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Forrest J Ackerman, writer-editor who coined 'sci-fi,' dies at 92

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Hudgie DeRobertis Donating Member (70 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-07-08 03:55 AM
Original message
Forrest J Ackerman, writer-editor who coined 'sci-fi,' dies at 92
Source: Los Angeles Times

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.


Read more: http://www.latimes.com/news/obituaries/la-me-ackerman6-...
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bean fidhleir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-07-08 04:20 AM
Response to Original message
1. I always wondered who did that. There was a perfectly good term in use already, namely "s.f."
and it always seemed that those who called it "sci-fi" were coming from a completely different place than we nerds were.
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nolabels Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-07-08 06:32 AM
Response to Reply #1
5. George W. Bush was the first president to implement the concept of "sci-fi" into goverment practice
:scared:
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DavidDvorkin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-07-08 11:42 AM
Response to Reply #1
10. Wrong
Some of us who write the stuff call it sci-fi.

I don't know if "sf" was in use before he coined "sci-fi".
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martymar64 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-07-08 05:28 AM
Response to Original message
2. RIP Forry
From a former subscriber of Famous Monsters.
May the dark angels take you to your resting place.
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shadowknows69 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-07-08 06:20 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. Hear hear
That magazine opened my eyes to so many worlds. Thank you Forry.
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shadowknows69 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-07-08 06:21 AM
Response to Original message
4. A piece of my childhood gone
This man influenced my life more than I can quantify. Good journey Mr. Ackerman. Thank you for making a movie geek out of me.
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Number_Six Donating Member (165 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-07-08 07:00 AM
Response to Original message
6. I will miss him dearly!
Ackerman did so much for we fans of sci-fi, and more. He made it cool to enjoy awful movies, okay movies and then drool over the really terrifying ones.

RIP, sir. We owe you.
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georgecolombo Donating Member (86 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-07-08 07:59 AM
Response to Original message
7. He Was Huge
I spent many hours of my childhood pouring over the pages of Famous Monsters of Filmland. It was great stuff. Ackerman understood his market well and, in his own way, was a media giant... at least, for those of us who were fascinated with Frankenstein, Dracula, and the Creature From The Black Lagoon.
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mitchum Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-07-08 09:55 AM
Response to Original message
8. Rest In Peace Forry J
he was a wonderful man
and a very important part of my childhood
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oustemnow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-07-08 11:29 AM
Response to Original message
9. Damn, that sucks
Was never a HUGE sci-fi fan (PK Dick being the exception), but as a kid I would be enthralled cover-to-cover by Famous Monsters of Filmland.

Always had it in the back of my mind to take a tour of his house--apparently, it was a pretty killer tour--but it sounds like that's an unlikely possibility now.

Still, Forry led a good, long life. RIP.
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Shardik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-07-08 11:44 AM
Response to Original message
11. I had the pleasure of meeting Forry and spending an evening with him
back in 1992. e was a wonderfully gregarious, fun and interesting person.

RIP, Forry. Thanks for all you did.
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onager Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-07-08 12:08 PM
Response to Reply #11
13. I did too. Went to his house in Los Angeles.
Edited on Sun Dec-07-08 12:10 PM by onager
He used to do personally conducted tours of his collection on Saturday mornings. You just had to call and make a reservation.

One item displayed was a letter saying, "I'm 10 years old and want to write horror stories when I grow up." It was signed: Stephen King.

Forry also had the original "Maria" robot from Metropolis and thousands of other weird/wonderful things.

Among many great stories, Forry said the Bradbury Building in downtown Los Angeles was designed by his grandfather, Mark Wyman.

The Bradbury Building, built in 1893, has been featured in several sci-fi movies, most famously "Blade Runner."

But that's not the only sci-fi connection. With its exposed elevator mechanisms and other "futuristic" touches, the Bradbury Building was inspired by one of the first sci-fi novels, Looking Backward (From The Year 2000) by Edward Bellamy. He was a socialist, like his cousin Francis Bellamy, who wrote the Pledge of Allegiance.

(The Bradbury Building has no connection with Ray Bradbury, other than the obvious--he and Ackerman were great friends.)
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oustemnow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-07-08 12:19 PM
Response to Reply #13
15. Dang, you is lucky
Would have loved to go on one of those tours.

Interesting info about the Bradbury building. A friend of mine lives pretty much across the street from it, above the Grand Central Market, and is kind of obsessed with the building, due largely to the Blade Runner connection. Not sure if he knows the Ackerman and Looking Backward connection. I'll have to hit him up with that info, he's a nut for that kind of trivia.
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clspector Donating Member (295 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-07-08 12:01 PM
Response to Original message
12. Forry Ackerman also helped the career of
Ray Bradbury and a host of other writers. For that alone the world of letters owes him a tremendous debt of gratitude. If Asimov was the face of science in sci-fi, Bradbury most certainly gave sci-fi its heart.

I was lucky enough to see him this year at the SD Comic-Con. He made the world a better place. He was a generous and kind soul who shared his love of all things sci-fi wit anyone who asked. If you're any kind of geek (and I know I am) your life is better because of him.
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peekaloo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-07-08 12:17 PM
Response to Original message
14. RIP.
I remember reading an article (or series) he wrote on Boris Karloff which helped to humanize the man behind the monster. (Frankenstein scared the bejeebus out of me as a kid.)

Both men came off as very lovely human beings.

Big ol' welcome to DU Hudgie and thanks for posting. :hi:
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