Best Place to Have a Conversation About how Fucked in the Head Orson Scott Card Is

Bucket O'Blood Books and Records

Critics' Picks

Marc Ruvolo, proprietor of Logan Square's Bucket O'Blood Books and Records, seemed surprised when I found on his shelves a review copy of Hamlet's Father, Orson Scott Card's notoriously homophobic (and just plain terrible) 2008 retelling of Hamlet. Me, I was just surprised that anything could exist in his shop without his knowledge. Ruvolo (also the cofounder of the Johann's Face record label) is a strict curator who's fussy about acquisitions, and though he might be guesstimating when he says he has 6,000 volumes either on shelves or in storage, I'm pretty sure he usually knows exactly what's in there and what isn't. Chicago hasn't had a good bookstore specializing in science fiction, fantasy, and horror since the great Stars Our Destination moved from Lakeview to Evanston in 2000 (it's since closed, sadly), and Ruvolo saw a void that needed filling. The shop is small and doesn't have the appealingly labyrinthine stacks of a Myopic or a Powell's, but Ruvolo is very good at maximizing space—like the TARDIS, Bucket O'Blood seems bigger on the inside (and yes, he does have an impressive collection of 70s and 80s Doctor Who tie-in novels). He also stocks a selection of nonfiction, literary fiction, mysteries, and vintage pulps, as well as comics, used records, and fan-bait collectibles.