Thursday, November 15, 2018

How weird are the ways of Earth!

"I ask the same question," Henry said. "From my viewpoint, I'm the man, you're the alien. How weird are the ways of Earth! Or as it is written, 'Can anything good come from Earth?'"
-R.A. Lafferty, The Reefs of Earth

Well, there is LaffCon. 

Are we good? Has anyone in the Universe noticed yet? Have the Puca noticed?

We're definitely going to have this party again in 2019.

Mark your calendars:
LaffCon4 - June 8th, 2019.

What will we do at LaffCon this year? 

"It was in this big room that the dead people would gather and sit and talk when they were tired of lying in one position. They cracked old bones to get the marrow, and they drank corn beer. It didn't take much eating and drinking to keep them up, since they were no longer fleshed. They didn't eat much, but they sure did smoke a lot. It is not generally known, but dead people used tobacco for centuries before live people stumbled onto it. That had also been the case with the Puca. The smoke all came out through a hole in the side of the mound, and that caused the fog or haze.
  The children learned the interior of the mound. They could have hidden there from all pursuit, but they couldn't have taken their rafts there. They dug all over the flanks of the mound, and came out with bones of animals and people. They dug out two prime skulls which they set up on the prows of their rafts.
 The children formed enduring friendships with many of the old Indians in the middle of Misu Mound. They learned a lot about Earth people from them, how they are in their essence, what are the real things that are hidden under the daily exterior, and how it was in the old days. And they learned the right way to cure tobacco and to make pipes and how really to smoke up a storm."
-R.A. Lafferty, The Reefs of Earth
The best idea so far for LaffCon4 is that we sit and talk when we're tired of lying in one position. I'm fairly sure that old bones will be cracked throughout the day (all that lying and sitting and talking is rough on our old bodies). We'll get down to the marrow.

If I can convince Rob to convince the library to change their policies, then there will be much corn beer and tobacco use throughout the day. Or perhaps that will wait until the evening. Or perhaps corn beer and tobacco have fallen so far out of favor on Earth that these things won't happen at all.

Throughout the day, I hope that we will learn a lot (maybe even just a little) about Earth people. We may learn how people are in their essence. We may learn what the real things are that are hidden under the daily exterior. We'll let the old-timers tell us how it was in the old days. And maybe during the breaks or maybe if we stay long enough into the evening, we might have a how-to session on really smoking up a storm.

What we definitely have right now:
--a panel on The Reefs of Earth
--a panel on "Groaning Hinges of the World".
--a lot of ideas!

There are a couple of other possibilities in the planning stages, but nothing that is definite.

If you would like to present a paper (or sing a song, or dance interpretatively, or recite the epic poem about Tulsa that you've been working on), then please contact us: Anything Lafferty-related is welcome. YOU are welcome. Please join us.


  1. Have panels of previous LaffCons been recorded and uploaded to the internet? Might panels of the 2019 LaffCon be recorded and uploaded to the internet, for those of us for whom travel to New Jersey for one day is not convenient?


    1. Hello. Over the years we've had a long and plentiful history of failed attempts to either stream or record LAFFCON. Last year was our most successful thanks to Brandon Budda and Glen McDorman, hosts of The Gene Wolfe Literary Podcast.
      Here are the links to those recordings, for so as long as they last:

      "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, a "Lafferty Studies" panel featuring Andrew Ferguson, Gregorio Montejo, Daniel Otto Jack Petersen, and Michael Swanwick.