Uncle Hugo’s Bookstore in Minneapolis Burned Down During Riots, GoFundMe Open

So this one hit me a little.

I’ve never been to Minneapolis (and this post will not be about the rioting or the situations associated with it, as I’m not trying to invite a firestorm of angry, opinionated people). I’ve never once set foot in Uncle Hugo’s Science Fiction Bookstore. I’ve never even ordered from them.

But I have heard stories about them. This is the place that picked up a self-pub book to sell before indie was a real thing and started sending it to publishers with notes along the lines of ‘here’s how many copies I bought, why are you not publishing this?’ From the stories I’ve heard at cons and from other authors, they’ve flat-out kickstarted a lot of careers.

The store itself is only halfway regarded as a store by many, given that the owner loved collecting rare Sci-Fi books. Many also referred to it as a “museum of Science Fiction literature.”

And well … last night it was burned to the ground. Complete loss. Here’s a picture of what the place normally looked like:


Here’s a picture of it this morning that was uploaded to Facebook. Linking, since it’s not my picture.

Given the stories I’ve heard about this place, this one hit even me. I’ve never even been there but I’ve heard the stories.

Worse, it seems that the insurance will not cover civil disturbance. At least, not to the degree that would be needed to recover from such a loss.

A GoFundMe page has been started to raise funds for recovery from this. EDIT: The GoFundMe is now open again and verified! Huzzah!


15 thoughts on “Uncle Hugo’s Bookstore in Minneapolis Burned Down During Riots, GoFundMe Open

  1. Thanks for sharing Max, it is, in truth, a sad incident… I am from Portugal and didn’t know about that library and it’s always negative when this kind of things happen! Have a good weekend and cheers from Lisbon, PedroL


      • According to who? You? People angry at another black man being chokeholded to death rioted, and (unfortunately) due to that riot, this store got burned down. That’s sad in and of itself, but a better thing to be addressing is why bookstores in North America are not supported as they are in France, and are subjected to high rents when located on major avenues in most cities, forcing said stores to close and go out of business, or have to relocate/be located in a (usually working class/ethnic) area where the rent is low, with a possible subjection to whatever viccitudes (sp) will or might happen in said area. Another question is why insurance companies can’t seem to protect against something like riots happening to destroy a business (although they can insure a so-called ‘businessman’ like Donald Trump when he ran those casinos of his.)


  2. This is the Minnesota fannish version of the burning of the Alexandrian Library. I was so looking forward to my next trip back to the Twin Cities to buy a new batch of bedtime reading, having just finished last year’s batch. Don, we grieve for you and everyone who worked there. So very sorry. Lalee Kerr, now gaffiating in western Colorado but still, and always a fan.


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