If you've found your way here, you are likely familiar with the work of R.A. Lafferty. You are just as likely to be unfamiliar with those of us who will be at LaffCon.
We love Lafferty. That is why we're throwing this party (disguised as a lit/sf con) in his honor.
But who are "we"? Who will be at this party that you are invited to join?
The LaffCon Planning Committee consists of:
Me. I am doing my best at pretending to be an expert con organizer.
John Owen comes home each evening to the golden cliché: the u.n.d; the p.h.; and l. and u.w.; and the s.c. (seven more would have been too many). Just to live is a happy riot. He is well known in the future for having barely succeeded in establishing the Northeast Lafferty League, which has grown to cover the Northeast quadrant of this galaxy. On all of the planets, his name has become a byword for any grand success achieved based on wild enthusiasm coupled with poor planning and lack of any applicable skill set. John blogs infrequently about R.A. Lafferty at http://failingevenbetter.blogspot.com
Robert Bee is our gracious host in New Jersey.
Robert Bee is a freelance writer living in New Jersey. For his day job he teaches computer classes at the Mercer County Library. He has published over 30 short stories, book reviews, and essays in magazines, e-zines, and anthologies such as The New York Review of Science Fiction, The Internet Review of Science Fiction, Outer Darkness, Parchment Symbols, Blue Murder, Parageography, Alienskin, Glyph, Cabal Asylum, Welcome to Nod, Nocturnal Ooze, Dark Krypt, and Kings of the Night.
Gregorio Montejo is our resident scholar.
Gregorio Montejo is a professor of Historical Theology at Boston College. His research interests include Thomas Aquinas, Christology, and Trinitarian Theology. Montejo is a member of the Catholic Theological Society of America and the Society of Biblical Literature. Most recently, he gave a presentation on “Re-imagining God’s Apophatic Form: Aquinas, De divinis nominibus, and the Pauline Corpus” at Villanova University’s Patristic, Medieval, and Renaissance Conference (PMR).
Anthony Ryan Rhodes is the face of LaffCon.
Fortunately for us, we've only ever seen him with his Lafferty mask on. A native Tulsan, Anthony is a dabbler in Lafferty illustration (http://arr-illustrator.blogspot.com/).
Our confirmed guests include:
Our Writer Guest of Honor is Michael Swanwick.
On his blog, Michael describes himself as a "Writer of fantasy and science fiction novels and short fiction. Dabbler in criticism and biography. Winner of various awards. Mad about writing."
If you don't know who Michael Swanwick is, then you haven't been paying attention to science fiction for the last 30 years. For our purposes, here is the to-the-point bio statement from FoL2: "Michael Swanwick is the multiple-award-winning author of such books as Stations of the Tide and Gravity's Angels. He has been a Lafferty admirer, fan, and supporter for longer than many of his readers have been alive."
Please read his essay Despair and the Duck Lady.
Our Artist Guest of Honor is Lissanne Lake.
Lissanne is a full-time freelance illustrator, and has been one for over 25 years. She has done over 100 book covers, plus magazine covers, gaming card illustrations, and an entire Tarot deck (Buckland Romani Tarot) plus outdoor murals and figurine designs, and many other things. (Artists are a versatile lot!) She lives in North Bergen, NJ with her partner Alan and a small bossy dog. You can check out her paintings on her Facebook page, the Fantastic Art of Lissanne Lake, and you can find many Lafferty illustrations in the albums there.
Our Lafferty Ghost of Honor is Mary Mondo.
(In the room also was a spirit named Mary Mondo. She was seldom apparent, even as a spirit. But she did show up on the spirit-anagnostes, a sophisticated instrument.)
[The LaffCon planning committee is working furiously on obtaining a spirit-anagnostes. If anyone has a lead in this regard, please contact us as soon as possible.]
And other worthy guests!
We are especially pleased to have two guests who have contributed greatly in documenting the life and works of Lafferty.
Andrew Mass is currently working on the world's first feature length documentary about R.A. Lafferty. A clip of his interview with Harlan Ellison can be found at the film's blog:
Rich Persaud is the creator of the important website, ralafferty.org. He is also a member of the Ktistec Press editorial board. Please get lost for a while at http://www.ralafferty.org/
Last but not least, none of this would be happening if it hadn't been for David Cruces creating the Facebook group East of Laughter: An Appreciation of R.A. Lafferty. David's getting a big ol' hug from me when I get to meet him face-to-face for the first time.