Thursday, February 25, 2010

Forrest J Ackerman Video

Apropos of nothing, here's a video of the late, great Forrest J Ackerman giving a tour of his collection of science fiction memorabilia. It's from the 1980s, back when he was still healthy and living in his famed Ackermansion. No, I didn't make it...

Forrest J Ackerman -- a.k.a. Forry Ackerman, 4E, Dr. Acula, etc. -- was one of science fiction's earliest and most active fans, beginning his involvement in 1926. Up until his death in 2008, he amassed a gigantic collection of science fiction, film, TV, and literary memorabilia, including toys, magazines, original props, and books. He housed it all in his 18-room home in Hollywood, California. And yes, he regularly gave tours.

Forry worked as a literary agent, anthologist, editor, recording artist, writer, and who knows what else. He started the seminal horror magazine Famous Monsters of Filmland, attended all but one (or two?) World Science Fiction Conventions, and even coined the term "sci fi." He was a legend in his own time, and a friend to most of the science fiction community.

Attic contributor and fellow collector Karl Tate actually turned me on to a different video about Forry, but after poking through You Tube for a bit, I decided that the above better represented the man and his collection. But really, if you've got the time, watch some of the other videos. Collectively, they offer a wonderful glimpse into the life of a man who practically defined science fiction fandom for more than 80 years.

I never had a chance to visit the Ackermansion, but I did get to speak with Forry once over the phone. I was gathering information on the early days of science fiction and conducted a short interview with him. He was gracious and friendly and happy to take the time to chat. I only wish I'd recorded the conversation.

Anyway, as I said, I've no real reason for posting this video right now. Except... Ackerman was a king among collectors, and if I had my way -- and the space, money, and time -- the Attic would look a lot like the Ackermansion. 4E was, and remains, an inspiration. So I'm just showing a little love.

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