R.A. Lafferty Devotional Page

S eems like you're getting hooked too ? 

Well a Lafferty story isn't for the squeamish, that's for sure. Gory details are unavoidable and some of the victims show strange masochistic ? tendencies (f.e. in Space Chantey). Death is a persistent theme, although sometimes not as final as one might expect (as in "One at a Time". )

But this is just the wrapping, the packaging. A Lafferty story is (maybe foremost) a tall tale, a liars story, a whimsical yarn told. Most stories also treat philosophical problems, explore a notion, try to find different answers to the questions you never asked yourself. Like

  • What do you do with your ancestors, if they simple don't want to die ?
  • If you could change one piece of history, how would it affect your current world ?
  • Do all people perceive the world the same ?
  • Can murder be art ?

This is taken from Theodore Sturgeons intro to the Chrysalis 3 collection

There is nobody, there has never been anybody who writes like Lafferty. Under the puckishness, the color-bursts, the wild, weird and wonderful characterizations, the tumbe and sparkle of language, is an undercoat of sharp and serious observation - observation of human motivations, of human institutions (universities, for example, or rituals which have lost their reason-for-being) so that, like Gulliver's Travels, almost all of Lafferty can be read as enchanting entertainments, or as sharply-etched political cartoonery, or as analogs of a superbly thought-out philosophy concerning human nature and human conduct. In other words, you get out of Lafferty, as out of Swift, whatever you're equipped to bring in.

Why not read a full Lafferty shortstory available online now ?

Links to other online stories can be found on the Links page.