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Sci-fi superfan Ackerman dies at 92

Dec. 6, 2008 at 12:20 PM

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 6 (UPI) -- Science fiction superfan Forrest Ackerman, founder of the influential U.S. magazine Famous Monsters of Filmland, has died at 92, a friend says.

Ackerman influenced a generation of monster movie and fantasy fiction fans, helping to popularize the genre and turn it into a full-fledged cultural phenomenon in the 1960s, the Los Angeles Times reported.

John Sasser, a friend who is making a documentary on Ackerman, told the newspaper he died Thursday of heart failure at his Los Angeles home.

Ackerman was a writer, editor and literary agent credited with coining the term "sci-fi" in the 1950s, the newspaper said. Famous Monsters of Filmland, launched in 1958, was a photo-laden magazine that glorified past and present horror movies.

"It was the first movie-monster magazine," Tony Timpone, editor of another horror-movie magazine, Fangoria, told the Times in 2002. Timpone said he began reading Famous Monsters as a young boy in the early 1970s and remembered it as "a black-and-white magazine with cheap paper but great painted (color) covers. It really turned people on to the magic of horror movies."

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