Category Archives: Forrest J. Ackerman

Happy Birthday, C. L. Moore

C L Moore chin on handWhile it’s not quite January 24 where I am just yet, it is a few times zones east of here, and that’s good enough for me.  Especially since tomorrow is going to be a pretty full day.

Fantasy and science fiction author C. L. Moore was born this day in 1911.  After her marriage, her writing was overshadowed by that of her husband Henry Kuttner.  This was in part because Kuttner’s byline got a higher word rate that hers.

Even so, Moore had a major impact on the field.  Her Jirel of Joiry was one of the first women fighters in the field of sword and sorcery, a direct forerunner of Red Sonja.  And Northwest Smith was clearly one of the models for Han Solo.

I started a series of posts last year taking an in-depth look at the Northwest Smith stories.  I stopped when I got to “Nymph of Darkness”.  This was co-written with Forrest J. Ackerman.  I have a book in which Ackerman discusses the story.  Unfortunately, it was not on  the shelf.  I finally found the book in a box that hadn’t been unpacked from when we moved in 2012.  Look for more Northwest Smith posts soon.

Decades Years ago, when I was in college, I saw an autograph book that contained pictures of science fiction and fantasy writers, one per page.  The page for C. L. Moore had a picture of her sitting on what appeared to be the back steps of a house.  I’ve not seen that picture since.  It doesn’t appear to be online anywhere.  If anyone has a copy of that picture, I would appreciate your sending it to me.

For those who are interested, as well as the morbidly curious, here are the Northwest Smith posts I’ve done so far:

“Black Thirst”
“Scarlet Dream”
“Dust of Gods”


Burroughs’ Respone to Ackerman

I became aware of an interesting thing on the web today, although it’s been up for about a year and a half.  It came across my Twitter feed, and now I can’t find who sent it.  Apologies for lack of acknowledgement.  Anyway, this link is to a site showing correspondence between Edgar Rice Burroughs and a 14 year of fan named Forrest J. Ackerman.  (Yes, that Forrest J. Ackerman.)  I think Burroughs hits the nail on the head in his reply to Ackerman’s letter.  Especially when he says

No fiction is worth reading except for entertainment. If it entertains and is clean, it is good literature, of its kind. If it forms the habit of reading, in people who might not read otherwise, it is the best literature

There’s a reason Burroughs is still read after 100 years and so many bestsellers are forgotten.  Too many people, in academia or with agendas to promote, seem to have forgotten that.