucked away in a strip mall on San Diego's Balboa Avenue, Mysterious Galaxy has lots of room to spotlight local authors like the amazing Cindy Pon and Lisa Brackmann, but also opens their doors to a constant flow of national SFF authors who hold signings and events. The store's rolling bookshelves make it possible to hold big crowds as needed, which is a cool feature and makes the space flexible and open. Coincidentally I was able to attend Mary Kubica's Q&A and signing when I visited as Mysterious Galaxy as part of her book tour for her new release Pretty Baby, which was a cool bonus.
The store's open layout features YA, science fiction and fantasy, horror, and mystery & thriller sections as well as additional new release displays. Many titles feature personal staff recommendations. Apart from their huge selection of speculative fiction, I personally liked MG's collection of bookish shirts and collectibles to supplement any nerd space.
For those of us not close to San Diego, the Mysterious Galaxy website is a great extension of the store as it offers pre-orders of signed first editions, a book club offering a monthly selection of titles, as well as a very up to date calendar of events including a regular writing group, author signings and other bookish events. You can sign up for their news letter here.
This store definitely lived up to the hype and was well worth the trip because it's basically nerd nirvana. I left with a respectable stack of new science fiction and fantasy as well as some nerdy goodies. I'll definitely be back and hope to catch one of my favorite authors at a signing there sometime soon.