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The World's Thinnest Fat Man

Joe Taylor

So what did Josey learn from Mr. Garner’s visit and those untimely deaths? I’d like to say—my friend, I’d truly like to say—that he absorbed a myriad of lessons. But he’s forever unable to assimilate even a damned comic book moral, much less true epiphany’s inspiration. In consequence he views himself not as a higher spiritual being, not even as a genetically select, silken white rat capable of conquering life’s mazes, but rather as the world’s thinnest fat man, continually stunning crowds below by tossing off some dazzling jewel. . . .”

Follow the world’s thinnest fat man through his more than occasional blunders and less than occasional insights in these linked stories. Who knows? There may just be a “dazzling jewel” for you--even if Josey, aka WTFM, never discovers it.

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"Joe Taylor is a quirky genius of a storyteller. In vivid, beautiful language - sometimes erudite, sometimes edgy - he tells of eccentric characters who are in search of the genuine. The Theoretics of Love is emotionally profound, a great joy to read."
-Anthony Grooms, author of Bombingham and The Vain Conversation
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Highway 28 WEST

Preacher is not a preacher. He got the name from moping over a lost high school love. Yet . . . over the years, death‘s vicissitudes have accumulated and clamored around him in a most ecclesiastic and disturbing manner. When he finds a pit bull puppy roadside and gets a job at a boxing manufacturer, he declares his luck changed. One small town cop has doubts and tells him: “It ain’t your luck needs changing, but all the folks you meet.” And so it stands as the sun and moon revolve in their tango—or is it a waltz? –and whisper to one another. 

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Silent Bob

Free will? Where? How? Rainey and BJ may be the only two humans who become aware of the rooftop viziers, translucent beings who control the puppet-like humans living beneath roofs under their control. The two discover their specific vizier, Tiny T, and they follow it to a weekly gathering—only to learn that Tiny T and the other viziers themselves worry that they too may be controlled. Is free will, then, a never-ending spiral? Ever since attending the funeral of a stand-in father and touching his hard, cold cheek when he was nine-years-old, BJ tells Rainey, he has conjectured that God’s real identity is reflected in the name Silent Bob. “Silent Bob, I like that,” Rainey responds. But then, does the silence of God reflect the silence surrounding both the viziers’ and humans’ desire for free will? Ah, but what if will is found to really be free, what consequences would follow? The result is a speculative literary fantasy involving two lovers and a translucent being confronting . . . the silence of Silent Bob.

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“In this debut fantasy, a man stumbles into an adventure and a potential romance in an otherworldly land. University of Alabama computer programmer Billy Wise uses a sick day to explore his farmland. He’s armed with a machete in case he runs into a rattlesnake or copperhead and, indeed, spots an enormous snake. Recalling a cryptic riddle in a newspaper that cited rattlesnakes, he follows this reptile into an old clawfoot bathtub—right into a bizarre world of talking animals, a unicorn, and a beautiful woman named Soapy. There’s also the huge, surprisingly amiable snake called Bogus, who takes Billy into “The House,” a seemingly magical, labyrinthine place that defies logic. It can send people to such cities as medieval Canterbury, and a train ride (inside The House) is one way to move from room to room. But while Billy mingles with warmhearted individuals, like Soapy’s shape-shifting sister, Alexandra, it’s not an entirely benevolent world. Mr. and Mrs. Snelling trade off as administrators of The House. Now, it’s Mrs. Snelling’s turn, and she doesn’t want Lady Wisdom (who’s Soapy) interfering with her rule. So she kidnaps Soapy to send her somewhere far away—or to something worse. Billy may just be an “ordinary jerk” and divorced back in Tuscaloosa, but over here, he wields his machete like a sword for battling vicious clackers (creatures that resemble wild coat hangers). He, Bogus, and others search for Soapy in the unnavigable House and face off against the fearsome Snellings, who’ve been in charge for an impossibly long time. . . .


A delightfully peculiar and dreamlike tale with a playful, indelible cast.”

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The Alleged Woman

We’re going to need some laughs for these two years before the upcoming Presidential election. So . . . Satire, anyone?


When FBI agents respond to a routine, mid-morning summons to repair a flat tire,

they find an Alabama woman’s car trunk filled with seven million ballots for Joe Biden and her glove compartment holding eleven books of first-class Elvis stamps. Field Agent Sam Strong states, “We speculate she planned on mailing these to the local voting station. Had she done so, Alabama’s electoral votes would have gone to Biden. We can thank our alert agents.” And then NYC lawyer Rudy Gullibilliani soon travels to Alabama to clarify matters, stating, “I know criminals very well. That’s why I’m here.” And then the CDC declares the ballots to be COVID infected. And then . . .


Complications? You bet.

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The Theoretics of Love

Joe Taylor

The Theoretics of Love is available through your favorite local or online book retailer. Retailers, contact Ingram Publisher Services (IPS) at 866-400-5351 or by email at, or order via

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Ghostly Demarcations


Everyone is constantly admonishing our narrator to keep quiet: "You're full of bull hockey, college boy... Shut up and drink your beer." Or, "'Shut up,' Michelle replied. 'Shut up,' Michelle repeated." Or, "Don't look up. At least don't shout anything when you do. She's here, on the balcony." Or, "'Shit.' Sarah spit this out like a too-hot cinnamon ball, pulled me off the dental chair, and led me to the closet with the skeleton, shushing me with her fingers." Or, "Hush, be still. Tacete, tacete." Everyone admonishes him, when all he wants to do is shout the wonders, the horrors, the terrors that he and his older adoptive brother Galen face as one spiritual incursion after another manifests in their lives, moving from trickster poltergeists to forlornly wandering ghosts to intent fetches to avenging revenants. Perhaps, instead of admonishing him, everyone would do better to heed his early, youthful deliberation: "I never heard his voice again after that night. If we humans could always recognize the last words we were to ever to hear from each person we knew or even met, our lives would perch as fragile indeed, gathering tragedy every listening moment to lean over a dark cellar, of dark farewells."


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Welcome to Los Alamos, where the big-brained boys and girls are at it again. But atoms have become passé: now it’s the Higgs boson, which they are using to develop a clean, efficient weapon of mini-destruction, mysteriously dropping bodies and groups of bodies into junior black holes within a fifty mile radius. Moreover, they’re accomplishing this perfidy in comic rhyming quatrains. Can an intrepid group of six amateur do-gooders resolve the mystery and prevent the unleashing of this new WMD? With the help of several Doberman pinschers, a versificative Kentucky writer and his vivacious muse, Herr Morguemeister, and Verdi’s Otello, a resolution seems just possible.

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Many of these stories—most especially “The Man Who Haunted Himself” and the title story—were inspired by dream visions. I try to take such visions and search for the human truth concealed within, working within a framework of verisimilitude. While I partially envy the creating of “realistic” fiction, I’m typically happy to write in the romantic mode. Um, gee, Vonnegut, Emily Bronte, and Laurence Sterne strike me as worthy of emulation. Nonetheless, several other stories in this collection (“Soft Queen,” “Ontological,” and “All Lovely”) were originally intended for a novel of linked stories that basically aimed toward an admixture of psychological/love/detective realism. For the sake of that novel’s plot progression the three were trimmed, to be included herewith. And then the stories “Breakdown Club” and “The Secret Life of Atheists” from    whence? The latter came from my youthful infatuation with Sartre and Camus. Why not, I figured, toss in some wine and Simone DuBeauvoir? And “Breakdown Club”? The junction of a trip to the zoo and my year and a half apprenticeship as a concrete finisher brought that one about. No matter the inspiration, I do think that all these stories offer a vision of life that comes across a bit skewed. And what life doesn’t offer that, in the end?


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Back to the Wine Jug


 A comedic novel in verse. Dateline: Hades, where things go bad. But things are going even worse up top with red-states/blue-states, Brexit, Covid-19, gg prices, and college football. Diogenes, that never-say-die Greek who toted a lantern in search of one honest (wo)man, teleports up to mollify matters, accompanied by ... Gandhi? The Buddha? Plato? No. By Victoria Woodhull, who ran for U. S. President in 1872.
Not to worry, ladies. Victoria, Diogenes, and D’s Doberman Pluto, are on it, up top in lovely Birmingham, Alabama.

But wait. What’s that distant shuffling, approaching another teleport machine? The jowls on that squat guy, his beady eyes ... J. Edgar Hoover is it? Could it be that Lord Hades is repeating his usual monkeyshines? Could it be he’s undermining his own scheme? Pshaw. Surely not … The trio is, we repeat, on it.
In this novel’s rollicking rhyme we follow the above trio and another—undercover Detective Alonzo Rankin, neurologist Dr. Eddie Truelove, and Mary-Like-the-Mother-of-Jesus—as all six contort, hoping to right the world’s political confusion and woes.
Then J. Edgar finds a helpmate …

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Some Heroes, Some Heroines, Some Others.

The author’s first collection. As the title promises, these stories range from a small town sheriff who rids his town of a drunken murderer in his own way (after discussing the matter with a local mountain), to woman who on the gad dyes her hair with a teen-ager’s piurple streak to wait on staid lawyers and judges in an up-and-coming restaurant, to a priest who—yes—slips right into current headlines of sexual child abuse in a moment of terrifying lonelines and confusion. But just as the title shifts from magnificent to commonplace, so do the characters. And Taylor reminds that we all—despite our flashes into one glorious or ignoble end of life’s spectrum—that we all muddle along in life’s ragged gray.


100 N Washington St.

University of West Alabama Station 22
Livingston, Alabama 35470

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