Forrest J. Ackerman, Grand Old Man of science fiction fandom, has died at the age of 92. As a boy growing up, I remember waiting for the new issue of his magazine Famous Monsters of Filmland to hit the local newsstand, with its wonderful write-ups of modern and classic science fiction, fantasy, and horror films, stars, and behind-the-scenes folks, complete with scads of pictures. The advertisements alone were worth the price of the magazine to an eight-to-fifteen year old like me, with their promises of film clips from the Golden Voyage of Sinbad and Murder in the Rue Morgue, latex masks of the Creature from the Black Lagoon, Robbie the Robot toys, and Planet of the Apes model kits.
I would credit Famous Monsters, and the late Mr. Ackerman who was its editor for so long, with sparking my life-long love affair with all things “genre” related, and nothing else so neatly encapsulates what that genre really is. Although he and I never crossed paths at conventions, I know the fandom community will feel the loss it has suffered.