Short Stories

About a Secret Crocodile
—R. A. Lafferty

  •   · Excerpt    
      "There is a secret society of seven men that controls the finances of the world. This is known to everyone but the details are not known. There are some who believe that it would be better if one of those seven men were a financier. There is a secret society of three men and four women that controls all the fashions of the world. The details of this are known to all who are in the fashion. And I am not."  —R. A. Lafferty
       · Commentary
      ““About a Secret Crocodile” was a shot in a war (since lost) against a cabal that was forcing “trendiness,” whose other name is “unoriginality,” on the world. Oh rise again and fight some more, dead people! Galaxy died several times from embracing this trendiness or unoriginality. The “magazine-that-is-different” became quite like all the other “magazines-that-are-different.” And it died because it spent all its retrospection on things past.”
        —R.A. Lafferty, Galaxy: Thirty Years of Innovative Science Fiction (1980)
      “Lafferty’s agent, Virginia Kidd, tells us that when the story appeared in Galaxy, she received an indignant call from the editors of Playboy magazine wanting to know why they hadn’t seen it first. Virginia says, “Frankly, it had never occurred to me that it was anything but a Galaxy story, so that is where I sent it.””
        —Frederik Pohl, Marin H. Greenberg & Joseph D. Olander (Editors), Galaxy: Thirty Years of Innovative Science Fiction (1980)

Copyright & Licensing: If you submit a comment, you agree to license the original text of your comment as CC-BY-4.0, allowing others to share and adapt your comment for any purpose, even commercially, as long as attribution is given and changes are indicated. Please see the full license.

Literary criticism of Lafferty has been sparse, and valuable essays remain out of print due to unclear license or estate status. The CC-BY license provides an option for Lafferty scholars to republish and critique your writing, and enables Lafferty archivists to migrate comments to new platforms and media.