Forrest J Ackerman
|Name:||Forrest James Ackerman|
|Alias(es):||Forry, Dr. Acula, 4E|
|Fandoms:||Horror, Science Fiction|
|Other:||collector, historian, literary agent|
|URL:||- 4e's Foyer - (official website) (offline, archived)|
|Click here for related articles on Fanlore.|
Forrest J Ackerman (November 24, 1916 - December 4, 2008) was an early science fiction fan who remained active in fandom for many decades. He also wrote sf, but is better known as a fan who promoted science fiction and as a literary agent for science fiction authors. He was fluent in Esperanto and a prominent advocate for the language.
Ackerman was extremely well connected. He coined the term sci fi and is credited as an early costuming pioneer by wearing a hall costume created by Morojo at the first Worldcon in 1939. He was the founder of Famous Monsters of Filmland Magazine and a member of the Fantasy Amateur Press Association.
Ackerman was the owner of the world’s largest collection of sci fi and horror memorabilia and movie props. The legendary collection was on display in his Los Angeles home known as Ackermansion where he also gave public tours. Following Ackerman's death in 2008, his collection was sold in 2009.
Ackerman was romantically involved with Morojo in the 1930s and 1940s. They later had a breakup so ugly that he barely spoke to her for the rest of his life. In 1945, he publicly proposed to Tigrina in the pages of Fanews. She didn't accept, but they remained lifelong friends, and beginning in 1947 he contributed to her lesbian publication Vice Versa under a pseudonym.
In 2018, a thread on The Classic Horror Film Board discussed Ackerman's legacy in monster film fandom, and writer/producer Lucy Chase Williams accused Ackerman of persistent sexual assault, harassment and threats over a period of two decades, and added that "other young women" had been subject to the same. Writer/director Ted Newsom confirmed that he was present when she received an unwanted pornographic fax from Ackerman and she had shared her story with him at that time. He also said he had personally opened a similar envelope from Ackerman, on behalf of another female fan who knew from experience what was inside.
Other fans came forward to reveal that they'd heard similar rumors over the years, and scholar Tom Weaver added that Ackerman had forwarded (unrequested) magazines focused on child sexual exploitation material to Eric Caidin for many years, despite Caidin's pleas to stop.
In 1966, the LASFS established the annual Forry Award and named it after Forrest J Ackerman. The award is presented for lifetime achievement in the field of science fiction. The first recipient was Ray Bradbury and in 2002, Ackerman himself received the award.
Ackerman was presented a total of three Hugo Awards, the first one in 1953 and two posthumously in 2014 and 2016.
Ackermanese, also called Ackese, Ackermanisms, or 4SJargon, was a unique jargon used by Ackerman in early zines, most prominently in Voice of the Imagi-Nation. It combined simplified spelling (e.g. "woud", "coud", "strate") with playful phrasing like "insofaras" and "ofcorse". Many fellow fans picked up on Ackermanese and tried to imitate it, sometimes to the point that readers complained about not being able to read letters or articles.
Meta and Further Reading
- Perverts Of Geekdom by Buzz Dixon (February 11, 2018)
- 1940 Yearbook of Science, Fantasy & Weird Fiction (as Franklyn Brady)
- 1948 Fantasy Annual
- Ackermaniac Presents Hoffmania 
- The Alden Press
- Amazing Forries
- Baroque Bagatales Brobdignagian
- Black and White (with Jack Speer)
- A Checklist of Fantasy Magazines
- The Damn Thing (with T. Bruce Yerke)
- The Fanzine Yearbook  (with Bob Tucker and others)
- Get Them Out on Time
- Hollerbochen Comes Back 
- I Bequeath 
- I Remember Morojo
- Imagination!  (some issues)
- In Memoriam: H. G. Wells, 1866 - 1946  (with Arthur Louis Joquel II)
- Madge's Prize Mss.
- Madman of Mars (for FAPA)
- The Meteor
- Outlandi 
- Polaris: Paul Freehafer, The Good Die Young
- Presenting -- Adam Singlesheet
- Rahuun Ta-Ka
- Science Fiction -- Hobby or Duty? 
- VOM (and the VOMbozine)
- Vomaidens Portfolio
- The War Lock  (for FAPA)
Links and Resources
- Forrest J Ackerman, Archived version at Fancyclopedia
- Forrest J Ackerman, Archived version on the IMDb
- Summary Bibliography: Forrest J. Ackerman, Archived version on the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
- Wikipedia:Forrest J Ackerman