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There have always been the Twenty One Pillars of Rectitude who sustain the World: Seven Saints to insure the sanity of the world; Seven Technicians to insure its correct mechanical working; and Seven Scribbling Giants to write its scenarios and histories. The Saints and Technicians were always in plentiful supply. But not so the Scribbling Giants.
So when Atrox Fabulinus, the greatest of the Scribbling Giants, was most foully murdered with his own nine-foot-long goose feather quill, the World staggered with the collapse of its most sustaining pillar. Then the remaining Scribbling Giants (all of them very old and tired) cried out for replacements so they could go to their restful deaths.
This is the story of how the World, at the uneven changing of its supporting pillars, staggered and reeled.
It is also the story of the Group of Twelve, an Group remarkable for its creativity and elegance, and how it set out to sustain the World in its new days of tottering terror.
Whether the Group will be successful, indeed whether they have been successful, remains to be answered on the ninth day of the week, east of Laughter.
R. A. Lafferty (1914-2002)
Raphael Aloysius Lafferty was an American science fiction and fantasy writer born in Neola, Iowa. His first publication of genre interest was 'Day of the Glacier' with Science Fiction Stories in January 1960, although he continued to work in the electrical business until retiring to write full-time in 1970. Over the course of his writing career, Lafferty wrote thirty-two novels and more than two hundred short stories and he was known for his original use of language, metaphor and narrative structure.