Sunday, December 07, 2008

Forrest J. Ackerman, 1916-2008

I've been living in Los Angeles for seven and a half years now, and one of my big regrets is that I didn't make it to the Ackermansion while there was still time. In case you don't know what I'm talking about, the legendary Forrest J. Ackerman, who coined the term 'sci-fi' and set thousands of young minds alight with his Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine, transformed his house over the years into a teeming museum of Hollywood memorabilia and props, and would give jokey, pun-laden tours of his collection for tourists and fans. Until, that is, a few years ago, when he started selling it all off in advance of the inevitable, which has now arrived.

So I never got to meet Forrest J. Ackerman, but he had as much influence on the world of science fiction and fantasy literature and filmmaking as anyone in the last century - he was friends with Ray Bradbury and Ray Harryhausen, he inspired Stephen King and Steven Spielberg, and he was basically the spiritual godfather of the modern movie geek.

And now he's gone from us. He'll be missed.

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