Whilst I was waiting at the station the other day with Number One Son, waiting for the Significant Other to get in from her job, I met an old, old friend whose current business ventures I want to shamelessly plug.
You see, here in Birmingham there used to be an unspeakably excellent science fiction, fantasy and horror bookshop known as Andromeda. This place had been around for years – I myself had stuck with them through at least two moves and they just kept getting better. I used to go in there once a month with a few quid in my pocket to stock up on good quality speculative fiction, and I used to sidle up to the manager – a chap called Rog Peyton – and say something like: “Rog – I’m in the mood for a bit of post-apocalypse fiction today: what you got for me?” – or “I’ve a hankering for some full-on, hardcore fantasy; got anything you’d care to share?” – or “Bring hither the finest tales of alternative universe adventure known to mankind!”
And you know what – he never recommended a dud. Not once. Every single time I asked him these questions he’d get a gleam in his eye, reach out to the shelves and snag a book, reel it in and present it to me with a wry “Read this?”
Almost always my answer would be “no” and from that humble beginning a new love affair with a new authors realms of imagination would be sparked – all due to Rog, his most excellent book store and his encyclopedic knowledge of sci-fi and fantasy books.
Rog also published many, many local authors and broke some really good writers into the big time. He edited anthologies and still to this day helps run the Birmingham Sci-Fi group.
Now then: a couple of years ago Andromeda Bookshop closed down; I think that the steadily increasing rents in Birmingham city centre finally got to them. This is a genuine shame for anyone in the Peoples Republic that is into books and enjoys buying from smaller, independent stores as it keeps the money locally. Also it means that Rog’s income plummeted.
So I am going to unashamedly, 100% recommend that you go to Rog’s online Ebay shop and buy whatever he is recommending this week. The man is an utter genius when it comes to digging out quality books for fans of the genre and he has made a huge contribution to science fiction and fantasy; the guy deserves a little hand – so if all it takes is to buy your books from HIS shop at Amazon instead of elsewhere then lets get on with it.