Gateway Essentials: R A Lafferty

And to end the week (and what a week, it’s been!), here’s your Essential introduction to one of the truly original voices of SF and Fantasy, R. A. Lafferty.

Born in Iowa, in 1914, Lafferty’s first publication of genre interest did not arrive until 1960: ‘Day of the Glacier’ in the January issue of Science Fiction Stories . For the next decade he continued to work in the electrical business until retiring to write full-time in 1970. He suffered a stroke in 1980, which had a sever impact on his ability to write, and by the mid-80s he had reportedly stopped writing altogether. Over the course of his career, Lafferty produced thirty-two novels and more than two hundred short stories. His work is noted for the original use of language, metaphor and narrative structure, and has been cited as an influence by Neil Gaiman, among others.

So where to start? We recommend the story collection Nine Hundred Grandmothers and the novel Fourth Mansions:

You can find more of R A Lafferty’s’s work via his Author page on the SF Gateway website and read about him in his entry in The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction.