Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A Question About R. A. Lafferty and Women


I spent most of the day writing and almost didn't post a blog because, mirabile dictu, nothing worth writing about happened to me today.

But then, for an essay I'm writing, I went looking for quotes about R. A. Lafferty and noticed something strange.  Almost everything I came up with had been written by men.

So here's my question:  Is Lafferty's work a guy thing?

I'd be  unhappy to discover that it was.  But either way, I need to know.

What's your experience?



Frank Böhmert said...

Don't know. I'm a sf reading male, but I've never read his books. In Germany he is almost forgotten. No publications here for over twenty years.

not Bridget said...

I can't speak for anybody else, but I consider myself a female in good standing & have loved Lafferty's work since encountering it in Galaxy many years ago. Back in those days, SF was mostly a guy thing; more women (& girls) read it now...

I found this blog during my periodical search for news on when Laffety will come back into print. SF readers of all genders & ages need to have a chance to meet the remarkable Mr Lafferty!

David Stone said...

Considering that a used copy of an anthology of his works costs over $60, and a new copy of one of his anthologies costs more than $200 right now, I'd say that his fans include people with lots of disposable income.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that there are more men than women who would spend that much money on a SF book, but I could very easily be wrong about that.

not Bridget said...

What about the women who bought his books years ago? Mass market paperbacks were cheap at the newsstand & even cheaper at the used book store. Small presses published some of his more obscure works--you had to work fast to find copies at reasonable prices. Some of his novels & story collections were released as trade paperbacks just after his death.

Since then, his family allowed the books to go out of print, apparently because they wanted to sell the rights. Which isn't as tacky as it sounds--none of them were equipped to be literary executors. It's said that Locus bought the rights; fans are awaiting news of new editions. (I'd like to replace my crumbling paperbacks & enjoy reading those newfangled digital editions on my smartphone.)

Is the gender breakdown for Lafferty fans different from general SF fans? I really don't know. I just want his work exposed to new fans of all sorts. Lafferty is not a Mass Market writer but truly beloved by those who "get" him.