Just over 20 years ago, Mark Stevens, the owner, moved back to Atlanta, GA from Buffalo,
NY, with a dream of opening a Science Fiction Bookstore. After relating this
dream to a good friend, Bill Amis, Mark found out that he was not the only
one with an itch to open a bookstore. Bill was thinking to the near future
when he would be retiring from his Ga. State teaching job and with his love
of books, this sounded like a pretty good idea. At Bill's wife's suggestion, mystery
books were added to the mix and after selling a house, at which point Bill had a bit of
extra money to play around with.
So, in late 1983, with $16,000 from Bill, and a lot of sweat from Mark, the
Science Fiction and Mystery Bookshop was opened in November at its first
location on North Highland and St. Charles in Atlanta, just a block north of Ponce de
Leon Ave. It was a good time for bookstores in Atlanta, and things went very
well for the SF and Mystery Bookshop. The store was in the black by the 2nd
year and with the numerous author events that the store played host to. The shop
got a great reputation as the place to go for anything SF and mystery
related. The shop even sponsored 'Dr. Who' and the 'Sherlock Holmes' series on the
local Atlanta PBS stations.
Celebrity guests such as Jeremy Brett were hosted in the store at the time when it
sponsered the Sherlock Holmes Mystery series on PBS. That one had a wild
turnout in the middle of a Wednesday afternoon. So many patrons attended that the shop had
to temperarily take over the parking lot outside the store to accomodate them.
After 9 years, though, it was apparent that the shop had outgrown the 950 sq/ft
space that had 3 parking spaces. After much searching, we settled on the
Cheshire Bridge Rd location which was 1500 sq/ft and had plenty of
parking. OK, so the neighborhood was a bit sleazy. There was good reason to
believe that would eventually become a better neighborhold.
After 10 years, it was apparent that it wasn't going to happen. Regardless, there were a lot of great years for the shop at that location, and until Sept. 10, 2001, the owners had every reason to believe that we would be around for yet another decade.
After the event on 9/11/2001, patronage and support declined for the shop, as it did with many businesses, creating some financial difficulties, unsurprisingly. Despite those difficult conditions, the Science Fiction Mystery Book Shop has struggled to continue business.
We thought a move to a better, more accessible, and larger space would bring us some luck, so, late in 2002, enough of our customers and associates came through with donations to make a change of venue possible, to the shop's current location on Shallowford Rd.
The Science Fiction Mystery Book Shop has stayed in business in Atlanta, under various conditions, for more than 20 years now. During that time, it has hosted many authors of different calibers and categories. Below is only a partial list of celebrity authors that have participated in book signings or larger events at the Science Fiction Mystery Book Shop -
- Science Fiction -
Michael Bishop, Anne McCaffrey, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Ted Sturgeon, Harlan Ellison, Larry Niven, George R.R. Martin, Robert Jordan, Ray Bradbury, Terry Goodkind, Jack McDevitt, David Weber, Nancy Kress, Brian Aldiss, Ursula K. LeGuin, Jack Williamson, L.Sprague DeCamp, Jerru Pournelle,
Connie Willis, William Gibson, Bruce Sterling, Neal Stephenson, Dan Simmons, Kathleen Anne Goonan, Caitlin Kiernan, Lois McMaster Bujold, Diana Gabaldon, Samuel Delany, Octavia Butler, C.J.Cherryh, Terry Brooks, Ben Bova, Storm Constantine, David Drake, Janet Morris, Peter David, Margaret Weiss, Tracy Hickman, Michael Moorcock, Joe Haldeman, Orson Scott Card, Gene Wolfe,
David Brin, Gregory Benford, John Ringo,
- Mystery -
Sue Grafton, Sara Paretsky, Robert Crais, Dennis Lehane, Carl Hiaasan, Kathy Hogan Trocheck,
J.A. Jance, Margaret Maron, Janet Evanovich, Randy Wayne White, Stuart Woods, Joan Hess,
Ed McBain, Ross Thomas, Ellis Peters, Elizabeth Peters, Nevada Barr, Mignon Ballard,
Laurien Berenson, Rita Mae Brown, Lawrence Block, Peter Bowen, Dorothy Cannell, Stephen Collins,
James Ellroy, Diane Davidson, Michael Dibdin, William Diehl, Tony Dunbar, Susan Dunlap,
Aaron Elkins, Ken Englade, Loren D. Estleman, Ron Faust, Carolina Garcia-Aguilera, John Gardner,
Elizabeth George, Jane Haddam, Jean Hager, James Hall, Carolyn Hart,