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Creator: R. A. Lafferty
Raphael Aloysius Lafferty, more commonly known as R.A. Lafferty, was an American author of Science Fiction and Fantasy. He is most associated with the state of Oklahoma, where he spent most of his life, although he was born in Iowa. Something of a late bloomer, he first started publishing fiction in his mid forties, midway into a successful career as an engineer and well after a stint in the army during World War II. Lafferty's fiction is blatantly anti-realistic, taking as its model tall tales, oral folklore, and standup comedy more than mainstream fiction or non-fiction, and the Fourth Wall is frequently broken. He is also one for Mood Whiplash, and his stories and novels often start off in the comic realm before switching to tragedy or horror and maybe coming back.

Tropes associated with R.A. Lafferty's work include:

  • Christianity is Catholic: Lafferty was a lifelong Roman Catholic and theologically conservative, and religious themes show up in a lot of his stories.
  • Contemporary Caveman: The recurring character of Austro, a bona fide Australopithecus.
  • The Fair Folk: The creepy children in The Reefs of Earth are supposed to be aliens, but behave more life enigmatic and mischievous fairies.
  • The Hidden Hour: The former kind of time in "Days of Grass, Days of Straw"
  • Historical-Domain Character: Thomas More in his debut novel, Past Master.
  • A Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Read: A scientist creates a device that helps to see others' subjective impressions in "Through Other Eyes" and uses it to see the way a woman he believes himself to be in love with does. He doesn't like what he sees, and it's mutual.
  • Plausible Deniability: A supercomputer in "What's the Name of That Town" reveals that there used to be a city called Chicago that was destroyed in a horrendous accident. As soon as the story is told, all the listeners forget, as does the computer.
Avram DavidsonWorld Fantasy AwardHarlan Ellison
Mercedes LackeySpeculative Fiction Creator IndexL Jagi Lamplighter
Mercedes LackeyAuthorsLouis L'Amour

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