Space Age Books
First SF bookshop in Australia, originally named The Space Age Bookshop. Its first location was on the 7th floor of the Beehive Building at 96 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne. After at least three months of operation at that location, it moved to street front premises along Swanston Street, where it opened on 6 July 1971. In 1972, its location was 317 Swanston Street. In A Life in Comics: A personal history of comics in Australia 1960-1990, Philip Bentley describes the shop layout. There were SF books to the left, counter-culture books to the right, and comics at the rear. In 1974, the shop moved again to 305-307 Swanston Street. Bentley's A Life in Comics includes a design by Irene Pagram for a Space Age Books paper bag with that address, and an illustration of Space Age Books staff by Greg Gates for a 1976 Christmas card. An ad in Omicron indicates that it was still at 305-307 Swanston Street in December 1979. The shop is also reported to have been at 314 Swanston Street before it closed in December 1985.
It was owned by Ronald Graham of Sydney, and proprietor Merv Binns, who became sole owner upon Ronald Graham's death in 1979. Staff, apart from Merv Binns, himself, included Paul J. Stevens, Lee Harding and, later, Justin Ackroyd. Space Age Books is featured in the first of the Anti-Fan films, which was made in 1972 to help publicise the Australia in '75 Worldcon bid. The Melbourne Science Fiction Club met upstairs (from 1972). For a time Slow Glass Books was at 305 Swanston Street (where Space Age Books had been).
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