Everything has been said before, but since nobody listens we have to keep going back and beginning all over again.
Andre Gide

Source: flickr.com


The stories of R. A. Lafferty are returning to print*, though in small editions: Centipede Press will publish his collected stories as limited-edition hardcovers — up to 12 volumes — starting with The Man Who Made Models. Centipede says:

In a career that began in 1959 and continued until his death in 2002, R.A. Lafferty garnered the admiration of authors and editors including Robert A.W. Lowndes, Harlan Ellison, A.A. Attanasio, Gene Wolfe, Michael Swanwick and many, many others. His body of short fiction is comprised of well over 200 stories and, despite his vast popularity, there was never a concerted effort made to produce a comprehensive collection of his short fiction, until now. 

Welcome to the first volume in a series that will run to a dozen volumes collecting all of R.A. Lafferty’s short fiction. Whether it be well-known stories such as “Narrow Valley” or more obscure work such as “The Man Who Made Models,” all will be collected here in the Lafferty Library. Each volume will feature close to 100,000 words of Lafferty’s fiction and each volume will feature an afterword by series editor John Pelan and a guest introduction by a notable author in the field of fantastic fiction. 

These scans are from the 50 Watts hoard (the cover art for Nine Hundred Grandmothers is by Leo & Diane Dillon). No word when or if Lafferty’s novels will be reprinted. I love Past Master (1968) — it’s science fiction but the main character is Thomas More — and my copy is in tatters.

Here also is the bio from Centipede's site: 

R.A. Lafferty (1914–2002) was an American science fiction and fantasy writer known for his original use of language, metaphor, and narrative structure, as well as for his etymological wit. He also wrote a set of four autobiographical novels, In a Green Tree, a history book, The Fall of Rome, and a number of novels that could be more or less loosely called historical fiction. Lafferty’s quirky prose drew from traditional storytelling styles, largely from the Irish and Native American, and his shaggy-dog characters and tall tales are unique in science fiction. Little of Lafferty’s writing is considered typical of the genre.

*The first volume is already sold out (at least from the publisher). When I drafted this post last week it was still available. Kind of sad.

@WritersNoOneRds / Facebook

Doris Pilkington Garimara, Aboriginal Novelist, Dies at 76

The old man chews the air.
Under the ground his bride
Travels north and south
Transmitted by the worms,
Moles that scrabble through,
Maggot, vole and shrew.
When resurrection comes
Christ will have to raise
An entire field, she’ll stand
On trunks for feet and pray
Like Laura turned to tree
With bough and bloom, her grey
Pupils made of dew,
Pulse a stammering breeze.

The old man senses her
And he is in her arms
Again, ago; both young
Exchange like ventricles,
Touch calling, answering touch,
Two climates, hemispheres,
Resolved in storm, in calm.

Under the chestnut’s broad
Candled canopy
Clenched and comfortably
Alone he hugs his knees.
Among forget-me-not,
Bluebell and campion
He leans on a bending branch;
A smell of chamomile
Where his two feet are splayed
Rises from scuffed soil.

Then, into her dark leaves
Plump with the year, a flare,
A ring-dove: how she coos
Among the candles, light.
He listens to her voice,
Breathing the scented air.
Almost the scent is taste,
Almost the taste is touch.

His task is less than Christ’s:
His resurrection comes
To him as oxygen,
The voice, the chamomile;
She reaches like a hand
And closes on his heart.
A sweet time, this, to be
Alive and unalone,
Grace immaterial –
Reflection, not reflex.
He chews the given air.
It feeds him like a host.

Michael Schmidt, Present Tense
Its heft and hush became a bright nowhere,
A soul ramifying and forever
Silent, beyond silence listened for.
"…from the novelist who knows Africa best!"

"…from the novelist who knows Africa best!"

Source: flickr.com

Paul Robeson, HUAC testimony 1956

ROBESON: I stand here struggling for the rights of my people to be full citizens in this country and they are not. They are not in Mississippi and they are not … in Washington… . You want to shut up every Negro who has the courage to stand up and fight for the rights of his people… . That is why I am here today… .

MR. SCHERER: Why do you not stay in Russia?

MR. ROBESON: Because my father was a slave, and my people died to build this country and I am going to stay here and have a part of it just like you. And no fascist- minded people will drive me from it. Is that clear?

(The Whole World in His Hands, p. 205.)