Meet the Snafoo

My relationship with technology has been precarious (all the more interesting that I married a computer programmer). Things technological break down or function oddly around me. I’ve often speculated that nefarious powers were behind it.

When my Cassidy Collaboration partner and I put our heads together, we created a mythos to reveal the technomagical gremlins behind most of the world’s technological woes.

Have you ever wondered:

Why must there be so many pop-ups? What’s the reason for those dropped calls? Who scratches your favorite dvds? Why does your iPod mysteriously stop working? What about spam? Even that annoying paperclip in Word has always seemed a bit menacing. Where does it all come from? Are these unrelated technological pet peeves…or something more?

This hi-tech mischief and mayhem are the concerted effort of the Snafoo, technomagical creatures whose sole purpose is to wreak havoc on all things technological. These cryptids have been clever enough to maintain radio/internet silence for the last 50 years, operating under the radar of all but the most savvy and suspicious debuggers.

There are five of these technomagical gremlins (well six really, but we don’t talk about the sixth one). Each of the Snafoo has his or her own area of interest and specialty. Their goal is disrupt the technological backbone of our reality, yet their purpose is much more insidious.

The oldest, Foo is the alpha Snafoo. Foo first got involved in the early days of telegraphy, but he really came on the scene during WWII. It was Foo who came up with the first computer “bug” in 1947. Foo is an “old school” Snafoo who believes that the oldest methods of mischief and mayhem are the best. Foo enjoys expanding his talents to other technological devices, like cell phones and ATM machines.

The simplest of the Snafoo. He is related to more basic, mischievous house spirits of lore and usually resorts to more physical annoyances. Yash licks your computer screen, pops off keboard keys, messes with your mouse, scratches your cds and dvds, etc. If the three stooges had a Snafoo counterpart, it would be Yash. His pranks are straightforward and mostly harmless.

The software Snafoo, Bar messes with the software programs and corrupts their code. The most clever of the Snafoo, she is calculating, creative, and patient.

Baz is the internet Snafoo, and his specialty is spam and popups. Baz loves excess and preys upon people who like to overindulge with things technological.

The youngest and most destructive of the Snafoo, Zot is out for nothing less than “the killer poke” (irreversible damage on a machine). Zot lives for destruction and considers Macs to be her ultimate nemesis. She takes personal pleasure in disabling all things Apple.

On our website, we have posted the first installment of a story about what happens when the Snafoo get out of control, as well as some history.

We have had a few visual and culinary artists join us as collaborators. I can’t wait to see their work and add it to the site.

Meanwhile, if you have comments or suggestions, we welcome them! Also, if you’ve had experience with the Snafoo, I urge you to share your experiences. You can add photographic evidence on our flickr site:

More is coming.

Published by Valya

Valya Dudycz Lupescu has been making magic with food and words for more than 20 years, incorporating folklore from her Ukrainian heritage with practices that honor the Earth. She’s a writer, content developer, instructor, and mother of three teenagers. Valya is the author of MOTHER CHRISTMAS, THE SILENCE OF TREES, and the founding editor of CONCLAVE: A Journal of Character. Along with Stephen H. Segal, she is the co-author of FORKING GOOD: An Unofficial Cookbook for Fans of The Good Place and GEEK PARENTING: What Joffrey, Jor-El, Maleficent, and the McFlys Teach Us about Raising a Family (Quirk Books), and co-founder of the Wyrd Words storytelling laboratory. Valya earned her MFA in Writing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and her poetry and prose have been published in anthologies and magazines that include, The Year's Best Dark Fantasy & Horror, Kenyon Review, Culture, Gargoyle Magazine, Gone Lawn, Strange Horizons, Mythic Delirium. You can find her on Twitter @valya and on @valya

3 thoughts on “Meet the Snafoo”

  1. charyvna says:

    Ever since we started this collaboration project, the tech-pranks have been increasing in frequency.

    Today, for example, every atm machine that I went to was broken and gave me odd messages like: check health, notify attendant.

    I think that the Snafoo are a wee bit upset that we’re calling them out!

  2. hollyheartfree says:

    Well good goddess, it’s about time someone made this obvious connection. Thank you! If it’s not the house elves bedeviling me it’s the damn computer gremlins. SO nice to have their proper names in hand now. But you know these creatures DO play nicely with some folk. Just not me. WHy is that?

  3. charyvna says:

    Ah, it’s because you are so connected to the land, Holly. It goes again their very nature. However you can refer to the offerings page to get some tips of how to appease them.


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