Jim Lafayette Memorial Series

The Jim Lafayette Memorial Series of Writers of Science Fiction and Fantasy

Jim sits in tux. His bright smile lights up the photo as he looks past the photographer at something on his right.

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. 

Norwich native Faye Ringel, Ph.D., retired Professor of Humanities at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and Otis Library volunteer, has been the driving force behind the Lafayette Author Series. Each year, she helps to organize and promote the event. Thank you, Faye, for all you do!

2024 Guest Author Ginger Booth

Thursday, July 18, 6:30pm over Zoom.  Registration begins June 17.


Time ran out on climate change.

Local author Ginger Booth discusses her Calm Act book series. Set in fictional Totoket (Branford CT), climate change disasters accelerate while the ex-U.S. splinters. Tech whisperer Dee Baker buys into the goal of winning an ‘ark berth’ to protect herself. But as she works to protect her community, instead she chooses to face the changes and make a difference.

Unlike much of the popular post-apocalyptic prepper fiction, the Calm Act takes a ‘militant moderate’ position. No backwoods Rambo with arsenal. Instead Dee relies on the Connecticut strengths we proved in the Covid emergency – we cooperate well. Rather than portray government, military, and neighbors as the enemy, community is the solution.

“Does everything well. Characters and plot are developed and engaging. Settings are so strongly interwoven into the story that the places are as much characters as the humans. The Calm Act series (and subsequent Feral America) has spoiled me for most other [post-apocalyptic] fiction other than the greats such as Alas Babylon, Lucifer’s Hammer and The Stand.” – Amazon review

Short bio:
After 14 years walkabout to New York and Denver, Dallas and Tokyo, Ginger swam home to spawn in shoreline Connecticut. A recovering computer programmer, she worked in microchip design, fractal geometry, and environmental research software at Yale.

Now she’s sold over 100k books on Amazon. End Game, book 1 of the Calm Act, was her first popular novel, published in 2016.

Quirk: Booth grows vegetables indoors, until they spill outside and down the driveway. All her books feature gardens and the environment, though she writes mostly space sci-fi these days.

Previous Lafayette Writers

2023 – Edith Pawlicki

2022 – Zac Topping

2021 – Saran Pinsker Sarah Pinsker’s short story Where Oaken Hearts Do Gather made a clean sweep of awards in 2022, including the Nebula, Locus and Hugo Awards for best short story.

2019 – Leigh Ronald Grossman

2019 – Ken Schneyer

2018 – Paul Di Filippo

2017 – Julia Rios  

2017 – Erik Amundsen

2017 – Carlos Hernandez

2017 – C.S.E. Cooney Claire Cooney’s novel Saint Death’s Daughter won the 2023 World Fantasy Award for Best Novel.

2016 – James Morrow

2015 – Dana Cameron 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 

2013- C. S. E. Cooney Bone Swans: Stories by C.S.E. Cooney, was winner of the 2016 World Fantasy Award for Best Collection.

2012 – Theodora Goss  

2011 – Kaaron Warren  

2011 – Madeleine Robins  

2010 – John Crowley  

2009 – Michael Bishop

2009 – Paul Di Filippo 

2009 – Greer Gilman

2008 – Don D’Ammassa    

2008 – Esther Friesner  

2008 – Leigh Ronald Grossman  

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