John Rathbone Taylor
Bewildering Stories biography
I am a Brit, living in Sheffield, England. I don’t have academic qualifications in creative writing but I’ve read useful stuff on the subject, I learn from others, and I convene a small, co-operative writers’ group called Many a Tale.
I turned to the ‘serious mischief’ of writing stories only after retiring from work in 2012. Composing fiction helped me “mentally shred” all the weighty plans and reports I had been obliged to write over previous years as a director in local government and sometime management consultant! Having the liberty to satirically recount events, and to solve situational dilemmas and narrative challenges simply by deploying imagination, invention and lies, was truly a creative catharsis! It also explains why most of my writings explore the nonsensically comedic, yet philosophically deadly serious style known as the ’absurd’.
I did the writing first, then I identified the genre. Some are 100-word micro stories that have fun with characters, language and logic. Others are lengthier flash pieces with twists in their tales (!), or short stories with bizarre narratives, featuring spirited but misguided individuals, amusingly at odds with their worlds.
Early in 2019, Running Wild Press published my story, ‘Turnip Way’, a novella that combines the absurd in an adults’ tale with forms of story-telling from the more familiar genres of childrens’ lit, sci-fi, and wisdom psychology. I applauded RWP for featuring such adventurous work in their anthology, as I do Bewildering Stories for publishing my ultra comedic-absurd story, ‘Side of the Almond’.
I do also write non-absurdist fiction, for example: ‘Cairo Salutes’, a Second World War drama published by Huddersfield University Press’s GRIST Anthology. My word-hoard is still modest, but examples from all sides of my work have been published in paperbacks and on lit-sites.
Copyright © 2020 by John Rathbone Taylor