Jim Lafayette Memorial Series of Writers of Science Fiction and Fantasy

James Patrick Lafayette was born November 3, 1976 to Ann Marie (DeMontigny) and Patrick Lafayette.  Jim was joined by his sister Kate in 1980. At age four Jim was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy after showing signs of muscle weakness.

Jim’s father was an avid Science Fiction fan and introduced Jim to Star Wars at an early age.  Jim soon became a collector of Star Wars merchandise; a passion he continued until his death at the age of 26.  Jim attended Norwich Public Schools and Norwich Free Academy (NFA).  During Jim’s elementary years students wrote and illustrated books for the Young Authors program. Jim always penned a science fiction story with an open ending suitable for a sequel.  At NFA Jim enrolled in art classes as drawing fantasy and science fiction figures was another favorite pastime.  While a student at NFA Jim wrote a weekly column for the Norwich Bulletin called The Next Level, a video game review. Jim graduated from NFA in 1995. He continued writing The Next Level into his college years at Connecticut College where he studied art and literature.  Jim graduated in 1999 from Conn College with Honors in English. He presented the first science fiction thesis at Conn, Darwinian Themes in British Science Fiction. Upon graduation Jim wrote an animé review for Wizard Magazine.

Reading and writing science fiction allowed Jim to escape the confines of his wheelchair and travel to fantastic places in his mind.  Upon his death in 2002 Jim’s family chose to establish a memorial fund to share and continue Jim’s love of science fiction and fantasy with generations to come. 


2019 Guest Authors Ken Schneyer and Leigh Grossman

Monday, July 8, 6:00 and July 22

The Jim Lafayette Memorial Series of Writers of Science Fiction and Fantasy, hosted by Otis Library, will welcome authors Ken Schneyer on Monday, July 8, and Leigh Grossman on July 22, at 6:00 p.m. in the Millie and Martin Shapiro Community Room.  These programs honor  the memory of local science fiction and fantasy fan and writer Jim Lafayette with appearances by authors of the genre.  Norwich native Faye Ringel, Ph.D., retired Professor of Humanities at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, will introduce the authors.

Kenneth Schneyer

Kenneth Schneyer

Kenneth Schneyer has published more than 35 stories in such places as Analog Science Fiction & Fact, Strange Horizons, Lightspeed Magazine, the Podcastle, Escape Pod, and Pseudopod podcasts, and elsewhere.  His work has been translated into Italian, Czech, Russian, and Chinese.  In 2014, his short story Selected Program Notes from the Retrospective Exhibition of Theresa Rosenberg Latimer was a finalist for both the Nebula Award and the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award.  Ken’s first collection, The Law & the Heart, was released by Stillpoint Digital Press in 2014; a second collection, Anthems Outside Time and Other Strange Voices, is due to be released by Fairwood Press in 2020.  Ken teaches humanities and legal studies at Johnson & Wales University in Providence.

Leith Grossman

Leith Grossman

 Leigh Ronald Grossman is a writer, college lecturer, editor, and publishing consultant. He teaches in the English Department at the University of Connecticut and does typesetting, book development, and book production for various publishers and authors via his company, Swordsmith Productions. Grossman is the author of 16 published books, most recently fantasy novel The Lost Daughters. He compiled and edited Sense of Wonder, the largest single-volume science fiction anthology ever produced. He is probably best known in New England for his three books on the Boston Red Sox.

These programs are free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served. For more information, contact Julie at 860-889-2365, ext. 128.

Previous Lafayette Writers

2018 - Paul Di Filippo http://paul-di-filippo.com/

2017 - Julia Rios   www.juliarios.com

2017 - Erik Amundsen http://strangehorizons.com/author/erik-amundsen/

2017 - Carlos Hernandez http://rosariumpublishing.com/rosarium-authors-carlos-hernandez.html

2017 - C.S.E. Cooney   https://csecooney.com/

Claire Cooney's new novella Desdemona and the Deep will be launched at the Savoy Bookshop and Cafe in Westerly, RI on July 27, 6 - 8pm.  In addition to discussing her novella, Claire will be singing her original songs, accompanied by Faye Ringel.  For more information, click here:  Claire Cooney

2016 - James Morrow   http://www.jamesmorrow.info/

2015 - Dana Cameron   http://www.danacameron.com/

Dana Cameron's first novel, Site Unseen: An Emma Fielding Mystery has been made into a movie series for Hallmark Movies & Mysteries. For more information, click here: Emma Fielding

2014 - Kit Reed   http://www.kitreed.net/
2013- C. S. E. Cooney   https://csecooney.com/

Bone Swans: Stories by C.S.E. Cooney, was winner of the 2016 World Fantasy Award for Best Collection .

2012 - Theodora Goss   https://theodoragoss.com/
2011 - Kaaron Warren   https://kaaronwarren.wordpress.com/  
2011 - Madeleine Robins   https://madeleinerobins.com/
2010 - John Crowley   http://crowleycrow.livejournal.com/
2009 - MIchael Bishop  http://www.michaelbishop-writer.com/ 
2009 - Paul Di Filippo  http://paul-di-filippo.com/  
2009 - Greer Gilman   http://www.greergilman.com/
2008 - Don, D'Ammassa     http://www.dondammassa.com/     
2008 - Esther Friesner   https://www.fantasticfiction.com/f/esther-m-friesner/  
2008 - Leigh Grossman   http://swordsmith.com/