15 May 2018

from Author Taylor

Josh Taylor wrote "The Butcher of Swiffle Prime." Josh is an engineering professor at the University of Toronto. His short fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in The Jersey Devil Press and The Penn Review.
Around a year ago I read an article in the New York Times called 'You Don’t Want to Buy Groceries From a Robot,' by Stacy Torres. It was about how some people have little social interaction beyond brief exchanges with service workers, and that replacing those jobs with automation can cut them off entirely. I kept thinking about it, particularly when having an impersonal shopping experience. It struck me that another side of the issue is how companies force their retail employees to recite promotions to customers. It often ruins the interaction for both the customer and employee, and can lead people, particularly those who don't value such interactions, to actually prefer to buy things from machines.

That was the inspiration, and, after lots of revising, this was the story that came out. As a new writer I usually don't know what the result or even style will be until I'm well into the story. Although if there's a chance for humor I'll almost always put it in, which is easy for me because I'm very accustomed to people not laughing at my jokes.

Thanks, Josh!

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