Dear Science Fiction Fans, Do you love science fiction? Do you love R.A. Lafferty? We do and we are throwing a party. Please join us at LaffCon1. When? June 4th, 2016. 10am-5pm. Where? Mercer County Library, 2751 Brunswick Pike, Lawrenceville, NJ. Cost? Free. Even if you’ve never heard of Lafferty, there is a good chance that one of your favorite authors has praised him. Neil Gaiman, Terry Bisson, Gene Wolfe, Poul Anderson, Theodore Sturgeon, Roger Zelazny, Alan Dean Foster: all have praised Lafferty. In the past few years there has been a renewed interest in R.A. Lafferty. This renewal includes a new journal/”bookzine” (http://feastoflaughter.org), an active Internet community (http://www.facebook.com/groups/eastoflaughter), and now a conference/celebration (http://www.laffcon.org). The Locus Science Fiction Foundation has obtained the rights to the Lafferty estate and is working to make all of Lafferty’s work widely available. It is an exciting time to be a Lafferty fan. The idea for LaffCon was born when several of us in the Facebook group recognized that we were within driving distance of one another on the East Coast. After much talk, our simple desire of getting together for a drink became a full day party filled with Lafferty talk. We think that we’ve got a good line-up and we hope that it will be of interest to both the longtime Lafferty fan and the neophyte. “There is, among those familiar with Lafferty’s oeuvre, no doubt that it contains some of the best fiction of our times. All agree that it deserves to be read and loved by generations of readers to come. But will it be?” -Michael Swanwick, http://www.michaelswanwick.com/nonfic/duck.html
Michael Swanwick has generously agreed to be a guest at the conference. The wondrously kind Lissanne Lake, an artist that some of you may recognize (most notably for our concerns, she is the artist of the beautiful Lafferty in Orbit cover), will also be there. Andrew Mass, a filmmaker based in NY, is working on a Lafferty documentary (see footage, including an Harlan Ellison interview, here: http://laffertydoc.blogspot.com/). Also, you’ll get to interact with a handful of the worst case Lafferty nuts, a few of those involved with Feast of Laughter. Panel discussions, which will hopefully include active audience participation, will include topics such as Lafferty’s relation to the New Wave, Lafferty’s relation to the fine arts, and an exploration of Lafferty’s biography. We hope to see you there. Stay tuned to http://www.laffcon.org for continued updates. Thank you for your time and consideration. John Owen, On behalf of the Northeast Lafferty League and the LaffCon1 planning committee.