Who is this Lafferty anyway
Most of the biography info is taken from "It's Down the Slippery Cellar Stairs" and "Cranky old man from Tulsa". The snippet about the New Guinea Campaign Star I gleaned from the University of Iowa Lafferty page. (Added a correction by Mr. Lee Russell. It apears that this medal is a "been there done that" kind of medal.)   R.A. Lafferty

Life

American Science Fiction author. Born 11. July 1914 (says one source) or 7. November 1914 in Neola/Iowa. The latter is the probably true date. Father Hugh David Lafferty (a broker for oil leases and royalties), mother Julia Mary Burke (a schoolteacher) R.A. Lafferty named Raphael, because he was supposed to be born on St, Raphaels day, but arrived 14 days late. (Now when is St. Raphaels day ? It's the 24th October. St. Raphael is the patron saint of physicians) Moved to Perry/Oklahoma at the age of 4, later to Tulsa/Oklahoma. Attends University of Tulsa in 1933, but leaves after one year. Begins work for Clark Electrical Supply Co. in Tulsa. Supposedly worked for a newspaper also. In 1942 he enlists to the U.S. Army where he serves until 1946. Final rank: Staff Sergeant. He received a Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with Star (New Guinea).. Started writing and publishing short stories in the very late fifties. (age 45+) Sells his first piece to the New Mexico Quaterly Review titled The Wagons in 1959. First (?) short story Day of the Glacier. First novel Past Master. published in 1968 (Ace) Wrote over 200 short stories and over a dozen novels. Stopped writing around 1980, because of health problems (stroke) Suffered a bad stroke in 1994, and was said to be severely incapacitated. Passed away on the 19th of March 2002 in a nursing home in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma.


Awards


2002

    

Winner of the 2002 Cordwainer Smith Foundation "Rediscovery" Award. You can read the speeches given at the ceremony online.

1995

    

Oklahoma Center for the Book Arell Gibson Lifetime Achievement Award

1993

    

Nominated for the Philip K. Dick Award for "Iron Tears".

1993

    

Seiun Award at the 24th Japan National SF Convention, EZOCON2 for best translated shortstory "Groaning Hinges of the World"

1990

    

World Fantasy Lifetime Achievement Award

1975

    

Seiun Award for Eurema's Dam as best foreign short fiction.

1973

    

Smith Award

1973

    

Hugo Award for "Eurema's Dam".

1972

    

Invisible Little Man Award

1971

    

Won the Phoenix Award for an unknown (to me) work

 

    

Nominated for numerous Nebula and Hugo awards


Obituaries


A number of nice obituaries have been written following Lafferty's death in 2002.


Personality


Irish descendant
Devout catholic
Affinity for Indians
Does not drive a car
Does not like sports / Does very much like sports (depending on who you ask)
Cut back on drinking to pursue writing. Or the other way round: pursued writing to cut back on drinking. But as Carol De Priest relayed to me, he was known to always have a drink in his hand at the SF conventions.
Read and memorized Groliers History of the World at the age of ten and supposedly could still recite passages verbatim in his later days. (folklore)
Obsessed by Snakes. (Is there a story without one ?)

To contact Lafferty's agent:

Virginia Kidd
Box 278
538 E. Harford Str.
Milford, Pa 18337
USA
Email: vkagency@ptd.net

R.A. Lafferty autograph