Dr Acula no longer undead

Forry Ackerman has died:

Forrest J Ackerman, who influenced a generation of young horror-movie fans with Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine and spent a lifetime amassing what has been called the world’s largest personal collection of science-fiction and fantasy memorabilia, has died. He was 92.

Ackerman, a writer, editor and literary agent who has been credited with coining the term “sci-fi” in the 1950s, died Thursday of heart failure at his home in Los Angeles, said John Sasser, a friend who is making a documentary on Ackerman.

Over the years, that collection diminished along with Ackerman’s health; at its peak, it might have been worth $10 million.

But more valuable than the ephemera, I suspect, was the guidance Ackerman provided as Sort Of Godfather to what used to be something of a disreputable literary genre. And he was that rarest of creatures, an incorrigible punster (don’t incorrige him) who could raid seemingly any cubbyhole in the culture for material: he once knocked out a vampire story with the highly-Chestertonian title “The Man Who Was Thirsty.”



  1. Rocket Jones »

    7 December 2008 · 11:03 am

    Forrest J. Ackerman – R.I.P. …

    I saw him in a bit part in a movie just last week. Thanks to Dustbury for the pointer to this sad news….

  2. unimpressed »

    7 December 2008 · 5:17 pm

    I hadn’t heard anything from or about him in quite some time. I assumed that he’d died many moons ago. I’ve read quite a few books where he’d been involved in either editing or writing the foreward. I recall that he always signed off with “4SJ”.

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