R.A. Lafferty

R.A. Lafferty

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in Neola, Iowa, The United States
November 07, 1914

March 18, 2002



About this author

Raphael Aloysius Lafferty, published under the name R.A. Lafferty, was an American science fiction and fantasy writer known for his original use of language, metaphor, and narrative structure, as well as for his etymological wit. He also wrote a set of four autobiographical novels, a history book, and a number of novels that could be loosely called historical fiction.

Average rating: 4.01 · 14,390 ratings · 794 reviews · 227 distinct works · Similar authors
Nine Hundred Grandmothers
4.19 of 5 stars 4.19 avg rating — 395 ratings — published 1970 — 16 editions
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Past Master
3.8 of 5 stars 3.80 avg rating — 354 ratings — published 1968 — 12 editions
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Fourth Mansions
4.0 of 5 stars 4.00 avg rating — 179 ratings — published 1972 — 5 editions
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The Devil Is Dead
4.18 of 5 stars 4.18 avg rating — 96 ratings — published 1971 — 6 editions
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Okla Hannali
4.19 of 5 stars 4.19 avg rating — 86 ratings — published 1972 — 3 editions
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The Reefs of Earth
3.68 of 5 stars 3.68 avg rating — 95 ratings — published 1968 — 5 editions
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Strange Doings
4.23 of 5 stars 4.23 avg rating — 81 ratings — published 1973 — 3 editions
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Space Chantey
3.88 of 5 stars 3.88 avg rating — 66 ratings — published 1968 — 5 editions
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Does Anyone Else Have Somet...
4.22 of 5 stars 4.22 avg rating — 68 ratings — published 1974 — 3 editions
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Arrive at Easterwine: The A...
4.0 of 5 stars 4.00 avg rating — 63 ratings — published 1971 — 5 editions
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More books by R.A. Lafferty…
The Man Who Made Models: Th... The Man with the Aura: The ...
The Collected Short Fiction (2 books)
4.739130434782608 of 5 stars 4.74 avg rating — 23 ratings

The Coscuin Chronicles (2 books)
4.0 of 5 stars 4.00 avg rating — 17 ratings

“Paul, there is something very slack about a future that will take a biting satire for a vapid dream.”
R.A. Lafferty, Past Master

“There are certain men who are sacrosanct in history; you touch on the truth of them at your peril. These are such men as Socrates and Plato, Pericles and Alexander, Caesar and Augustus, Marcus Aurelius and Trajan, Martel and Charlemagne, Edward the Confessor and William of Falaise, St. Louis and Richard and Tancred, Erasmus and Bacon, Galileo and Newton, Voltaire and Rousseau, Harvey and Darwin, Nelson and Wellington. In America, Penn and Franklin, Jefferson and Jackson and Lee. There are men better than these who are not sacrosanct, who may be challenged freely. But these men may not be. Albert Pike has been elevated to this sacrosanct company, though of course to a minor rank. To challenge his rank is to be overwhelmed by a torrent of abuse, and we challenge him completely.

Looks are important to these elevated. Albert Pike looked like Michelangelo's Moses in contrived frontier costume. Who could distrust that big man with the great beard and flowing hair and godly glance?
If you dislike the man and the type, then he was pompous, empty, provincial and temporal, dishonest, and murderous. But if you like the man and the type, then he was impressive, untrammeled, a man of the right place and moment, flexible or sophisticated, and firm.
These are the two sides of the same handful of coins.
He stole (diverted) Indian funds and used them to bribe doubtful Indian leaders. He ordered massacres of women and children (exemplary punitive operations). He lied like a trooper (he was a trooper). He effected assassinations (removal of semi-military obstructions). He forged names to treaties (astute frontier politics). He was part of a weird plot by men of both the North and South to extinguish the Indians whoever should win the war (devotion to the ideal of national growth ) . He personally arranged twelve separate civil wars among the Indians (the removal of the unfit) . After all, those were war years; and he did look like Moses, and perhaps he sounded like him.”
R.A. Lafferty, Okla Hannali

“Christopher couldn't recall what day it was; he certainly didn't know what hour it was. It was a gray day, but there was no dullness in that gray. It was shimmering pearl-gray, of a color bounced back by shimmering water and shimmering air. It was a crimson-edged day, like a gray squirrel shot and bleeding redly from the inside and around the edges. Yes, there was the pleasant touch of death on things, gushing death and gushing life.”
R.A. Lafferty, Ringing Changes

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