ACKERMAN, Forrest J(ames)

ACKERMAN, Forrest J(ames)
   US editor, agent and collector. A reader of the sf magazines from their inception, he was an active member of sf FANDOM from his early teens, and as early as 1932 served as associate editor of The Time Traveller, the first FANZINE. For many decades thereafter he wrote stories and articles prolifically for fan journals - using his own name and a wide variety of elaborate pseudonyms, including Dr Acula, Jacques DeForest Erman, Alden Lorraine, Vespertina Torgosi, Hubert George Wells (cheekily), Weaver Wright and many others - and becoming known in fan circles as Mr Science Fiction; he won several awards for these activities, including a HUGO in 1953 for Number One Fan Personality. His first story was A Trip to Mars in 1929 for the San Francisco Chronicle, which won a prize for the best tale by a teenager; some of his more interesting work was assembled in Science Fiction Worlds of Forrest J.Ackerman and Friends (anth 1969). He collected sf books and memorabilia from the very first, publishing in I Bequeath (to the Fantasy Foundation) (1946 chap) a bibliography of the first 1300 items, and eventually housing his 300.000-item library, which he called the Fantasy Foundation, in a 17-room house in Hollywood, the maintenance of which proved difficult to manage over the years. The library was further celebrated in Souvenir Book of Mr Science Fiction's Fantasy Museum (1978 chap Japan). Disposals of collectable books have been made at times; and part of the library was auctioned in 1987, grossing over $550.000. FJA was active as an editor for many years, though not deeply influential; he edited both the magazine Famous Monsters of Filmland (1958-82) and the US PERRY RHODAN series (1969-77), as well as several sf anthologies, including The Frankenscience Monster (anth 1969), Best Science Fiction for 1973 (anth 1973), Gosh! Wow! (Sense of Wonder) (anth 1982), Mr Monster's Movie Gold (anth 1982) and The Gernsback Awards, Vol 1: 1926 (anth 1982). Notorious for his punning and use of simplified words, he is credited with introducing the term SCI FI in 1954. He was agent for a number of writers, notably A.E.VAN VOGT. His wife, Wendayne Ackerman (1912-1990), was also a fan, and translated the STRUGATSKI brothers' Trudno byt' bogom (1964) as Hard to be a God (1973 US). Other works: In Memoriam H.G.Wells 1866-1946 (1946 chap) with Arthur Louis Jocquel II; James Warren Presents the Best from Famous Monsters of Filmland (anth 1964); James Warren Presents Famous Monsters of Filmland Strike Back! (anth 1965); James Warren Presents Son of Famous Monsters of Filmland (anth 1965); Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977 chap), nonfiction; J.R.R.Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings: A Fantasy Film (1979 chap), nonfiction; A Reference Guide to American Science Fiction Films, Volume 1 (1981) with A.W.Strickland, only 1 vol published; Lon of 1000 Faces (1983), nonfiction; Fantastic Movie Memories (1985), nonfiction; Reel Futures (anth 1994) with Jean Stine.
   See also: COLLECTIONS.

Science Fiction and Fantasy Encyclopedia. . 2011.

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