Website updates

Hi! Wendy here. When I started back at DreamHaven this past January, one of my goals was to figure out how we could best use the internet to bring all of our wonderful items to the rest of the world. Selling to people who walk into the store is one thing — they can look around and see books and monsters and posters and aliens and comics and t-shirts and lunch boxes and action figures and tin toys and…well, you get the idea.  But I’m still trying to figure out how to transfer that to the internet.

To that end, I’m trying to tweak the website a bit. It’s slow going, as I haven’t done anything like this in a long time and in the mean time they changed it all on me. But things are happening little by little. If you look on the menu bar at the top of the home page, you’ll see that the mail order catalog now has its own spot, where it will be updated every time we send out a new one.  The new books from the catalog should all be available to purchase on the website. I’ve also added a tab under “Shop” with a list of magazines for which we have back issues.

I’m also trying to add more product here.  Books are the obvious and easiest things, but there is no reason we shouldn’t be able to add other things (like the aforementioned monsters and posters and aliens and comics and t-shirts etc.). What changes would you like to see?

DreamHaven Books to celebrate 40th Anniversary!

Update!  The first 100 people to come into the store on Saturday, April 1st will receive goody bags containing $100 worth of goodies.

Yes folks, on April 1st DreamHaven will be 40 years old (no foolin’). In celebration, we will be having special sales, giveaways, and beginning at 7:00, a PARTY! There will be cake.

More details will be forthcoming, and there just might be a few surprises we won’t tell you about in advance. Mark the date on your calendar and check back here for updates.


January 2017

If you’re not already aware of it, we do a regular catalog of new, used and rare items.  Once upon a time it was all paper, but we send it out as an e-mail these days as well. If you’d like to be on our mailing list, please drop us a note!  The new books in the catalog are likely to be available here on the site, but we have limited numbers of the used books and will not be adding them to the site.  If you’re interested in ordering, please e-mail us at or call at (612) 823-6161.

Thanks for reading and happy browsing!


Big News – Big Changes

Alice is leaving.  It’s a complicated situation but the simple explanation is that things just haven’t worked out after nearly two years. It’s been a pleasure having her here and it’s certainly made my life easier but sometimes life has other ideas. I’m working on other plans and as they happen I’ll let everyone know.

The current political and social situation has made me very uneasy.  I’m not happy with the way things seem to be going and I’m not sure I want to sit back and watch it happen.  But my options are limited and I guess I just have to continue doing what I’ve always done – Keep on keepin’ on.

This year marks the 40th year since I first opened the store.  On Saturday April 1 I’ll be having a party to celebrate my anniversary.  What shape the whole event will take is still up in the air but I aim to make it a memorable one.

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season and I’m (warily) looking forward to 2017.


[This post has been edited to remove the very long and now out-of-date catalog. The current catalog now has its own tab at the top of the home page – check it out there!]


Some changes here at the storefront


Alice Bentley has been working here at DreamHaven since April 2015, but has decided to return to the damp, dim Pacific NorthWest. Greg has brought in a couple of old hands to help fill the gap, so expect to see Ryan and Wendy here now and again.

Wendy has more social media presence than Alice did, so you may well see more posts here, and over on our FaceBook and Twitter accounts. Please be encouraged to comment!

Great books at only $3 each

3 Dollar Books

We have had so many wonderful new books arriving, in both the New and the Used sections, that Greg has gone through the store pulling some of the older titles and marking them down to a ridiculous $3 each!

This has also become the dispersal point for books that are fiction, but not Science Fiction (or Fantasy, or Horror).

So if you’re in the mood for a good Mystery, or a slice of life, or just a nice reader copy of an old favorite, please come check out our special $3 section.

Today at DreamHaven – new Tartarus!

New today is another lovely limited edition hardcover from Tartarus Press from North Yorkshire, United Kingdom.

This Spectacular Darkness is an assemblage of articles by noted essayist Joel Lane discussing the leading figures in twentieth-century dark literature, including H.P. Lovecraft, Thomas Ligotti, Fritz Leiber and Robert Aickman. They are characterised by his profound insight, high critical standards and his keen allegiance to this fiction.

Also collected here are studies of Ramsey Campbell, Robert Bloch and Nyarlathotep. The volume is completed by appreciations of Joel’s essays, poetry, short stories and novels.

It’s chilly outside today (20F/-7C), so it’s no surprise that there aren’t a lot of people walking in. Still plenty of work to do listing books, and making display arrangements for our event this Saturday.

Small Business Saturday!

3 dollar section

And it can now be announced: Our Small Business Saturday specials include

20% OFF on ALL New Paperbacks (both Mass Market and Trade)

20% OFF on ALL New Hardcovers

20% OFF on ALL New Magazines

50% OFF on Used Paperbacks and Hardcovers (does not include items in showcases or behind the counter – those items are negotiable)

Vastly expanded $3 each Hardcover/Tradepaperback area

Just arrived selection of thousands of Movie Magazines, at $3 each

Just arrived selection of thousands of Golden Age and Silver Age comics, from $1 and up

Vintage Toys from 1930 – 1975

More unannounced specials at the shop – you just need to come in and find them!

Advance Publishing Information

Harper Voyager Nov 2016

One of the things I loved about my job at The Stars Our Destination (1988 to 2004 for those who haven’t heard me ramble about that place before) were the visits from publisher’s sales reps and the occasional package of Advance Reader copies.

I really appreciated knowing more about upcoming titles before I had to commit to an order, and the greater span of time it gave me to inform and excite my regular customers.

Here at DreamHaven Books I haven’t been as energetic about establishing ties with the publishers, or letting them know how useful advance information can be. So as part of my just-evolving series of blog posts here on the website, I’ve decided to start off with a description of the recent arrivals from the Harper/Voyager publication team.

They have (as you can see in the photo) provided uncorrected proof copies of three upcoming titles:

Nine of Stars by Laura Bickle is the first novel in the Wildlands series.

“As the daughter of an alchemist, Petra Dee has faced all manner of occult horrors – especially since her arrival in the small town of Temperance, Wyoming. But she can’t explain the creature now stalking the backcountry of Yellowstone, butchering wolves and leaving only their skins behind in the snow. Rumors surface of the return of Skinflint Jack, a nineteenth-century wraith that kills in fulfillment of an ancient bargain.

The new sherrif in town, Owen Rutherford, isn’t helping matters. He’s a dangerously haunted man on the trail of both an unsolved case and a fresh kill – a bizarre murder leading him right to Petra’s partner, Gabriel. And while Gabe once had little to fear from the mortal world, he’s all too human now. This time, when violence hits close to home, there are no magical solutions.

It’s up to Petra and her coyote sidekick Sig to get ahead of both Owen and the unnatural being hunting them all – before the trail turns deathly cold.”

On-sale Tuesday, December 27th, in mass market paperback for $7.99

Heartstone by Elle Katharine White is a debut historical fantasy.

“Recasts Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice in an imaginative world of wyverns, dragons, and the warriors who fight alongside them against the monsters that threaten the kingdom: gryphons, direwolves, lamias, banshees, and lindworms.

They say a Rider in possession of a good blade must be in want of a monster to slay – and Merybourne Manor has plenty of monsters.

Passionate, headstrong Aliza Bentaine knows this all too well, she’s already lost one sister to the invading gryphons. So when Lord Merybourne hires a band of Riders to hunt down the horde, Aliza is relieved her home will soon be safe again.

Her relief is short-lived. With the arrival of the haughty and handsome dragonrider, Alastair Daired, Aliza expects a battle; what she doesn’t expect is a romantic clash of wills, pitting words and wit against the pride of an ancient house. Nor does she anticipate the mystery that follows them from Merybourne Manor, its roots running deep as the foundations of the kingdom itself, where something old and dreadful slumbers … something far more sinister than gryphons.

It’s a war Aliza is ill-prepared to wage, on a battlefield she’s never known before: one spanning kingdoms, class lines, and the curious nature of her own heart.

Elle Katherine White infuses elements of Austen’s beloved novel with her own brand of magic, crafting a modern epic fantasy that conjures a familiar yet wonderously unique new world.”

Due out Jan 17th, 2017 in Trade PaperBack, $15.99

The Wrong Dead Guy by Richard Kadrey, sequel to The Everything Box.

“The second entry in Richard Kadrey’s comedic supernatural series – chaos ensues when Coop and the team at DOPS steal a not-quite-dead and very lovesick Egyptian mummy wielding some terrifying magic.

Coop, a master thief sort of gone legit, saved the world from an ancient doomsday device – heroism that earned him a gig working for the Department of Peculiar Science, a fearsome top secret government agency that polices the odd and the strange. Now Woolrich, Coop’s boss at the DOPS, has Coop breaking into a traveling antiquities show to steal a sarcophagus containing the mummy of a powerful Egyptian wizard named Harkhuf. With the help of his pals Morty, Giselle, and a professor that’s half-cat, half-robotic octopus, Coop pulls off the heist without a hitch.

It’s not Coop’s fault that when DOPS opened the sarcophagus they didn’t find the mummy they were expecting. Well, it was the right mummy, but it wasn’t exactly dead – and now it’s escaped, using a type of magic the organization hasn’t encountered before. Being a boss, Woolrich blames his underling for the screwup and wants Coop to find the missing Harkhuf and make it right, pronto.

Digging into Harkhuf’s history, Coop thinks the mummy is hunting for an ancient magical manuscript that will help him bring his old lover back to life. Which wouldn’t be so bad if she wasn’t a warrior sorceress hell-bent on conquering the world with her undead armies.

Coop would very much like to run from the oncoming chaos. It’s one thing to steal a mummy, but another to have to deal with headhunting bureaucrats, down-on-their-luck fortune-tellers, undead mailroom clerks, and a rather unimpressed elephant. Unfortunately, there’s nowhere to run. If he wants the madness to stop, he’s going to have to suck it up and play hero one more time. But if Coop manages to save the world AGAIN, he’s definitely going to want a lot of answers. And a raise.”

Coming out Feb 28th, 2017 in Hardcover for $24.99

Their info sheet also came with a list of other Harper/Voyager titles this season:

Decoherence by Liana Brooks: Time travel and alternate universes collide in the conclusion of the Time & Shadows series. Nov 1st, mmpb, $6.99

Of the Abyss by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes: A disparate group’s risky journey to find magical solutions in the accursed Abyss realm. Nov 1st, mmpb, $6.99

How to Save the World by Lexie Dunne: Third book in the humorous Superheroes Anonymous series, Gail returns to save the world as Hostage Girl. Nov 1st, mmpb, $6.99

Greg, The Mummy and The Monkey – at Cinema Wasteland

Greg at Cinema Wasteland

The magic of the internet (and smartphones) means that even while Greg is right at this moment selling books and enthusing about films at Cinema Wasteland in Cleveland, we can all see this great photo he sent of him and two of the Guests of the show.

Hosts of a Cleveland comedy and film show, you can catch The Mummy and The Monkey yourself on YouTube!



Still experimenting with Tags

While the organization of this website has settled down for the most part, I find I’m still fluctuating on what I want to see as far as specialization. I chose “Categories” to mean what -type- of thing it was: novel, novella, audio, etc. And I use the Tags to highlight what group that thing is in: science fiction vs fantasy, whether it’s in a recent catalog, or by one of our focus authors.

But now that I’ve been handling more entries, I’m drawn to adding more tags. Tagging things like Publisher (in addition to having it in the description).

I feel like I should ask for more input from both folks that use the site and other folks putting together their own lists, on what works the best for them – before making more changes. But hanging out on reddit and checking StackOverflow is not scratching that itch.

Perhaps adding Tartarus as a Tag can be a first step while research continues…


Jon Arfstrom exhibit coming to the Anoka Historical Society

Arfstrom Exhibit header

Check out our Event listing for the upcoming Opening of the Jon Arfstrom exhibit at the Anoka County Historical Society. Those in the Minneapolis area should make some time for come check it out.

From the Anoka County Historical Society newsletter: Sept/Oct 2016. Article by Audra Hilse, ACHS Archivist

There is a house in the city of Anoka filled with hundreds and hundreds of original paintings, although you could not tell from the outside.

The artist, Jon Arfstrom, was an unassuming man, rarely found without paintbrush or pencil in hand. Because of this, the legacy he left behind following his December 2015 death is both large and treasured, if also leaving his family feeling overwhelmed at times. The sheer amount of art that Arfstrom produced during his life almost defies comprehension and covers a wide variety of mediums: pencil and pen, oils, acrylics, watercolor, markers, colored pencils, charcoal, and pastels all graced his canvases and sketchbooks.

Subject matter in Arfstrom’s art varies almost as widely as his mediums. His work ranges from beautiful watercolor and acrylic landscapes, to the formal portraits of U.S. Presidents he created for his 40-year employer, Brown & Bigelow. He made large acrylic paintings in the surreal genre, with underlying themes of fantasy, science fiction, and horror. Arfstrom won awards both in the United States and in Europe for his work, and one of his paintings resides in a museum in Paris. He did numerous shows of his watercolors and was happy to give demonstrations to those wanting to learn the difficult medium (Arfstrom himself appreciated the challenge of it). He also took his surreal and fantasy works to conventions, showing the pieces and selling some of them. In spite of being known in these particular circles, however, Arfstrom did not put himself out to the wider world, and so many people do not know his name, even if they may be familiar with some of his art. Arfstrom carefully kept his work separated within those JON ARFSTROM A lifetime of art By Audra Hilse, ACHS Archivist Castle on the Rum 9-19-2007 9 distinct circles as fans of his surreal and fantasy work probably did not know much about his watercolors and his friends in the watercolor world did not see his surreal works.

Early in 2016, the Arfstrom family, including Jon’s wife, Norma, and one of his daughters, approached ACHS about preserving his legacy. Arfstrom had lived in Anoka with Norma for the last decade of his life, and scenes of the Halloween parades and the Rum River were common subjects of his art during that time. In addition to his art, Arfstrom was also a dedicated journal writer, noting daily his thoughts and events of the day. Scattered throughout these words are also sketches, cartoonish figures, and miniature watercolor landscapes. The family posed the question, “would ACHS be interested in having some of his art, and helping to tell his story?”

With little hesitation, ACHS staff said yes. While the Arfstroms lived in Duluth and St. Paul throughout much of their lives, they chose to retire to Anoka, and it is clear from his art that Jon was very fond of the area. We have been working with the family for the last several months to identify a representative sample of the art that will come to live permanently in the ACHS Collections, as well as planning an exhibit that will open in mid September. For the first time outside of the Arfstrom family home, the different genres of Arfstrom’s art will hang on the same wall at the same time for people to discover and enjoy. We also have some wonderful artifacts to fill in the exhibit including his drafting table, chair, lamp, and various tools of the trade that made up Arfstrom’s workspace for many decades, recreated any time the family moved to a new home. To once more recreate his workspace so visitors can see where and how Arfstrom made his art in addition to the art itself, is very exciting. Looking out a little bit further, we also plan to accession his journals, digitize them and make available online, and are looking into funding options to produce (in partnership with DreamHaven Books) a coffeetable style book about Arfstrom’s life and art.

We are very grateful to the Arfstrom family for giving us this chance to work with such an amazing collection. We hope you will join us starting midSeptember to come see and enjoy Arfstrom’s art, and come back periodically as we rotate in new pieces. We hope to keep Jon Arfstrom’s legacy alive and well, even though the artist himself is, unfortunately, no longer with us.

Getting ready for Furry Migration

Many Vernon

Next weekend (Sept 9 – 11, 2016) is the annual anthropomorphic convention Furry Migration, and I’ll be there with a table of assorted favorite books and interesting things.

The writer Guest of Honor this year is one of my favorite creators – Ursula Vernon! In addition to her best-selling Dragonbreath series, and the new Hamster Princess books (both written for younger readers but interesting for all), she has been entertaining the internet with her daily nature posts on Tumblr and her thoughtful LiveJournal essays.

And if you haven’t read Castle Hangnail yet – well, you should! One of my favorite books from last year.

Shelving added for Collectible Paperbacks

Collectible Paperbacks

We’ve moved the last of the $1 books out of the main section of the store (and to the Garage), providing space to more than double the amount of collectible paperbacks we can display.

Because of where all the shelves are, they’re in three different locations around the shop. A to L remains in the shelves against the back wall, where Collectible Paperbacks have been for a long time. M to Z is in the back corner of the shop, across from the new Used Paperback racks. Collectible Paperback Anthologies are in the wire rack in the middle of the shop, right behind the New Paperback Anthologies.

All this new space means room for more things to come up from the basement!

Go Fund Me launched for Judy and Dave Peterson

Peterson Fantanimals

Judy and David Peterson, owners of Fantanimals, intended to attend the World Science Fiction Convention in Kansas City and sell in the dealers room.  But misfortune struck and their trailer full of hand-carved animal puzzles was stolen in Columbus Ohio.  They lost many thousands of dollars worth of their inventory and all of their potential sales at the convention.

Judy and David are wonderful people and this is an immense loss for them.  This money will help them cover expenses they’ve incurred already and allow Judy to create more inventory for future conventions.   I would like to see their many friends and fans contribute to show them how special they really are.


When your friend publishes his first novel – and it’s quite good!

Arabella shelf photo

Arabella of Mars by David D. Levine came out in hardcover from Tor Books in mid-July, and has made quite the satisfying splash with a starred review in Publishers Weekly, and both a starred review and “Debut of the Month” in Library Journal.

I’m always a little nervous about reading new works from good friends of mine – what if I don’t like it? Or I like it myself, but don’t think it would have enough general appeal to sell well? It can make for dicey conversation down the road.

Lucky for me, and all of us, that’s not the case with Arabella of Mars. A straightforward action-adventure in the classic style, with lots of Hornblower-like maritime details and a scattering of maybe-yes maybe-no romantic possibilities. I can see it being successfully marketed in the Young Adult section, if you wanted to highlight the age of the main character, or staying solidly in the main Science Fiction section.

A fun read, and likely to accumulate even more interest and notice as the year goes on.