Thursday, August 21, 2014

R. A. Lafferty writes like no one else, inventively strange and characterful and sparkling with deadpan wit

The astonishing emergence of R. A. Lafferty on the horror and science fiction scene over the last dozen years is a subject of much discussion and a Hugo Award.  Appreciated by both those who favor the more traditional story and those inclined to prefer the most offbeat and experimental, he has been a favorite of the best anthologists: Robert Silverberg, Harlan Ellison, and Damon Knight.  And while best known for his inimitable short stories, he has also turned out fine novels of science fiction, as well as Okla Hannali, which deals with the American Indians.  All this from a writer who has published most of his work past age fifty. But readers should not confuse Mr. Lafferty's chronology with an identifiable style of writing.  R. A. Lafferty writes like no one else, inventively strange and characterful and sparkling with deadpan wit.  Like this bit of regionalistic myth-lore, set in his native Oklahoma.

-from Frights: Stories of Suspense and Supernatural Terror (1976), edited by Kirby McCauley, featuring Lafferty's story 'Oh Tell Me Will It Freeze Tonight'.

2 comments:

Antonin Scriabin said...

Very cool. The recent uptick in Lafferty visibility is great! You can actually see the prices for a lot of his works slowly creeping up on Amazon and other places. For example, it looks like "Does anyone else have something further to add?" can't be found on Abe Books or Amazon for less than $60. There is a market for reprinted versions, Centipede Press needs to get on that!

Daniel Otto Jack Petersen said...

I know, Antonin! Feels like things are kicking off a bit. We'll see how it goes...

'It was all strong talk with the horns and hooves still on it.'
(R. A. Lafferty, The Devil is Dead)