Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Fresh Ink and The LAFFCON 4 Program Booklet

LAFFCON4 Program Booklet Cover
Our shipment of the LAFFCON4 program booklets has arrived and we're happy with the results. Each attendee to LAFFCON, on June 8th, will receive a copy along with some "secret" swag.
Full color interior artwork and photographs
This is our largest program booklet to date (43 pages).
This year's contents include:
  • An Introduction by Anthony Ryan Rhodes, "LAFFCON: A Cure for Earth Sickness"
  • "Of Winding Stairs and Webworms: A Visit to Lafferty's Letters and Landscapes" by Daniel Otto Jack Peterson
  • An Introduction to "Continued on Next Rock" by Gregory Feeley
  • Winning poetry from the first ever Bagarthach Verse Contest
  • "Memories of Tarshish: The Game that Nearly Was" by Warren Brown
  • An Introduction to Fourth Mansions by Kevin Cheek
  • "How Lafferty Wrote" by Andrew Ferguson
  • And new works of art by Lissanne Lake, Yakov Varganov, Bill Rogers, and Anthony Ryan Rhodes
 After the event the booklet will be made available online via Amazon for those who were unable to attend on the day.

Registration for LAFFCON is now open and free to the general public.

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Winners of the LAFFCON Bagarthach Verse Contest

This year marked the first LAFFCON Bagarthach Verse Contest.

We received 30 entries in three months, many of which we found witty, glib, or downright nasty. We’d expect no less from poetry inspired by the Dulanty family from R. A. Lafferty's novel The Reefs of Earth.

Eventually, our judges selected three winners to be published in the LAFFCON4 program booklet, to be handed out free to attendees on the day of the event and later made available for purchase via print-on-demand for those who could not be present this year.

The elements of the Bagarthach verse are: 1) funny or clever but mean spirited, 2) short, one quatrain, 3) syllabic 8-9-8-9 per line (sometimes all lines are 8 syllables), and 4) rhymed a-b-a-b. Note: It’s been argued that a fifth element exists, that of predicting/wishing bodily harm or death, but for the contest rules we just couldn’t bring ourselves to include it as a requirement.

Congratulations to our talented winners!

  • Bob Newman
  • John Slaby
  • R. K. Wolford 

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Registration Now OPEN!

RA Lafferty, R A Lafferty

Registration for LAFFCON4 in Lawrenceville, NJ is now open!

LAFFCON encourages participants to register but it is not a necessity. We will turn away no one at the door. Registering helps us plan amenities like refreshments and Lafferty swag ("Is there such a thing as Lafferty swag?" you ask. Indeed there is.)

Participants can register using the following direct link:

Registration is also available via the Mercer County Library website:

1) Go to the library website at
2) Point your mouse at PROGRAMS toward the top of the page
3) Click ADULT PROGRAMS from the dropdown
4) Change "All Months" at the top to "June" and Laffcon will pop right up
5) Click Register and fill out the short form.

If you run into any glitches during the process please contact us at and we'll make sure your registration is completed.

LAFFCON4 takes place Saturday, June 8, 2019 at the Lawrence Headquarters Branch of the library, 2751 Brunswick Pike, Lawrenceville, NJ 08648. Learn more about LAFFCON online at

Friday, April 19, 2019

LAFFCON4 - Poster

"I'm turning livid in this bog,
This woolly world that spooks and spites you."
       -R.A. Lafferty, The Reefs of Earth

Come join us for the 4th annual science fiction conference devoted to the life and work of author R.A. Lafferty. This year we will have a panel on Lafferty’s novel The Reefs of Earth, The Gene Wolfe Literary Podcast returns with an in depth analysis of the short story 'Nine Hundred Grandmothers,' and there will be lectures on Lafferty's work and his legacy. In addition, we will offer an art show and free refreshments.

LAFFCON is a free event that takes place June 8, 2019 in Lawrenceville, NJ.

Registration opens Wednesday, May 1st, 2019.

Deadline for the LAFFCON Bagarthach Verse contest is April 25, 2019. Click here for details.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Playtime: LAFFCON Audio from Years Past

Over the years we've had a long and bounteous history of failed attempts to either stream or record LAFFCON. Last year was our most successful thanks entirely to Glen McDorman and Brandon Budda, hosts of The Gene Wolfe Literary Podcast.

Here are links to those recordings, for so as long as the internet will house them:

"Snuffles" Discussion - Glenn McDorman, Brandon Budda, and Gregorio Montejo

"Made Up Entirely of Glowing Geniuses": RA Lafferty's Radical Theories on Human Intelligence by Andrew Ferguson

Lafferty’s Zarathustra: Not to Mention Camels by Gregorio Montejo

Religion, Politics, & More: Past Master panel discussion w/Robert Bee, Samuel Tomaino, Nancy Lebovitz, and Darrell Schweitzer

Also, there is one great recording from LAFFCON1 (2016), a "Lafferty Studies" panel featuring Andrew Ferguson, Gregorio Montejo, Daniel Otto Jack Petersen, and Michael Swanwick.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Return of The Gene Wolfe Literary Podcast

Gene Wolfe Literary Podcast, RA Lafferty, R A Lafferty, LAFFCON4

LAFFCON4 takes place Saturday, June 8, 2019. This year we’re jumping out of our chairs giddy at the return of Brandon Budda and Glenn McDorman, hosts of The Gene Wolfe Literary Podcast. They'll be recording a live episode, unpacking one of Lafferty's greatest stories.
The Gene Wolfe LiteraryPodcast travels through the works of the great speculative-fiction writer Gene Wolfe one story at a time. Lucky for us they occasionally alter course into other literary universes. Last year they dropped anchor outside LAFFCON with scholar Gregorio Montejo and gave a thorough discussion of the R. A. Lafferty short story ‘Snuffles.’ Brandon and Glenn are solid pros, perfectly comfortable before the mic, insightful and interesting (a quadruple threat to boredom.)  Those who were present had the story unpacked bit by bit. Like most Lafferty stories all those bits pile up into quite a bite. -Personally, I can no longer look at a stuffed bear without imagining the big bouncing demiurge. 

This year Brandon and Glenn bring with them a new Lafferty toy box to unlock and unload. For those who weren’t present last year, you can still listen to the Snuffles podcast at: 
LAFFCON is a free annual conference dedicated solely to the works of author R. A. Lafferty. This year’s conference once again takes place in Lawrenceville, NJ. 
Also, here is a reminder that the deadline for entry into the first LAFFCON Bagarthach Verse Competition is April 25, 2019. Winners get their,"verse" printed in the conference program booklet. So give us your most mean-spirited curse of a verse in a style that would make a Puca chortle. For more information about the contest rules click here.

Monday, January 21, 2019

LAFFCON Bagarthach Verse Contest

LAFFCON Bagarthach Verse Contest

“To spew sweet venom on the page
  with tender wit and intonation
  We'll print yer text to all the rage
  and give you naught for reparation”

LAFFCON, the world's only conference dedicated to the life and works of author, R. A. Lafferty, announces the first ever Bagarthach Verse Contest. Submit your own Bagarthach Poem and winners will have their verse published in the LAFFCON4 program booklet next to articles and artwork inspired by this year's main theme, The Reefs of Earth.

The elements of Bagarthach verse are:

1. funny or clever but mean spirited.

2. short, one quatrain.

3. syllabic 8-9-8-9 per line (sometimes all lines are 8 syllables)

4. rhymed a-b-a-b.

All submissions must be original works. No limit to the number of submissions. The verse can be on any topic.

All submissions should be emailed to Entry deadline is Thursday, April 25, 2019.

Contest entries will be judged by the LAFFCON Planning Committee (who have little expertise with poetry but a great deal of experience with clever but mean-spirited shenanigans).

Winners will be published in the LAFFCON4 Conference Booklet, free to all who attend LAFFCON4 on June 8, 2019, and will later be made available for purchase via No royalties are payed to contributors. However, each winner will receive a contributor copy of the booklet. Aside from publication in the LAFFCON booklet, all rights to the submission are held by the author.

LAFFCON is a free event open to the public and there is no fee to enter the Bagarthach Verse Contest.