Saturday, 2 May 2009


Usually, parties are thrown for happy reasons. Birthdays, anniversaries, seeing a new government come to office (and we regret that last one soon enough, don't we?). But after doing business for nearly forty years, The Fantasy Centre on the Holloway Road, London N1, is due to close at the end of this month. The lease has run out, and will not be renewed -- it's as simple and brutal as that. And considering that the store is Europe's oldest second-hand trader of science fiction and fantasy books, that is slightly tragic.

But proprietor Erik Arthur responded to this sad turn of events with typical aplomb, throwing a party for all his regular customers. Bonhomie and a community spirit prevailed throughout the evening. The shop is still open a few more weeks, and since you can find a lot of books there that are pretty hard to find anywhere else, I'll doubtless be dropping in. If you live in or near London, try to make a last pilgrimage too.

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