Ackerman Tributes All Over the Net

Forry Ackerman touched the lives of hundreds of fans, writers and filmmakers, and many are saluting his memory by telling their favorite stories about him.

bobgable’s posterous retells Walt Willis’ really funny story about a cross-country trip with Forry Ackerman

Robert J. Sawyer shares warm memories of meeting Forry, and a cherished visit to the Ackermansion:

I remember Forry’s wonderful kindness to a young writer he’d never met before. And I remember, all over his mansion, portraits of his deceased wife Wendayne, and how he spoke repeatedly about her with so much love.

First Fandom president Joan Marie Knappenberger’s obit on the SFWA News site incorporates several classic Ackerman chestnuts:

His stories of his life’s adventures were legendary, and his puns were fabulous. He once told me that he had read every last word in every book in his collection. When he got a new book for his collection, he would open it to the last page, and read the last word.

Forry’s passing has been noted on lots of major media sites, not the least of them Time Magazine, whose research revealed what we all know ain’t so, about who originated “sci-fi”:

If he didn’t coin the term “sci-fi” — Robert Heinlein used it first — then by using the phrase in public in 1954 he instantly popularized it (to the lasting chagrin of purists, who preferred “SF”).

Update: Bill Warren adds, “There’s an interesting tribute to Forry on the Ain’t It Cool News website, including Forry’s comments on his own death. The Classic Horror Film Board has a topic devoted to Forry’s demise.”

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4 thoughts on “Ackerman Tributes All Over the Net

  1. I don’t care to invite the hate mail I inevitably invite if I note that, while agreeing that this isnt’ the time or place, invevitably, there are appraisals to be made of Forry’s negative aspects, eventually. They were less heard outside LA, but not unheard.

    But another time, and this is a time for mourning and friends.

  2. Is there a typo when you note that Time Magazine’s “research revealed what we all know ain’t so, about who originated ‘sci-fi'”? What most of us know is that RAH indeed came up with it first (we’ve had the proof for many years, though Forry has long credited him), but that when Forry later independently created the term he also popularized it. Is there some reason you think that’s incorrect?

  3. As noted in my reply to the other thread about this, Heinlein did *not* use the phrase “sci-fi” in that 1949 letter quoted in Grumbles From the Grave. He actually wrote “sci-fic” and this is clearly evident in the pdf of the letter available from

    If you want to check this yourself, it is an 80 MB file labeled “Blassingame Correspondence 1940s, Part 3” and “Product Code: CORR331-03.” The pdf is 262 pages long and the letter in question is on page 252. If you don’t have a membership, it will cost you $2 to download.

    The pdf contains photocopies of actual correspondence, so there is no doubt that Heinlein wrote “sci-fic” and not what was claimed in Grumbles From the Grave.

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