Sci-Fi Guru Forrest Ackerman Dead at 92

Magazine editor coined term 'sci-fi'
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Dec 6, 2008 9:42 AM CST
This Nov. 22, 2005 file photo shows science-fiction writer Forrest J. Ackerman, 89, gesturing during an interview at his Los Angeles home.    (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
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(Newser) – Fright-film magazine writer and editor Forrest J Ackerman—credited with coining the term "sci-fi"—died this week of heart failure, the Los Angeles Times reports. He was 92. Ackerman introduced new generations to horror films with his magazine Famous Monsters of Filmland; he was also known for his massive collection of sci-fi memorabilia, believed to be the world's largest.

The magazine was full of horror-flick synopses and interviews with luminaries of the genre. “A generation of fantasy lovers thank you for raising us so well,” Steven Spielberg once wrote to Ackerman. The magazine boss, who also penned short stories and comics, regularly opened his home to visitors captivated by his 300,000-piece memorabilia collection, which included Dr. Spock's ears and a Dracula cape worn by Bela Lugosi. “He was always just a big kid,” says a current horror-movie mag editor.
(Read more science fiction stories.)