R.A. Lafferty - Ever hear of him? (1 Viewer)

Steve R.

Jul 5, 2006

Who Is R. A. Lafferty? And Is He the Best Sci-Fi Writer Ever?

You’ve never heard of him, but your favorite writers have, and his mad-drunk prose will knock you sideways.
We’re suckers for superlatives. Best, greatest, most important. When Lafferty did it, he was joking. He was also being perfectly serious. Everything Lafferty put his name on was outrageous, insidery, and truth-seeking: a serious joke. But then, so is life itself. Therefore, Lafferty might be right. He might really be the best there ever was.

Just one problem: Nobody reads him. They didn’t when he was alive, and they don’t now that he’s dead. It’s a clickbait cliché falling somewhere between desperate and insulting to say so-and-so is the greatest such-and-such you’ve never heard of, but in this case, it happens to be true. Ask your nerdiest friends if they’ve ever encountered a Raphael Aloysius Lafferty in their cosmic travels. They haven’t, and a name like that sticks with a person. Even people who’ve heard of people other people haven’t heard of are people who haven’t heard of him.
Well, yes, I have heard of him and used to read his stories, but then time went by. So seeing this article was a very pleasant surprise. Wikipedia biography on Lafferty. Unfortunately, I don't recall his stories at this time. Now, I will be obligated to look at them again, the proverbial tomorrow. I have four of his novels plus some short stories. I guess that dates me. Will sell for big $$$. :) So if you happen to be looking for a "new" (old) SF author give him a shot.

As a follow-up, this caught my attention: R. A. Lafferty: Winner of the 2002 Cordwainer Smith Foundation "Rediscovery" Award. I followed Cordwainer Smith and thoroughly enjoyed his stories over the years. Smith's writing style is exceptionally unique. But I never really got the full grasp/scope of his writing until I read (at one time) his compilation: The Rediscovery of Man: The Complete Short Science Fiction of Cordwainer Smith. My apologies Lafferty for this digression.
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R.A. Lafferty - Ever hear of him? - No, but I'll give it a Bump!!!!​


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