December 06, 2008

Forrest Ackerman Gone for the Moment: He'll Be Back

The man who coined the term "sci-fi," who likely did more than anyone else to popularize horror and sci-fi cinema, and who long ago inspired a certain Mad Mycologist to a lifelong love of all things weird on celluloid, videotape and paper, has passed away at age 92.

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

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...
As readers of this blog know, I love horror flicks. I've been a fan all my life, and Ackerman is one reason that's so. When I was but a little gore-pup, at the age of no more than 5 or 6, I used to visit a local newsstand near my grandparents' home in Brooklyn every month to get the latest issues of Warren Publishing's Creepy and Eerie magazines. One day, I noticed another magazine on the same rack. It was Ackerman's Famous Monsters of Filmland, and I was hooked. I read that magazine for years. I might not be the gorehound I am today were it not for Ackerman's successful effort to warp my young mind.

In fact, horror cinema would probably be very different were it not for Ackerman being right there as the genre blossomed in the drive-ins of the 1950's and 60's. I wonder if there would be a Troma today, for example, if not for Forrest J. Ackerman.

Not to worry, horror fans. Ackerman will be back shortly... no doubt as a 50' tall zombie with glowing purple eyes and tentacles for arms. If anyone could ever do it, it'd be Forry.

And when that happens, boils and ghouls, only the grateful shall be spared. So, thanks, Mr. Ackerman, for doing all you did — and will no doubt keep right on doing — to make me into the freak I am today. I truly appreciate it.

Sphere: Related Content