Forrest Ackerman 11/24/16 – 12/08/08

Click here for The Guardian obituary,

And here is an excerpt from something I wrote a few months ago:

The August 1963 issue of Famous Monsters of Filmland featured a lengthy interview with its editor, Forrest J Ackerman. This enthusiastic, scholastic fan of the fantastic opened my eyes and legitimized my deep interest in weird genres. Suddenly I was not alone – the magazine even published letters from other kids! Don’t get me wrong, I had plenty of friends who liked horror, science fiction, and fantasy, but I wanted to study it, collect it, and create it! I finally met Forry in 1999 at a convention known as the Monster Rally in Crystal City, Virginia. Since I live in Florida, I asked him to autograph the photo where he pretends to carve a stuffed alligator in my dog-eared copy of that same August 1963 Famous Monsters magazine.  – Bill Ectric

 

And Dennis McLellan, in the Los Angeles times, says:

For Ackerman, a native Angeleno born Nov. 24, 1916, it all began at age 9.

That’s when he stopped at a drugstore on the corner of Santa Monica Boulevard and Western Avenue in Hollywood and bought his first copy of the science-fiction magazine Amazing Stories. 

Ackerman was helplessly hooked.

By his late teens, he had mastered Esperanto, the invented international language. In 1929, he founded the Boys Scientifiction Club. In 1932, he joined a group of other young fans in launching the Time Traveler, which is considered the first fan magazine devoted exclusively to science fiction and for which Ackerman was “contributing editor.”

Ackerman also joined with other local fans in starting a chapter of the Science Fiction Society — meetings were held in Clifton’s Cafeteria in downtown L.A. — and as editor of the group’s fan publication Imagination!, he published in 1938 a young Ray Bradbury’s first short story.

During World War II, Ackerman edited a military newspaper published at Ft. MacArthur in San Pedro. After the war, he worked as a literary agent. His agency represented scores of science-fiction writers, including L. Ron Hubbard, Isaac Asimov, A.E. van Vogt, H.L. Gold, Ray Cummings and Hugo Gernsback.

In 1954, Ackerman coined the term that would become part of the popular lexicon — a term said to make some fans cringe.

Read entire article

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