Thursday, February 23, 2017

A New Look for LAFFCON2


We've updated a few things around the website, including the new poster for LAFFCON2 and registration information (registration opens on April 1st, 2017).

Planning is still in the works as far as conference panels and presentations. If you have suggestions or comments based on last year's event or other input for this year, please feel free to leave them in the comments.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Fourth Mansions Reading Club

Leading up to LaffCon2, we've decided to try something new here: a virtual book club.

In honor of Kevin Cheek's efforts to promote Lafferty and in celebration of his LaffCon2 attendance, we've decided to spend some time thinking together about his favorite novel. There will be much other talk at LaffCon2, but we thought that it'd be nice to also have a communal focus on one novel this year in addition to the general talk.

The good news is that we are doing this. It's happening. We're going to do our best to have a conversation about Lafferty's Fourth Mansions. This will include weekly commentary here on this site. Expect spoilers. This is casual commentary and meant as a general guide to any reader who may initially be disoriented by Lafferty's dazzling prose and his slightly unorthodox plotting. My goal for this commentary is to stimulate further thought. I very much desire professionally rigorous academic papers and presentations examining elements of the novel. This casual commentary here is not that. Take it for what it is and join in the conversation.

The bad news is that if you don't already own a copy of Fourth Mansions, your only online option for buying a copy is the secondary market, where prices have exploded in the past few years. Fourth Mansions used to be one of the novels that could be found for fairly inexpensive prices. Now, it's regularly fetching $20+ prices for used paperback versions. Ugh. If you keep an eye out for deals, they are still there to be had, but they are harder to find. Used copies can be found at the usual spots. Amazon. Ebay. AbeBooks. 

There is an e-edition available to you if you live in many markets outside of the US. If you do live in the US, there are inconvenient and not-quite-completely-legal-even-though-you-are-paying ways to get around region restrictions if you desire this e-edition. The Gollancz ebook version is available via Amazon.co.uk: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fourth-Mansions-R-Lafferty-ebook/dp/B01A5TIIJK/

How are we doing this book club thing?

February is the month for obtaining a copy of the novel if you don't already have one.

March, April, and May are for obsessively reading and re-reading the novel.

There are 13 chapters in Fourth Mansions. We'll read (and read and re-read) one chapter a week. Or read the entire novel once each week. Either way, we'll only focus on one chapter a week.

Fourth Mansions reading group posts will begin here on March 7th.

March 7th - Chapter 1
March 14th - Chapter 2
March 21st - Chapter 3
March 28th - Chapter 4
April 4th - Chapter 5
April 11th - Chapter 6
April 18th - Chapter 7
April 25th - Chapter 8.
May 2nd - Chapter 9
May 9th - Chapter 10
May 16th - Chapter 11
May 23rd - Chapter 12
May 30th - Chapter 13

Finally, if you've made it all the way to the end of this post, you are now eligible for our great Fourth Mansions giveaway contest. I have two paperback copies of the novel that I'd love to give away. Here are the rules, all honor system.

1) You must not already own a copy of the novel. Don't be greedy.
2) You must agree to read the novel.
3) You must leave a comment on this post specifically noting that you'd like to win a copy.

This "contest" will run from today, February 4th, through the end of the day next Friday, February 10th. On February 11th, I'll wake up, write down all of the names of those who have left comments, assign a number to each, and then roll a die. Two lucky winners will be contacted and will each be sent a copy of Fourth Mansions. Hooray!

Feel free to share this contest with everyone.



Saturday, December 31, 2016

See you all in 2017? We hope so.


All of us here at LaffCon Planning Committee Headquarters wish all of you a delightful 2017. We dare to hope that you'll clear your calendar and plan now to be at LaffCon2 in June. The following photo may or may not have been doctored by someone with poor photoshop skills. The following photo may or may not accurately represent the sort of things that will happen at LaffCon2.

(FoL Editor K. Cheek providing a seat for R. Lafferty)

Here's to everyone keeping their New Year's resolutions this year. Let's all lose a little weight, drink a little less, and celebrate Lafferty a lot more in 2017.

“It was on New Year's that Finnegan stopped drinking. He did not drink again till they were in Freetown, Sierra Leone on January 26. He had never been able to go all the way through January, but this time he was very near it.”
-R. A. Lafferty. The Devil Is Dead.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

The Documentary

Many who made it out to LaffCon1 named Andrew Mass' documentary footage as one of the highlights of the day.

If you haven't already been over to his website to watch some of this footage, you should do so now. Go watch the wonderful interviews that Andrew has posted there. Seriously. Go.

http://laffertydoc.blogspot.com/

Here's the news: Andrew has confirmed that he will be in attendance at LaffCon2. He will have more footage. Lots of it.

Be there. June 10, 2017.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

"I’m almost afraid to find what idiocy Freddy has busted this time."

LaffCon2 is happening.

Mark your calendars.

June 10th, 2017.

This next year, we're planning on diving deep into a close reading of Lafferty's Fourth Mansions.

There will be more than that at the con, but not less. Fourth Mansions talk will be the main event.

Unfortunately, Fourth Mansions is no longer in print (though a digital edition is available outside of the U.S.) and affordable secondhand copies have become scarce. Take our word for it; it's a book worth splurging on. Buy a copy. Read it multiple times. Write every day to the Locus Science Fiction Foundation and let them know that you want to see print copies right now so that you can buy copies for yourselves and for your family and friends.

We are open to any and all ideas for discussion.

Some possible topics/panels:

Kevin Cheek (yes, that famous West Coast Feast of Laughter editor!) on the form and function of repetition as narrative device in Fourth Mansions.

Gregorio Montejo on Lafferty's "mystical epistemology" via Teresa of Avila.

Daniel Otto Jack Petersen (if we can get him to cross the Atlantic again) on integrating the monsters before they integrate you.

YOU on your favorite aspect of Fourth Mansions.




Sunday, June 12, 2016

"Certainly dead men cast shadows. That's what history is about." -R.A. Lafferty

"All writers should be funny-looking and all stories should be funny."
-R.A. Lafferty

LaffCon1 is over. We are grateful that so many people showed up and that so many people expressed so much joy. Thank you all for playing with us in the enormous shadow of Ray Lafferty. 

Intelligent conversation does not need to be dull. I think that we were mostly successful in keeping things funny throughout the day. I know that we were mostly funny-looking, at least as evidenced in our group photo.

There has been a demand for the booklets. These booklets were made as thank you gifts for those who supported the con by being there. But there are many of you who could not be there for many good reasons. You have asked for the booklet. They are available now to be purchased at cost. As ever in Ktistec Press endeavors, we make no money on this. We have invested much and only hope for a return in many Lafferty fans continuing the conversation.

The booklet is still intimately tied to the con. It does not make sense apart from the con. Yet it can still be enjoyed as is. Specifically, the full color illustrations by Lissanne, Andrew, and Gregorio can be found in print nowhere else.

Find it here: https://www.amazon.com/LaffCon1-Ktistec-Press/dp/0692715193/

What I ask is that, if you buy this booklet, you also buy a couple more titles by those talented individuals who have freely contributed to the booklet...

Chasing the Pheonix by Michael Swanwick
Not So Much, Said the Cat by Michael Swanwick

Speaking of the Fantastic II by Darrel Schweitzer
Scweitzer MegaPack

If you need a distraction from your concentrated Lafferty reading, these are the distractions for you.

--------------------------------

We also have some audio!

There may be more eventually; Right now, we definitely have some good audio from the "Lafferty Studies" panel at LaffCon1.

Check it out here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/695mq3q238xhelx/ZOOM0001.MP3?dl=0




More than anything, all of us involved in "Lafferty Studies" hope for more and more participation. If you are reading Lafferty thoughtfully, we want your contributions.

Check out Feast of Laughter: http://www.feastoflaughter.org/

Please, please, please. Continue reading Lafferty. Please, please, please. Write about Lafferty. And when you do, send those written submissions to Feast of Laughter.

Or, even better, start your own Lafferty journal. Shut us down completely.

We welcome any and all complementary and competitive research. All that we care about is that R.A. Lafferty's work is preserved and understood and brought forward into the future.

There is still much work to be done.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

"If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly." -G.K. Chesterton

LaffCon1 is happening in less than one week. Most marketing opportunities have been missed.

Those who will come, will come. Those who would have come if we had been featured on the perfect morning television news program, well, those folks probably wouldn't have come anyhow.

If only we had blogged more.... Alas, we did not.

Those of you who do come can expect swag.

Swag. Free stuff. Really cool stuff. Fun stuff.

Just for showing up.

Buttons. Masks. Booklets. CDs. Cards. Stories.

More than that, you can expect human beings. Flesh and blood and failures. And outrageous fun.

Doors open at 9:30am. Be there.

Activities continue through 5pm.

After the official con, everyone is welcome to join in on post-con festivities at a still yet-to-be-announced post-con facility. More failures are to be expected. More outrageous fun is to be had.

See you there.