Quote of the Day

A reader with the friendly yet divine name of Theophilius brings this quote to my attention:

“Things are set up as contraries that are not even in the same category. Listen to me: the opposite of radical is superficial, the opposite of liberal is stingy; the opposite of conservative is destructive. Thus I will describe myself as a radical conservative liberal; but certain of the tainted red fish will swear that there can be no such fish as that. Beware of those who use words to mean their opposites. At the same time have pity on them, for usually this trick is their only stock in trade.” — R.A. Lafferty

For those of you who do not know, R.A. Lafferty was an award winning science fiction writer (back in the days when the awards were given out for merit, not for political loyalty) and a staunch and faithful Catholic. It is something of a crime that he is almost unknown to the modern generation.


I can, albeit with hesitation, recommend him as an author, but my hesitation is this: he writes in a wild, lyrical, jazz-improv style, at times verging on the insane, sometimes sarcastic, sometimes droll, often very dark, as gallows humor. If you do not correctly apprehend the point at which he is driving, you will not see the joke, and not understand how his free-form dreamlike plots hang together. A difficult author is he, like Gene Wolfe, or like Philip K Dick, and something of an acquired taste.

But for those who acquire that taste, there is no vintage so rare, nor windedark dreams so high and strange.

Here are several free short stories:


Allow me to suggest these novels:

  • Past Master, 1968, Hugo Award nominee, Nebula Award nominee (amazon)
  • Fourth Mansions, 1969 (amazon)

And these short stories, if you can find them:

  • Ishmael Into the Barrens, 1971
  • Eurema’s Dam, 1972