Raphael Aloysius Lafferty
(November 7, 1914 - March 18, 2002) was an American
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...
Science fiction is a genre of fiction dealing with imaginary but more or less plausible content such as future settings, futuristic science and technology, space travel, aliens, and paranormal abilities...
Fantasy is a genre of fiction that commonly uses magic and other supernatural phenomena as a primary element of plot, theme, or setting. Many works within the genre take place in imaginary worlds where magic is common...
writer known for his original use of language
Language may refer either to the specifically human capacity for acquiring and using complex systems of communication, or to a specific instance of such a system of complex communication...
A metaphor is a literary figure of speech that uses an image, story or tangible thing to represent a less tangible thing or some intangible quality or idea; e.g., "Her eyes were glistening jewels." Metaphor may also be used for any rhetorical figures of speech that achieve their effects via...
, and narrative structure
Narrative structure is generally described as the structural framework that underlies the order and manner in which a narrative is presented to a reader, listener, or viewer....
, as well as for his etymological
Etymology is the study of the history of words, their origins, and how their form and meaning have changed over time.For languages with a long written history, etymologists make use of texts in these languages and texts about the languages to gather knowledge about how words were used during...
wit. He also wrote a set of four autobiographical novels, In a Green Tree
; a history book, The Fall of Rome
; and a number of novels that could be more or less loosely called historical fiction.
In March 2011, it was announced in Locus
Locus, subtitled "The Magazine Of The Science Fiction & Fantasy Field", is published monthly in Oakland, California. It reports on the science fiction and fantasy publishing field, including comprehensive listings of all new books published in the genre. It is considered the news organ and trade...
that the copyright to 29 Lafferty novels and 225 short stories were up for sale for >$70,000.
Lafferty was born on 7 November 1914 in Neola, Iowa
Neola is a city in Pottawattamie County, Iowa, United States. The population was 845 at the 2000 census.-Geography:Neola is located at .According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of , all of it land....
to Hugh David Lafferty, a broker dealing in oil leases and royalties, and Julia Mary Burke, a teacher; he was the youngest of five siblings. His first name, Raphael, derived from the day he was expected to be born on (the Feast of St. Raphael
Raphael is an archangel of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, who in the Judeo-Christian tradition performs all manners of healing....
). When he was 4, his family moved to Perry, Oklahoma
Perry is a city in Noble County, Oklahoma, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 5,126. It is the county seat of Noble County.-19th century:...
. He graduated from Cascia Hall
Cascia Hall Preparatory School is an Augustinian Roman Catholic coeducational college-preparatory day school in Tulsa, Oklahoma.-History:Cascia Hall was founded by the Order of Saint Augustine in 1926 at its current location, a campus at 2520 South Yorktown Avenue in midtown Tulsa. The school's...
and later attended night school at the University of Tulsa
The University of Tulsa is a private university awarding bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees located in Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA. It is currently ranked 75th among doctoral degree granting universities in the nation by US News and World Report and is listed as one of the "Best 366 Colleges" by...
for two years from 1933, mostly studying math and German, but left. He then began to work for a Clark Electric Co. in Tulsa, Oklahoma
Tulsa is the second-largest city in the state of Oklahoma and 46th-largest city in the United States. With a population of 391,906 as of the 2010 census, it is the principal municipality of the Tulsa Metropolitan Area, a region with 937,478 residents in the MSA and 988,454 in the CSA. Tulsa's...
, and apparently a newspaper as well; during this period (1939–1942), he attended the International Correspondence School.
R. A. Lafferty lived most of his life in Tulsa, with his sister, Anna Lafferty. Lafferty enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1942. After training in Texas
Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...
, North Carolina
North Carolina is a state located in the southeastern United States. The state borders South Carolina and Georgia to the south, Tennessee to the west and Virginia to the north. North Carolina contains 100 counties. Its capital is Raleigh, and its largest city is Charlotte...
Florida is a state in the southeastern United States, located on the nation's Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of 18,801,310 as measured by the 2010 census, it...
, and California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...
, he was sent to the South Pacific Area
The South Pacific Area was a multinational U.S.-led military command active during World War II. It was a part of the U.S. Pacific Ocean Areas under Admiral Chester Nimitz.Instructions to the senior U.S...
, serving in Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...
, New Guinea
New Guinea is the world's second largest island, after Greenland, covering a land area of 786,000 km2. Located in the southwest Pacific Ocean, it lies geographically to the east of the Malay Archipelago, with which it is sometimes included as part of a greater Indo-Australian Archipelago...
Morotai Island Regency is a regency of North Maluku province, Indonesia, located on Morotai Island. The population was 54,876 in 2007.-History:...
and the Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...
. When he left the Army in 1946, he had become a 1st Sergeant serving as a staff sergeant and had received an Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal
The Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal is a service decoration of the Second World War which was awarded to any member of the United States military who served in the Pacific Theater from 1941 to 1945 and was created on November 6, 1942 by issued by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The medal was...
. He never married.
Lafferty did not begin writing until the 1950s, but he eventually produced thirty-two novels and more than two hundred short stories, most of them at least nominally science fiction. His first published story was "The Wagons" in New Mexico Quarterly Review
in 1959. His first published science fiction story was "Day of the Glacier", in The Original Science Fiction Stories
in 1960, and his first published novel was Past Master
Until 1971, Lafferty worked as an electrical engineer
Electrical engineering is a field of engineering that generally deals with the study and application of electricity, electronics and electromagnetism. The field first became an identifiable occupation in the late nineteenth century after commercialization of the electric telegraph and electrical...
. After that, he spent his time writing until around 1980, when his output declined due to a stroke. He stopped writing regularly in 1984. In 1994, he suffered an even more severe stroke. He died 18 March 2002, aged 87 in a nursing home in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
Broken Arrow is a city located in the northeastern part of the U.S. state of Oklahoma, primarily in Tulsa County but also with a small section of the city in western Wagoner County. It is the largest suburb of Tulsa. According to the 2010 US Census, Broken Arrow has a population of 98,850 residents...
. His collected papers, artifacts, and ephemera were donated to the University of Tulsa's McFarlin Library, Department of Special Collections and University Archives. Other manuscripts are housed in the University of Iowa
The University of Iowa is a public state-supported research university located in Iowa City, Iowa, United States. It is the oldest public university in the state. The university is organized into eleven colleges granting undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees...
's Library special collections department.
Lafferty's funeral took place at Christ the King Catholic Church in Tulsa, where he regularly attended daily Mass. He is buried at St. Rose Catholic Cemetery in Perry.
Lafferty's quirky prose drew from traditional storytelling, both Irish
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...
and Native American
The indigenous peoples of the Americas are the pre-Columbian inhabitants of North and South America, their descendants and other ethnic groups who are identified with those peoples. Indigenous peoples are known in Canada as Aboriginal peoples, and in the United States as Native Americans...
, and his shaggy characters and tall tales are unique in science fiction. Little of Lafferty's writing is considered typical of the genre. His stories are more tall tale
A tall tale is a story with unbelievable elements, related as if it were true and factual. Some such stories are exaggerations of actual events, for example fish stories such as, "that fish was so big, why I tell ya', it nearly sank the boat when I pulled it in!" Other tall tales are completely...
than traditional science fiction and are deeply influenced by his Catholic beliefs; Fourth Mansions
, for example, draws on The Interior Mansions
El Castillo Interior or Las Moradas was written by Saint Teresa of Ávila in 1577 as a guide for spiritual development, through service and prayer...
of Teresa of Avila
Saint Teresa of Ávila, also called Saint Teresa of Jesus, baptized as Teresa Sánchez de Cepeda y Ahumada, was a prominent Spanish mystic, Roman Catholic saint, Carmelite nun, and writer of the Counter Reformation, and theologian of contemplative life through mental prayer...
In any event, his writings, both topically and stylistically, are not easy to categorize. Plot is frequently secondary to anything else Lafferty does in his stories, which has caused him to have a loyal cult
The word cult in current popular usage usually refers to a group whose beliefs or practices are considered abnormal or bizarre. The word originally denoted a system of ritual practices...
following, but has caused some readers to give up attempting to read his work.
Not all of Lafferty's work was science fiction or fantasy; his novel Okla Hannali http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0806123494
, published by University of Oklahoma Press, tells the story of the Choctaw
The Choctaw are a Native American people originally from the Southeastern United States...
Mississippi is a U.S. state located in the Southern United States. Jackson is the state capital and largest city. The name of the state derives from the Mississippi River, which flows along its western boundary, whose name comes from the Ojibwe word misi-ziibi...
, and after the Trail of Tears
The Trail of Tears is a name given to the forced relocation and movement of Native American nations from southeastern parts of the United States following the Indian Removal Act of 1830...
, in Oklahoma
Oklahoma is a state located in the South Central region of the United States of America. With an estimated 3,751,351 residents as of the 2010 census and a land area of 68,667 square miles , Oklahoma is the 28th most populous and 20th-largest state...
, through an account of the larger-than-life character Hannali and his large family. This novel was thought of highly by the novelist Dee Brown
Dorris Alexander "Dee" Brown was an American novelist and historian.His most famous work, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee details some of the violence and oppression suffered by Native Americans at the hands of American expansionism.-Life:Born in Alberta, Louisiana, a sawmill town, Brown grew up in...
, who published an influential book (Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee
Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by American writer Dee Brown is a history of Native Americans in the American West in the late nineteenth century. He describes the people's displacement through forced relocations and years of warfare waged by the United States federal government...
) in 1970 on the violent relationship between Native Americans and American expansionism.
Lafferty's work is represented by Virginia Kidd
Virginia Kidd was an American literary agent, writer and editor, particularly influential in science fiction and related fields. She represented some of science fiction's most important authors, including Ursula K. Le Guin, R.A. Lafferty, Anne McCaffrey, and Gene Wolfe...
Literary Agency, which holds a cache of his still-unpublished manuscripts.
- The Flame is Green, 1st volume of the Coscuin Chronicles
- Half a Sky, 2nd volume of the Coscuin Chronicles
- Sardinian Summer, 3rd volume of the Coscuin Chronicles (unpublished)
- First and Last Islands, 4th and final volume of the Coscuin Chronicles (unpublished)
- Esteban (unpublished)
Science Fiction and Fantasy novels
- Past Master
Past Master is a novel by science fiction writer R. A. Lafferty. It was first published in 1968, and was nominated for the 1968 Nebula award and the 1969 Hugo award...
- The Reefs of Earth, 1968
- Space Chantey (a retelling of the Odyssey
The Odyssey is one of two major ancient Greek epic poems attributed to Homer. It is, in part, a sequel to the Iliad, the other work ascribed to Homer. The poem is fundamental to the modern Western canon, and is the second—the Iliad being the first—extant work of Western literature...
in SF terms).
- Fourth Mansions
Fourth Mansions is a novel by American author R. A. Lafferty, first published in 1969. It was nominated for the Nebula Award for Best Novel in 1970.-Plot introduction:...
- Arrive at Easterwine: The Autobiography of a Ktistec Machine as Conveyed to R. A. Lafferty
- Not to Mention Camels
- Annals of Klepsis
- Serpent's Egg
- East of Laughter
- Sindbad: The Thirteenth Voyage
- The Elliptical Grave
- When All the World Was Young (unpublished)
In a Green Tree
- My Heart Leaps Up, 1920-1928
- Grasshoppers and Wild Honey, 1928-1942 (unpublished)
- Deep Scars of the Thunder, 1942-1960 (unpublished)
- Incidents of Travel in Flatland, 1960-1978 (unpublished)
The Devil is Dead Trilogy
- the "Interglossia"; a portion of The Devil is Dead which was omitted from printings of it; the Interglossia has been republished in How Many Miles to Babylon? & in pgs 16-18, Issue 5 of A Magazine of Popular Literature and Popular Culture, in 1972 (ed. by Tom Collins & published by Fan Press of Lakemont, GA) http://www.pbagalleries.com/search/item.php?anr=156510; OCLC: 70161160
- "Apocryphal Passage of the Last Night Of Count Finnegan On Galveston Island"; the last chapter of The Devil Is Dead, omitted from the standard version, because the publisher of the first edition did not receive it in time to include it; later published separately in Episodes of the Argo
- More Than Melchisedech
Tales of Chicago
- Tales of Midnight
Miscellaneous unpublished novels or otherwise unknown
- Iron Tongue of Midnight
- Dark Shine
- Fair Hills of Ocean
- Funnyfingers & Cabrito (Pendragon Press, 1976)
- Horns On Their Heads (Pendragon Press, 1976)
- Promontory goats (c. 1988; Publisher: United Mythologies Press)
- True believers (c. 1988; Publisher: United Mythologies Press)
- Strange skies (c. 1988; Publisher: United Mythologies Press)
- Mischief malicious (c. 1991; Publisher: United Mythologies Press)
- How Many Miles to Babylon?
- Where have You been Sandaliotis?
- The Three Armageddons of Enniscorthy Sweeney Ishmael into the Barrens was first printed in the 1971 anthology Four Futures: Four Original Novellas of Science Fiction, New York, New York; Hawthorn Books (195 pages; it contains the "Foreword: Four Themes for Four Futures" by Isaac Asimov
Isaac Asimov was an American author and professor of biochemistry at Boston University, best known for his works of science fiction and for his popular science books. Asimov was one of the most prolific writers of all time, having written or edited more than 500 books and an estimated 90,000...
; Ishmael into the Barrens by R. A. Lafferty; Braver Newer World by Harry Harrison
Harry Harrison is an American science fiction author best known for his character the Stainless Steel Rat and the novel Make Room! Make Room! , the basis for the film Soylent Green...
; How Can We Sink When We Can Fly? by Alexei Panshin
Alexis Adams Panshin is an American author and science fiction critic. He has written several critical works and several novels, including the 1968 Nebula Award-winning novel Rite of Passage and the 1990 Hugo Award winning study of science fiction The World Beyond the Hill .-Other works:Panshin...
; and Going by Robert Silverberg
Robert Silverberg is an American author, best known for writing science fiction. He is a multiple nominee of the Hugo Award and a winner of the Nebula Award.-Early years:...
; LCCN: 79-158024)
Short story collections
(the following collections have no overlap)
- Nine Hundred Grandmothers (21 stories): Nine Hundred Grandmothers / Land of the Great Horses
"Land of the Great Horses" is a short story by R. A. Lafferty from Harlan Ellison's science fiction anthology Dangerous Visions. The story takes a broad view of the earth after extraterrestrials return the native land of the Romany , on which they had been experimenting...
/ Ginny Wrapped in the Sun / The Six Fingers of Time / Frog on the Mountain / All the People / Primary Education of the Camiroi / Slow Tuesday Night / Snuffles / Thus We Frustrate Charlemagne / Name of the Snake / Narrow Valley / Polity and Custom of the Camiroi / In Our Block / Hog-Belly Honey / Seven-Day Terror / The Hole on the Corner / What’s the Name of That Town? / Through Other Eyes / One at a Time / Guesting Time
- Strange Doings (16 stories): Rainbird / Camels and Dromedaries, Clem / Continued on Next Rock / Once on Aranea / Sodom and Gomorrah, Texas / The Man with the Speckled Eyes / All But the Words / The Transcendent Tigers / World Abounding / Dream / Ride a Tin Can / Aloys / Entire and Perfect Chrysolite / Incased in Ancient Rind / The Ugly Sea / Cliffs That Laughed. 276 pages, 1972, SBN 684-12530-7; New York, America and Canada, Charles Scribner's Sons
Charles Scribner's Sons, or simply Scribner, is an American publisher based in New York City, known for publishing a number of American authors including Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Kurt Vonnegut, Stephen King, Robert A. Heinlein, Thomas Wolfe, George Santayana, John Clellon...
- Does Anyone Else Have Something Further To Add? Stories About Secret Places and Mean Men (16 stories): About a Secret Crocodile / Mad Man / Nor Limestone Islands / The Man Underneath / Boomer Flats / This Grand Carcass Yet / In the Garden / Groaning Hinges of the World / Golden Trabant / How They Gave It Back / Maybe Jones and the City / Seven Story Dream / Adam Had Three Brothers / Pig in a Pokey / The Weirdest World / The Ultimate Creature
- Golden Gate and Other Stories (16 stories): Golden Gate / Mr. Hamadryad / This Boding Itch / Condillac's Statue / The Cliff Climbers / McGruder's Marvels / Tongues of the Matagorda / Ishmael into the Barrens (previously published in Four Futures) / Eurema's Dam / Days of Grass, Days of Straw / Make Sure the Eyes Are Big Enough / Bequest of Wings / Fall of Pebble-Stones / Marsilia V / One-Eyed Mocking Bird / Sky
- Through Elegant Eyes (15 stories): The All-At-Once Man / Mud Violet / Barnaby's Clock / And Read the Flesh Between the Lines / Animal Fair / The Ungodly Mice of Dr. Drakos / The Two-Headed Dragon of Chris Benedetti / The Hellaceous Rocket of Harry O'Donovan / The Wooly World of Barnaby Sheen / Rivers of Damascus / Old Helloweens on the Guna Slopes / Brain Fever Season / What Big Tears the Dinosaur's / And all the Skies Are Full of Fish / St. Poleander's Eve
- Iron Tears (15 stories): You Can't Go Back / Ifrit / Lord Torpedo, Lord Gyroscope / Funnyfingers / Thieving Bear Planet / Berryhill / The World As Will and Wallpaper / Horns On Their Heads / By the Sea Shore / Selenium Ghosts of the Eighteen Seventies / Magazine Section / Or Little Ducks Each Day / Cabrito / Le Hot Sport / Gray Ghost: A Reminiscence
- Lafferty in Orbit (19 stories, 5 overlap the above; in addition, another 4 can be found in the collection Ringing Changes, below): Old Foot Forgot / All Pieces of a River Shore / Bright Coins in Never-Ending Stream / Flaming Ducks and Giant Bread / The Hole on the Corner / The Skinny People of Leptophlebo Street / Continued on Next Rock / Entire and Perfect Chrysolite / Great Day in the Morning / The Hand with One Hundred Fingers / One at a Time / Royal Licorice / And Name My Name / Fall of Pebble Stones / Configuration of the North Shore / Dorg / When All the Lands Pour Out Again / Interurban Queen / The Only Tune That He Could Play
- Ringing Changes (20 stories, 13 overlap the above): Parthen / Old Foot Forgot / Dorg / Days of Grass, Days of Straw / Brain Fever Season / And Read the Flesh Between the Lines / Old Halloweens on the Guna Slopes / The Ungodly Mice of Doctor Drakos / The Wooly World of Barnaby Sheen / Rivers of Damascus / Among the Hairy Earthmen / In Outraged Stone / And Name My Name / Sky / For All Poor Folks at Picketwire / Oh Whatta You Do When the Well Runs Dry ? / And Some in Velvet Gowns / The Doggone Highly Scientific Door / Interurban Queen / Been a Long Long Time
- The back door of history, 1988, United Mythologies Press in Weston, Ont., Canada: Phoenic / Six leagues from Lop / Rainy day in Halicarnasses / Assault on Fat Mountain / Calamities of last pauper / Rogue raft.
- The early Lafferty, c. 1988, United Mythologies Press.
- The early Lafferty II, c. 1990, United Mythologies Press.
Awards and recognition
Lafferty received Hugo
The Hugo Awards are given annually for the best science fiction or fantasy works and achievements of the previous year. The award is named after Hugo Gernsback, the founder of the pioneering science fiction magazine Amazing Stories, and was officially named the Science Fiction Achievement Awards...
nominations for Past Master
, "Continued on the Next Rock," "Sky," and "Eurema's Dam," the last of which won the Best Short Story Hugo in 1973 (shared with Frederik Pohl
Frederik George Pohl, Jr. is an American science fiction writer, editor and fan, with a career spanning over seventy years — from his first published work, "Elegy to a Dead Planet: Luna" , to his most recent novel, All the Lives He Led .He won the National Book Award in 1980 for his novel Jem...
and C.M. Kornbluth's
Cyril M. Kornbluth was an American science fiction author and a notable member of the Futurians. He used a variety of pen-names, including Cecil Corwin, S. D. Gottesman, Edward J. Bellin, Kenneth Falconer, Walter C. Davies, Simon Eisner and Jordan Park...
He received Nebula Award
The Nebula Award is given each year by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America , for the best science fiction/fantasy fiction published in the United States during the previous year...
nominations for "In Our Block," "Slow Tuesday Night," Past Master
, Fourth Mansions
, "Continued on Next Rock," "Entire And Perfect Chrysolite," and The Devil is Dead
. He never received a Nebula award.
His collection Lafferty in Orbit
was nominated for a World Fantasy Award
The World Fantasy Awards are annual, international awards given to authors and artists who have demonstrated outstanding achievement in the field of fantasy...
, and in 1990, Lafferty received a World Fantasy Lifetime Achievement Award. His 1992 collection Iron Tears
was also a finalist for the Philip K. Dick Award. In 2002, he received the Cordwainer Smith
Cordwainer Smith – pronounced CORDwainer – was the pseudonym used by American author Paul Myron Anthony Linebarger for his science fiction works. Linebarger was a noted East Asia scholar and expert in psychological warfare...
Foundation's Rediscovery award.
The Oklahoma Department of Libraries
The Oklahoma Department of Libraries is a department of the state of Oklahoma and serves as the official state library for the state of Oklahoma. ODL provides information management to the state, assists local public libraries, coordinates state-wide library and information technologly projects...
granted him the Arrell Gibson
Arrell Gibson was a historian and author specializing in the history of the state of Oklahoma. He was born in Pleasanton, KS on December 1, 1921. He earned degrees from Missouri Southern State College and the University of Oklahoma...
Lifetime Achievement Award in 1995.
Fourth Mansions is a novel by American author R. A. Lafferty, first published in 1969. It was nominated for the Nebula Award for Best Novel in 1970.-Plot introduction:...
was also named by David Pringle
David Pringle is a Scottish science fiction editor.Pringle served as the editor of Foundation, an academic journal, from 1980 through 1986, during which time he became one of the prime movers of the collective which founded Interzone in 1982...
as one of his selections for Modern Fantasy: The Hundred Best Novels
French publisher nervously asked whether Lafferty minded being compared to G. K. Chesterton
Gilbert Keith Chesterton, KC*SG was an English writer. His prolific and diverse output included philosophy, ontology, poetry, plays, journalism, public lectures and debates, literary and art criticism, biography, Christian apologetics, and fiction, including fantasy and detective fiction....
(another Catholic author), and there was a terrifying silence that went on and on. Was the great man hideously offended? Eventually, very slowly, he said: 'You're on the right track, kid,' and wandered away."
In his 2006 short story collection Fragile Things
Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders is a collection of short stories and poetry by English author, Neil Gaiman. It was published in the US and UK in 2006 by HarperCollins and Headline Review....
, Neil Gaiman
Neil Richard Gaiman born 10 November 1960)is an English author of short fiction, novels, comic books, graphic novels, audio theatre and films. His notable works include the comic book series The Sandman and novels Stardust, American Gods, Coraline, and The Graveyard Book...
includes a short story called "Sunbird" written in the style of Lafferty. In the introduction, he says this about Lafferty:
There was a writer from Tulsa, Oklahoma (he died in 2002), who was, for a little while in the late 1960s and early 1970s, the best short story writer in the world. His name was R. A. Lafferty, and his stories were unclassifiable and odd and inimitable -- you knew you were reading a Lafferty story within a sentence. When I was young I wrote to him, and he wrote back.
"Sunbird" was my attempt to write a Lafferty story, and it taught me a number of things, mostly how much harder they are than they look....
Gaiman and Lafferty had corresponded for several years during Gaiman's adolescence; he remembered Lafferty's letters as "filled with typical cock-eyed Lafferty humour and observations, wise and funny and sober all at once."
- "R. A. Lafferty: Winner of the 2002 Cordwainer Smith Foundation "Rediscovery" Award
- R. A. Lafferty Devotional Page
- R. A. Lafferty: Effective Arcanum - a critical examination of aspects of Lafferty's prose
- "And They Took the Sky Off at Night" - an appreciation of Lafferty by editor Brian Cholfin
- "The Devil is Dead", a review
- "The Flame is Green", an essay and review of Lafferty's (non-SF) novel of revolutionary Europe, by John J. Reilly
- "Past Master", a review at the Writers' Circle
- "Okla Hannali", a book review and generous sampler
- Collection of obituaries
- Article on Lafferty at Everything2
Everything2, Everything2, or E2 for short is a collaborative Web-based community consisting of a database of interlinked user-submitted written material. E2 is moderated for quality, but has no formal policy on subject matter...
- University of Tulsa McFarlin Library's inventory of the R. A. Lafferty collection housed in their special collections department
- University of Iowa's page on their special collection of his papers
- "The Cranky Old Man of Tulsa"
- " A Few Words About R. A. Lafferty"
- "Despair and the Duck Lady", Profile of Lafferty by Michael Swanwick
Michael Swanwick is an American science fiction author. Based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, he began publishing in the early 1980s.-Biography:...
- "R.A. Lafferty: An Attempt at an Appreciation"
- The Ants of God Are Queer Fish - R. A. Lafferty Blog
Works available online