Neil Gaiman was voted the 2020 Forrest J Ackerman Award for Lifetime Achievement by the members of the Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society at their October 22 meeting.
The Forrest J Ackerman or Forry Award has been given by the LASFS annually since 1966 for lifetime achievement in the SF field. Usually, it is presented at Loscon, the convention hosted each Thanksgiving Weekend by the club, although the con has been postponed to 2021 due to the pandemic. Ackerman joined LASFS in the year the club was founded, 1934.
Gaiman’s many works include the comic book series The Sandman and novels Stardust, American Gods, Coraline, and The Graveyard Book. He has previously won the Hugo, Nebula, and Bram Stoker awards, as well as the Newbery and Carnegie medals. In 2013, his novel The Ocean at the End of the Lane was voted Book of the Year in the British National Book Awards.
The names of all previous Forry Award winners can be seen here.
By John Hertz: The Los Angeles
Science Fantasy Society on October 3 voted its annual Forry Award to Barbara
Hambly, author of science fiction & fantasy and indeed a graphic artist of
no small ability.
published book was Time of the Dark (1982); forty more. Those Who Hunt the Night (1989) won a Locus Award. She’s
written originally for Star Trek, Star Wars, Beauty
& the Beast, the DC Comics Metaverse. She’s been translated
into Dutch, French, German, Italian, and Russian. She was President
of SFWA (Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America) 1994-1996.
Writing outside our field she’s done – among others – a dozen and
a half historical-fiction novels about Benjamin January, starting with Free
Man of Color (1997), i.e. him; Lady of Perdition is
expected in February 2020.
She’s been a teacher, model, waitress, technical editor, all-night
liquor-store clerk, and Shotokan karate instructor (she
has a Black Belt).
When someone asked me about her fantasy writing, I said “If she
sends a man of today into Swordland, and he has to pick up a sabre and use it,
he’ll have been athletic enough already to defend himself, but afterward he’ll
realize his hand is blistered.”
The Forrest J Ackerman or Forry Award has been given by the LASFS
each year since 1966 for lifetime achievement in the SF field. It is
decided by a vote of members at a club meeting, usually in the fall, and
currently presented at Loscon, the SF convention hosted annually by the
LASFS since 1977. The eponym of the award – you were waiting for me
to use that word, weren’t you – was a pioneer of SF, fandom, and the LASFS in
This year’s nominations and voting were conducted by Program Chief
Charles Lee Jackson II, assisted by Christian McGuire. The names of
all previous winners were posted. They can be seen listed by
year here and
alphabetically here (LASFS Website).
Each attending member was allowed three nominations; this resulted
in twenty nominees. In the first round of voting, members were
allowed three votes; eliminating the lowest gave a list of ten; a second round,
with members allowed two votes, gave a list of five; a third round, with one
vote, gave a list of two; a fourth round gave the winner.
Most winners have been pro SF authors, illustrators, editors; some
have been fans. Some people are both. A Forry Award
anthology was published in 2016; see here; the LASFS
motto De profundis ad astra (Latin; “From the depths to the
stars”) is reflected in the title.
The LASFS is the oldest SF club in the world – founded
1934. This was its 4,286th meeting.
LASFS President Marty Cantor announced he would present the Forry
Award at Loscon. This year’s Loscon will be Loscon XLVI, held 29
November – 1 December (United States Thanksgiving weekend) at the L.A.
International Airport (LAX) Marriott Hotel; see here.
That’s my SF club. How’s yours? Anything to
The Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society will soon release its first e-book, an anthology, Ad Astra and Beyond the Forry Award Anthology.
The anthology features some of the top names in science fiction: Frank Kelly Freas, Forrest J Ackerman, John DeChancie, David Gerrold, Len Moffatt, C.L. Moore, Larry Niven, Fred Patten, Jerry Pournelle, and A.E. van Vogt, all of whom are among the honourees of the “Forry Award”, presented each year since 1966 to an individual for an outstanding achievement in the field.
Edited by Forry laureate Charles Lee Jackson, II, the volume includes fiction, non-fiction, art, and even a filk song, a cross-section of the talents of those who have been honored with the Forry Award.
Forry Award winner Charles Lee Jackson II, who received his plaque during ceremonies at Loscon on November 27, sent along his acceptance speech:
Forry Ackerman would have been pleased that I’ve received this. He and I were friends for nigh on to forty-five years; in the ‘sixties I was a fan of his publications, and in the ‘nineties he was a fan of mine.
I expect I am receiving this not for the depth but for the breadth of my contributions to science fiction: the cartoons, comic books, short stories, novels, magazine articles, convention appearances, and work around the LASFS.
I consider this as both an honor and a challenge: I don’t want someone fifty years from now looking at the list of Forry laureates and saying, “I know Bradbury, and Heinlein… but who’s this pretentious jerk?” So I’ve got ten more books lined up for next year.
Thank you, Matthew, and my thanks to the LASFS, and to all of you for that fine round of applause.
Jackson’s books and stories are available on Amazon. To find out more about the fannish CLJII Empire of Entertainment, click here.
This year’s Forry Award was a tie between Jackson and Spider Robinson.
I am grattered and flatified to be able to report that I have tied with Charles Lee Jackson II for this year’s Forry Award, given out in memory of the late great Forrest J. Ackerman since 1966 by the members of LASFS, the Los Angeles Science Fiction Society.
It’s a lifetime-achievement honour, and the list of previous winners is so impressive I can’t resist reproducing it here… [Click for list.]
I have to say I’m in some damn fine company. Most of the gods of my personal pantheon are there. My only regret is that Jeanne can’t be here to share this with me.
My profound, sincere thanks to the members of LASFS. I look forward with great eagerness to receiving the plaque that I have read comes with the award, and I hope one day I’ll have an opportunity to view the special plaque in LASFS HQ on which I understand my name will now be inscribed with those above.
Spider Robinson and Charles Lee Jackson II have been voted the 2015 Forry Award, a lifetime achievement award presented by the Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society. The award is named after Forrest J Ackerman.
And the Encyclopaedia Britannica has created an entry about him. According to Harlan, “I am right next to Ralph Ellison, just following Ellis Island. What a wonderful thing.” Call it a story of requited love. Harlan has been irresistibly attracted to the encyclopedia since he was a kid.
When he accepted the 1970 Forry Award Harlan told those of us at the banquet about his times as a young fan in Cleveland. Harlan joined the first local sf club (Andre Norton was also a member). He started collecting. Then… “I went into the phase I called ‘liberating’ volumes from my high school library. I stole the first 23 volumes of the Encyclopaedia Britannica. They never suspected a thing. But then I got greedy, and they finally caught me when I tried to stuff both the Index and the World Gazetteer under my jacket…” So now the circle has closed in a way his high school librarian would not have predicted. It’s a well-deserved accolade.
The Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame was founded in 1996 by the Kansas City Science Fiction and Fantasy Society (KCSFFS) in conjunction with the J. Wayne and Elsie M. Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction at the University of Kansas. Four individuals are added each year, chosen on the basis of their continued excellence and long-time contribution to the science fiction field.