Friday 12 December 2008

In Memoriam: Forrest J Ackerman 1916-2008

Lugete veneres cupidinesque...’ Catullus

The death was announced last week of Forrest J Ackerman - the man who brought Famous Monsters of Filmland into the world, shared his Tinsel Town mini-mansion with Kenneth Anger, worked as L Ron Hubbard ’s literary agent on the West Coast and represented low-budget special effects man Paul Blaisdell in Hollywood. It was Ackerman, according to his obituary in the LA Times who first coined the term ‘sci-fi’ back in 1954, inspired by the craze for high-fidelity sweeping the nation that year. Although the public’s fascination with hi-fi is documented in the chapter in Welcome to Mars dedicated to the events of 1954, I would have liked to include this new piece of information in the passage exploring the connection between hi-fi in the home and the music playing over the sound system aboard the nuclear submarine in the giant monster movie It Came From Beneath The Sea.

Ackerman was also present at the Dianetics Rally at the Shrine Auditorium LA in August 1950 where over 750 non-professional Dianetics groups met in one of the movement’s biggest public displays. His collection of science-fiction posters, props and related movie ephemera is unrivalled; the enthusiasm he showed for the subject throughout his life was without equal. The future will never be the same without him.

1 comment:

Brian Barker said...

Uncle Forry was a great pioneer for the new global language, Esperanto.

Dankon al vi Onklo Forry, pere de