The Moviehunter

Pulp Culture
Forrest J. Ackerman,
father of term 'sci-fi,'
to speak at Ritz Theater


May 14, 2000
By Franklin Harris

Ray Bradbury will not be the only science fiction legend in town when he visits the Tennessee Valley this month. His first editor and publisher will be along as well.

Forrest J. Ackerman, the man who coined the term "sci-fi," will join Bradbury and will present a program, "It's Alive! Monster Movie Memories with Forrest J. Ackerman," on Saturday at 2 p.m. at the Ritz Theater in Sheffield.

Forrest J. Ackerman
Forrest J. Ackerman
The program is free and open to the public. An autograph session will follow. Autographs are free, but photos, books and other "Ackermonster" memorabilia will be available for sale.

An author, editor, publisher, agent and archivist, Ackerman, 83, is one of the world's foremost collectors and chroniclers of sci-fi, fantasy and horror. His 18-room "Ackermansion" in Los Angeles houses priceless memorabilia.

"I open the house for free tours most Saturdays when I'm in town," Ackerman said. "The rest of the time I'm on the road, attending conventions around the world."

From 1958 to 1983, he was editor of Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine.

Ackerman's "It's Alive!" program will include vintage film clips and Ackerman's reminiscences of his friendships with genre luminaries like Bradbury, Ray Harryhausen, H.G. Wells, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Vincent Price, Fritz Lang, Robert Bloch and others.

"Forry changed my life," said Bradbury. "He paid attention to my work when no one else cared."

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