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R.A. Lafferty Books In Order

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Publication Order of The Coscuin Chronicles Books

The Flame is Green (1971)Description / Buy at Amazon
Half a Sky (1984)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of The Devil Is Dead Trilogy Books

The Devil Is Dead (1971)Description / Buy at Amazon
Archipelago (1979)Description / Buy at Amazon
More Than Melchisedech (1984)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Past Master (1968)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Reefs of Earth (1968)Description / Buy at Amazon
Space Chantey (1968)Description / Buy at Amazon
Fourth Mansions (1969)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Fall of Rome (1971)Description / Buy at Amazon
Arrive at Easterwine (1971)Description / Buy at Amazon
Okla Hannali (1972)Description / Buy at Amazon
Not to Mention Camels (1976)Description / Buy at Amazon
Aurelia (1982)Description / Buy at Amazon
Annals of Klepsis (1983)Description / Buy at Amazon
Tales of Midnight (1984)Description / Buy at Amazon
Serpent's Egg (1987)Description / Buy at Amazon
Sindbad (1989)Description / Buy at Amazon
Iron Tears (1992)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Short Stories/Novellas

Adam Had Three Brothers (1960)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Six Fingers of Time (1960)Description / Buy at Amazon
Through Other Eyes (1960)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Ugly Sea (1960)Description / Buy at Amazon
All the People (1961)Description / Buy at Amazon
In the Garden (1961)Description / Buy at Amazon
Aloys (1961)Description / Buy at Amazon
Sodom and Gomorrah, Texas (1962)Description / Buy at Amazon
Alaric (1971)Description / Buy at Amazon
Groaning Hinges of the World (1971)Description / Buy at Amazon
Eurema's Dam (1972)Description / Buy at Amazon
Horns on Their Heads (1976)Description / Buy at Amazon
Funnyfingers & Cabrito (1976)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Back Door Of History (1988)Description / Buy at Amazon
Strange Skies (1988)Description / Buy at Amazon
True Believers (1988)Description / Buy at Amazon
Promontory Goats (1988)Description / Buy at Amazon
Mischief Malicious (1991)Description / Buy at Amazon
Dream World (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
McGonigal's Worm (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Polite People of Pudibundia (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Weirdest World (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Collections

with Gene Wolfe
The Man Who Made Models (1970)Description / Buy at Amazon
Nine Hundred Grandmothers (1970)Description / Buy at Amazon
Strange Doings (1973)Description / Buy at Amazon
Does Anyone Else Have Something Further to Add? (1974)Description / Buy at Amazon
In the Wake of Man (With: Gene Wolfe) (1975)Description / Buy at Amazon
Apocalypses (1977)Description / Buy at Amazon
Ringing Changes (1979)Description / Buy at Amazon
Golden Gate and Other Stories (1982)Description / Buy at Amazon
Snake In His Bosom And Other Stories (1983)Description / Buy at Amazon
Man Who Made Models and Other Stories (1984)Description / Buy at Amazon
Slippery And Other Stories (1985)Description / Buy at Amazon
East of Laughter (1988)Description / Buy at Amazon
Dotty (1990)Description / Buy at Amazon
Lafferty in Orbit (1991)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Man Who Walked Through Cracks (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Best of R. A. Lafferty (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

It's Down the Slippery Cellar Stairs (1984)Description / Buy at Amazon
Cranky Old Man From Tulsa (1990)Description / Buy at Amazon
Tales Of Chicago (1992)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

Science Fiction Oddities(1966)Description / Buy at Amazon
Dangerous Visions 3(1967)Description / Buy at Amazon
Orbit 6(1970)Description / Buy at Amazon
Alchemy and Academe(1970)Description / Buy at Amazon
This Side of Infinity(1972)Description / Buy at Amazon
Young Demons(1972)Description / Buy at Amazon
Alpha 3(1972)Description / Buy at Amazon
Frontiers 1: Tomorrow's Alternatives(1973)Description / Buy at Amazon
Demon Kind(1973)Description / Buy at Amazon
Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow...(1974)Description / Buy at Amazon
Other Dimensions(1974)Description / Buy at Amazon
Future Corruption(1975)Description / Buy at Amazon
Antigrav(1975)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Year's Best Horror Stories: Series IV(1976)Description / Buy at Amazon
Whispers(1977)Description / Buy at Amazon
Chrysalis Volume 2(1978)Description / Buy at Amazon
Chrysalis 3(1978)Description / Buy at Amazon
Chrysalis 4(1979)Description / Buy at Amazon
Chrysalis 6(1980)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Berkley Showcase: Vol. 2(1980)Description / Buy at Amazon
Chrysalis 8(1980)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Berkley Showcase: Vol. 4(1981)Description / Buy at Amazon
Perpetual Light(1982)Description / Buy at Amazon
Great Tales of Fantasy and Science Fiction(1985)Description / Buy at Amazon
Terry's Universe: Science fiction's finest writers join in honoring the memory of Terry Carr(1987)Description / Buy at Amazon
Now We Are Sick(1991)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror Fourth Annual Collection(1991)Description / Buy at Amazon
Fourth Annual Collection(1991)Description / Buy at Amazon
Invaders!(1993)Description / Buy at Amazon
Explorers(2000)Description / Buy at Amazon
Supermen(2002)Description / Buy at Amazon
Futures Past(2006)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Mammoth Book of Extreme Fantasy(2008)Description / Buy at Amazon
More Fantastic Stories(2009)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Wesleyan Anthology of Science Fiction(2010)Description / Buy at Amazon
Feast of Laughter: Volume 2(2015)Description / Buy at Amazon

Raphael Aloysius Lafferty was an American fantasy and science fiction author published under the penname R.A Lafferty. He is best known for his unique use of metaphor, language, narrative structure, and etymological wit. He also authored a historical book, a set of four autobiographical novels, and different stories that are loosely historical fiction.

Nine Hundred Grandmothers
Nine Hundred Grandmothers is R.A. Lafferty’s collection of short stories. The first story in this 1970 collection is Lafferty’s first and has been the most commonly translated and republished of his collections; it is also the one most likely to be found in secondhand bookstores.

Eight of the twenty-one stories in this book were in the Best of R.A. Lafferty collection, although it in no way diminishes the brilliance of the other works. It isn’t easy to compare Lafferty’s stories to one another as they all are brilliantly written, and any best-of compilation would only be a random selection from a pool where any story may qualify.

The Six Fingers of Time is one of his more famous works. On the surface, it is about a guy who awakens to discover that the world has slowed down to the point where one second feels like one minute. As any science fiction author would approach it, it begins as a typical science fiction tale. Still, Lafferty takes unexpected twists by linking it to Biblical ties, philosophical origin myths of humankind, and deeper, concealed phases of time-shift.

Occasionally, Lafferty’s stories are metaphysical riddles in which physics, time, and history are all warped. Often, the only way to make sense of the narrative is to pick up hints as you are carried along by the conversations. The narrative has lengthy, bizarre dialogues between individuals, who are frequently interrupted by other characters, and unexpected absurdist turns that reveal weird aspects of the world. And as a reader, you may piece together the story’s central idea or premise, but it typically becomes apparent only at the conclusion when you have all the parts in your head.

Frog on the Mountain, for instance, is superficially about a wildlife hunter on the quest for a frog-man in an unknown world, but it is actually about a human changing to an ape form, and the closing words reframe the entire story as a metaphor. Then, all of a sudden, numerous bizarre jigsaw pieces scattered throughout the narrative fall into place. The specific transcends into the cosmos at the end of these tales.

On the surface, Snuffles is about an expedition to a planet, but on deeper levels, it suggests another bizarre creation narrative, similar to a blend of American Indian mythology and science fiction.

Although some have compared him to Wolfe, Lafferty’s approach is more “literate” than “literal.” He enjoys adding obscure references into the mix in his highly chaotic and unexpected manner.

Some of it is nearly wild for the sake of being wild. Despite the rare, informative narrative, the message appears to be virtually inherent in the style. The style is as integral to the story as the “creative concept.” There is not a single “sober” story that reads like traditional fiction in the whole book. It often takes a while for the reader to join the mindset of the tale to comprehend the unique universe the author has constructed or the concept he is exploring. Lafferty packs as many brilliant ideas into a single paragraph as Jennifer Egan can into a whole chapter.

His ability to maintain a remarkable level of consistency permeates everything he does. In most collections of science fiction short tales, there is often one excellent story, and the others are merely ok. But that’s not the case with Lafferty’s work. This book hardly has a mediocre story; they are all comparable to little masterpieces. The insane diversity makes it even more challenging to choose.

Past Master
Past Master is as similar to Fourth Mansions as it is different. While the Fourth Mansions is a psychological thriller, Past Master is purely science fiction. Both books plan a conflict with the planet’s destiny as the final stake. They conclude in a way that is only partially satisfying, with a twist ending that has a twist finale.

Past Master’s story takes place in the distant future when mankind has colonized an alien planet and attained perfect harmony. The Astrobe planet is the pinnacle of human accomplishment. However, no one can establish what is causing the mysterious illness. They need a new leader with a fresh viewpoint, so they travel back in time to collect Thomas More, the ideal choice for the Astrobe planet.

Thomas More is selected because, despite his other failings, he is the first man in history to have a candid moment. Thomas, however, does not comprehend the moment he is experiencing as he is being rescued from death and grudgingly accepts the responsibility of saving Astrobe. Through Thomas’s adventures, we learn more about the world constructed by Lafferty and the sickness that afflicts it. We get to know about the loss of privacy, the prohibition on religion, and the robot rebellion, which the devil supports.

What makes Lafferty’s work so incomprehensibly convoluted and pleasantly bizarre is his ability to invert well-known and sensible genre standards entirely. Where else can you find a novel containing time travel, hyperspace travel, flawlessly constructed androids, perfect democracy, and the capacity to live forever alongside mystical aspects like prophetic dreams, reincarnation, demonic conspiracies, mental control, and sacrificial death?

And if you anticipate a logical progression with everything explained in its proper position, you will be sadly disappointed. Lafferty follows no rules other than his own, yet his work possesses a certain coherence uncommon in conventional literature. It’s supposedly due to the fact that he is not just wise but also creative. His art is profoundly spiritual yet presented neatly. It would be difficult, if not impossible, not to admire Lafferty without an equal appreciation for the reality of the devil and his daily efforts to disturb humanity and lead them down a darker path.

Book Series In Order » Authors » R.A. Lafferty

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