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

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.