Thursday, November 6, 2014

LAFFERTY NEWS! (issue 2)

Man, tons of Lafferty developments have emerged and this post will only be able to highlight some of the larger ones.  The pace and quantity of Lafferty developments seems to warrant me putting out ‘issues’ of this news.  (I’m happy for some other more legitimate site to pick this up and run it.  Let me know if you’re interested.  Anyone can just link to it as well, obviously.)

[UPDATE: this deserves a post of its own - and will get one eventually - but, amidst all the other Lafferty developments over the past several weeks, Rich Persaud created a whole new multi-faceted Lafferty website that is an absolute treasure trove of Lafferty links and commentary and information:]

·         Feast of Laughter, issue 1, looks due to come out possibly as soon as the end of this week.  This is a fan-made Lafferty fanzine put together by the Facebook group East of Laughter: An Appreciation of R. A.Lafferty.  I’ve been keeping this one under my hat, wanting to make sure it was going to turn out to be more than a rumour.  As a contributor and proof-reader, I can assure it is thoroughly in the works.  It looks like it will probably end up around 200 pages, available digitally and in print (using Print On Demand technology, so there are no worries of a limited print run – you’ll get a copy if you want it).  The content is stunning, folks.  Seriously.  Not only will the zine reprint Lafferty’s story ‘The Six Fingers of Time’, it will feature an essay on that story by Lafferty biographer, Andrew Ferguson.  Also included are reprints of a few important essays online about Lafferty that can only be found through long and diligent search, and a host of others, first published here, by various fans old and new who bring a wide array of talents and perspectives to the table.  It’s all very intelligent and warm and fun.  It also includes both a reminiscence and a short story (a Lafferty pastiche) by none other than award-winning author Michael Bishop.  There are several more Lafferty-inspired works of fiction as well.  There are a few pieces of fan art included and the cover painting is by none other than Lissanne Lake, who illustrated the collection Lafferty in Orbit (1991) and Lafferty’s novel Sindbad: The 13th Voyage (1999).  Stay tuned for an official release date and link!  (Sorry to sound like a salesman in this ostensible news piece – it’s just that I’m incredibly thrilled about a meaty slice of Lafferty revival like this coming onto the scene.  We contributors make no money from sales.  It’s a total labour of love.  If any actual profit accrues, this will go straight back to the zine to fund future issues and operations.)

·         On a recent blog post, Andrew Ferguson has kindly provided a link to an audio recording of the Lafferty panel discussion from Worldcon that took place recently (which included Andrew and Michael Swanwick among the panelists).  Most of what’s said is perfectly discernible and the discussion is choice, with a few bits of historical information about Lafferty and his works that you won’t have heard before.  (I think the link to the audio expires in 30 days.)

·         In recognition of Lafferty’s centenary, Locus magazine’s November issue features a brief bio of Lafferty by Andrew Ferguson and reprints Lafferty’s short story ‘Seven-Day Terror’.

·         The Oklahoma magazine This Land just put out a new ‘sci-fi’ themed issue that celebrates Lafferty’s centenary with a wonderful article and by reprinting Lafferty’s short story ‘Nine Hundred Grandmothers’.  (The article at the link features a photograph of Lafferty’s incredible office door!  I never knew about the existence of this – it’s like a picture of the inside of Lafferty’s mind.)

·         In Japan, the Hayakawa SF Magazine just released a Lafferty centennial issue that features a number of essays on Lafferty and a load of wonderful artwork that Andrew Ferguson has kindly photographed on his latest blog post.  This artwork adorns the republication of no less than three (translated) Lafferty stories in the magazine:  'St. Poleander's Eve', 'The Only Tune That He Could Play', and 'Cabrito'.  David Cruces (from the East of Laughter Facebook group) also photographed something highly interesting in his copy – a mention of this blog and fellow Lafferty bloggers!


Some blogs here and there (English-language and others) have been popping up with brief reviews or thoughts on Lafferty, but I don’t have time to link to them in this issue of LAFFERTY NEWS!.  I’ll try to do so soon.  One of many things that’s exciting about all of the above is that a number of Lafferty stories just came back into print!  Lafferty, in 2014, is in the magazines again!  In this regard, I note that the English-language publications chose to reprint early (1960s), celebrated, and comparatively 'easy' Lafferty tales, while the Japanese magazine published later (late 70s), lesser known, and 'difficult' (though delightfully weird and wild) Lafferty tales.  Japan has always embraced Lafferty a fair bit more voraciously than English-language countries, and Japanese readers seem to be much more eager to follow Lafferty into his strangest territories. 
(Feel free to let me know of any other Lafferty developments you think are newsworthy and I'll try to include them in the next issue.)


Antonin Scriabin said...

This is awesome! I will definitely be buying the fanzine, it looks like it has a lot of great content.

Daniel Otto Jack Petersen said...

Great, I can't wait to get in my grubby hands! Hoping to have an announcement about it very soon.

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