- Hardcover: 240 pages
- Publisher: General Pub Group; New edition edition (November 1997)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1575440695
- ISBN-13: 978-1575440699
- Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 8.8 x 11.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #289,405 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Forrest J Ackerman's World of Science Fiction Hardcover – November, 1997
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You know what you're in for as soon as you see the big-headed evil alien clutching a helpless, scantily clad girl on the cover. Mr. Sci-Fi himself, Forrest J. Ackerman, takes you on a tour of all the cool movies, terrific books, and strange stuff that makes up our favorite genre. From the heady early days of sparking rockets and threatening Martians to today's dystopian futures and strong female leads, we're treated to a fun (and funny) overview of science fiction film and television, illustrated profusely with photos from the author's vast and famous collection of memorabilia. A hall of fame introduces the writers who started it all, and a cook's tour of the old pulp magazines of the '30s, '40s, and '50s is enough to make us nostalgic for the days before industrial light and magic. This is a lighthearted, very personal reference that deserves a place on the shelf of pop-culture sci-fi fans.
Few adolescent males of the 1960s were immune to the creepy, punning charms of Famous Monsters of Filmland. Ackerman, the magazine's editor, houses a 300,000-item collection of fantasy memorabilia in his Hollywood "Ackermansion," and he has raided it for this elaborate, nostalgic scrapbook on the history of horror's slightly more mature cousin, science fiction. With 300 mostly color photos and evocative commentary by "4SJ" himself, the volume traces sf's development from Verne and Wells (Ackerman actually met and befriended the latter) to the pulp magazines to genre masters like Asimov and Bradbury. Plenty of attention is lavished, of course, on big-and small-screen sf, from Melies' three-minute Trip to the Moon (1899) to Star Wars and The X-Files. Di Fate's Infinite Worlds offered a tonier look at sf art, but Ackerman gives us the collection that appeals to the inner 12-year-old boy in readers of all ages and both genders. Gordon Flagg
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Top customer reviews
Forry, a distinguished literary agent and editor of science fiction in his own right, is even better known to baby boomer males as the editor of the only truly influential "monster magazine" ever published, known affectionately to millions as FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND. Editor of 200 issues of the legendary magazine, Forry, who never sat on a pedestal but always kept his young fans squarely in the magazine's focus, managed to influence quite profoundly several generations of boys. His readers have included the elite of several entertainment industries, from books to motion pictures, many growing up to join the professional ranks of the same industries. The people behind films like STAR WARS and CLOSE ENCOUNTERS were youthful readers, from Dennis Muren to Phil Tippett, as were movie directors like John Carpenter and John Landis. Forry counts other equally remarkable icons like Ray Bradbury and Ray Harryhausen among his close personal friends. He travels in heady company, and his books are rich as a result.
Given all this, a walk through the genre of science fiction with Forry Ackerman, who has been agent to many fine science fiction writers and publisher of many anthologies and popular magazines such as SPACEMEN, is a little piece of heaven indeed. Forry's famous "Ackermansion" is perhaps the largest collection of sci-fi materials in the world. He knows his stuff, and he writes about it entertainingly and with intimate familiarity. A noted raconteur, Mr. Ackerman deserves all the attention and notoriety his books get, and I can heartily recommend time spent in these pages as a reader's treat and a visual delight.
My only disappointment after reading "WofSF" was the lack of horror and fantasy film coverage. Much to my delight, I've discovered Forry plans two follow-up books:
Forrest J Ackerman's "World of Fantasy" and "World of Horror." I can't wait.