Here’s to Uncle Forry

Forrest J. Ackerman is dying.

I tried to tell people that all day yesterday, and no one around here has heard of him. That’s just depressing.

Forry Ackerman is a longtime fan of science fiction, fantasy, and horror. He’s been a writer, an editor, a collector, and just an all-around great guy. He’s probably best known for creating and editing the legendary “Famous Monsters of Filmland” magazine, though he’s also the first person to abbreviate “science fiction” down to “sci-fi.” He’s been a literary agent for Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov, Hugo Gernsback, Andre Norton, Curt Siodmak, Jack Williamson, and many, many others. He even wrote the first issue of the original “Vampirella” comic book.

His home, which used to be known as the “Ackermansion,” was almost completely dedicated to his colossal collection of priceless sci-fi and horror memorabilia, which included books, film posters, costumes, makeup, masks, props, models, photographs, and much more. At 300,000 items, it was the largest collection of its kind in the world. The collection included models of the Martian spacecraft from “The War of the Worlds,” dinosaurs from “King Kong,” Bela Lugosi’s cape from “Dracula,” the Metalunan mutant from “This Island Earth,” the golden idol from “Raiders of the Lost Ark” and much more. And he’d give free tours of the place, just to give science fiction and film fans a thrill to see all that awesome stuff. Financial troubles in 2002 forced him to downgrade to a smaller house, the mini-Ackermansion.

Forry has been one of the greatest boosters of science fiction and of science fiction fandom ever. Without Forry Ackerman, modern science fiction/horror/fantasy fandom would not exist.

But like I said: Forry Ackerman is dying.

In speaking with Uncle Forry’s caretaker, an amazing gentleman named Joe Moe, I was told that Forry was lucid, peaceful and not even on pain medication, but that he was progressively getting worse – and was ready to move on. However, he was wanting to say his goodbyes to as many of his neice and nephews that he has created in his almost 92 years on this Earth. His 92nd Birthday is this November 22nd.

Many friends of Forry have visited his bedside, hearing one last story, one last pun and to say one last goodbye. Ray Bradbury even flew to his bedside.

And they’re even requesting letters. If you’d like to write Forry, tell him what his work has meant to you, wish him well, here’s the address:

Forrest J. Ackerman
4511 Russell Avenue
Los Angeles, CA  90027

Whether you knew him as Uncle Forry, Dr. Acula, Mr. Science Fiction, or something else, let’s get some cards and letters in the mail, guys. Just to show that not everyone has forgotten Forrest Ackerman.

(Link via Mike Lynch)

No Comments

  1. Maxo Said,

    November 6, 2008 @ 9:51 am

    I’m really sorry to hear this – Forrest Ackerman is the godfather of geeks, and his genuine enthusiasm and generosity sets him apart. I’ve never read anything about Ackerman that didn’t talk about what a great guy he is, and he deserves some recognition for that.

  2. Hero Sandwich » The Death of Science Fiction’s Greatest Fan Said,

    December 6, 2008 @ 6:09 pm

    […] I wrote about Uncle Forry just a month ago, when it looked like he’d be leaving us in days. As it turns out, the cards and well-wishes from his own legions of fans helped him rally for an extra four weeks. […]

  3. Hero Sandwich » International Fan Letter Week Said,

    January 26, 2009 @ 6:21 am

    […] When Forrest J. Ackerman was dying, his friends and family asked for his fans to send him letters, and I was one of the people who put a letter in an envelope and sent it on its way. And it felt good. So many of my favorite writers died long before it ever occurred to me to send them a note saying I thought they were cool, and it was nice to, for once, have the opportunity to say thanks. […]