Los Angeles has been a science fiction mecca for generations, from appearing in countless movies and TV series to inspiring some of the genre's greatest writers. Despite the closings of key shops like Mystery & Imagination and Barry R. Levin Science Fiction & Fantasy Literature, sci-fi fans still have plenty of options, like The Last Bookstore and the city's numerous comic book stores.
L.A. is home to the world's oldest continuously operating science fiction club, the Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society (LASFS). The club began as a charter group of the Science Fiction League, which was founded on Oct. 27, 1934 by Hugo Gernsbeck, the editor of Wonder Stories, as a correspondence club for fans. Early meetings were held at the Pacific Electric Lofts in Downtown LA. and later at Clifton's Cafeteria. Led by the legendary Forrest J. Ackerman, the L.A. charter broke off from the fading League, changed its name to LASFS, and began meeting every Thursday, which it does to this day. Notable members have included Ray Bradbury, Ray Harryhausen, Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle. Two members, Bjo and John Trimble, famously helped save the original Star Trek series from cancellation by organizing a national letter-writing campaign.
The LASFS has a lending library of more than 20,000 science fiction, fantasy and genre-related nonfiction books. Every book, publication and video in its collection is available to any member to borrow, even rare and unusual titles. (The library is currently packed up as LASFS searches for a new permanent location.) Visitors and prospective members are always welcome at its Thursday meetings. LASFS meetings currently take place at Freehafer Hall in the American Lutheran Church (747 N Whitnall Hwy, Burbank 91505). For more info, visit the LASFS website.