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Forrest J Ackerman - dead or alive

07/11/2008. Contributed by Jessica Martin

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Locus is running a new story saying that science fiction and fantasy editor Forrest J Ackerman is dead - so did the British Fantasy Society, before posting a retraction saying that, no, he's still alive. Update: Alex Paige confirms Forrest is still thankfully with us.

Yesterday Locus Online, the newspaper of the SFF genre, posted a piece saying "Editor, literary agent, and über-fan Forrest J Ackerman died today, 6 November 2008, at the age of 91."

The British Fantasy Society followed suit, but then Guy Adams at the BFS took the story down and posted a piece saying "Yesterday, having read a similarly erroneous posting elsewhere, I wrote of the death of Forrest J Ackerman. I am pleased to be able to say that he is still with us and can only apologise for my haste to pass on our condolences when I would have been better placed checking that the story was true."

Forrest J Ackerman is a FaceBook chum with Stephen Hunt, and Stephen told us that Forrest had last posted on Friday saying that he is "battling an infection this Halloween. Boo (hoo)."

We'll bring you definitive word of whether Forrest is dead or alive when we hear from him - we're hoping he's alive, obviously.

It's very unlike Locus to get their facts wrong, of course, they're usually the Wall Street Journal-standard when it comes to such matters, so we're still rather worried here for Forrest.


This just in from Alex Paige

The report posted on the Locus website of the death of Forrest J Ackerman is incorrect. Mr Ackerman is ailing but he is not deceased.

The current situation is this: Mr Ackerman is suffering from congestive heart failure and pneumonia and has elected not to undergo any further treatment or medication. He is resting comfortably at home surrounded by close friends and is lucid though weak.

The erroneous report of his death originated on the British Fantasy Society website and was then picked up by Wikipedia. Locus Online used the Wikipedia source and posted an obituary.

The BFS, Wikipedia and Locus Online have all been alerted to the fact that Mr Ackerman is still with us. BFS has published a correction and Wikipedia has amended its entry. So far no correction has been posted by Locus Online.

As soon as further news is available on Mr Ackerman's condition I will be happy to pass it on.

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