This post is for the second SFF.SE topic challenge of 2022, in which the site's community is encouraged to take part together in asking and answering questions on a particular topic each month. According to community votes on the topic challenge proposals thread, the February 2022 topic challenge is going to be devoted to a US sci-fi author:

R. A. Lafferty

This author and his works of written sci-fi are on-topic both here and at our sister site Literature SE, which is currently running a two-month topic challenge on the same author: January–February 2022 topic challenge: R. A. Lafferty. Therefore, this will be our second joint topic challenge run on two sites simultaneously: during February, questions about Lafferty stories can be asked either on SFF or on Literature, and it's pretty much the OP's choice where to ask (see below for more detail on this scope overlap).

What's a topic challenge and how do I take part?

See Announcing a Topic Challenge program for SFF.SE, and also this main meta post. In short, during February 2022 we should all try to either read some Lafferty stories and ask interesting questions about them, or help out by answering other people's questions about them. If you're wondering where to find Lafferty stories, our very own user14111 has collected a list of his stories which are freely and legally available online (e.g. from Project Gutenberg or the Internet Archive).

When it comes to written sci-fi stories, the site scopes of SFF and Literature don't differ that much, so askers can basically feel free to post their questions on either site. Bearing in mind the different communities and audiences, it might be recommended, for example, to ask about science-fictional aspects on SFF and to ask about deeper literary analysis on Literature, but either type of questions should still be on-topic for both sites.

Participation is not obligatory in any sense, but those who participate will be forever remembered in the annals of our history. We'll keep a list of all Lafferty questions asked during February 2022, either on SFF or on Literature, in an answer to this meta post. At the end of the month, I'll collate some data like highest-scoring question, most-viewed question, highest-scoring answer, etc. There won't be any real-world rewards like in the old days when Stack Exchange was smaller and more generous, but I'll be awarding at least one bounty after the end of the month (assuming there's at least one good answer posted).

What's next?

Future topic challenges will be chosen by community votes, so come over and propose or vote on suggestions at:

Propose future topics for SFF topic challenges!

(The Lafferty answer will be deleted from that thread at the start of February, since already chosen topics shouldn't stick at the top of the thread and distract people from those still to be voted on.)

  • 1
    I know it's only halfway through January, but I'm slowly posting these announcements earlier and earlier in the month, so that people have more time to prepare for each topic challenge (e.g. finding and reading some stories) before the start of the relevant month.
    – Rand al'Thor Mod
    Commented Jan 16, 2022 at 0:42
  • 1
    See here for my incomplete list of Lafferty short stories and novelettes that are available online. See here for a Lafferty expert's guide to Lafferty's SF novels.
    – user14111
    Commented Jan 16, 2022 at 5:36

1 Answer 1


List of all questions posted as part of this topic challenge

It had a score of 7 at the end of February, and less than 114 views during February. (This note added in December, so it's impossible to be precise about the views.)

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