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Australian philosopher, literary critic, legal scholar, and professional writer. Based in Newcastle, NSW. Author of FREEDOM OF RELIGION AND THE SECULAR STATE (2012), HUMANITY ENHANCED (2014), and THE MYSTERY OF MORAL AUTHORITY (2016).

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Death of Forrest J. Ackerman

It's been announced that legendary science fiction fan Forrest J. Ackerman died from heart failure on 4 December. He was 92.

Unfortunately, Ackerman will be memorialised mainly for inventing the horrible term "sci-fi", which seems to have won the memetic war as an abbreviation for "science fiction". There was, however, a lot more to him than that. He was a great collector of science fiction and science fiction memorabilia, and a long-time leader in the community of science fiction fandom, dating back to the early decades of last century. He was an incredibly active editor and agent - helping the early careers of many of the genre's biggest names, among them, Ray Bradbury (not to mention the notorious L. Ron Hubbard). He had many publishing credits as a creative writer (often in collaboration with others), and made cameo appearances in a large number of science fiction movies. Ackerman's enormous productivity made him the most important and famous fan in the entire history of the genre; there will never be another like him.

I didn't know him personally, but he will be greatly missed by many, many people. My sincere condolescences to his loved ones.

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