Inkblots and Blood Spots is finally here! Years after toying with this second collection of fiction and poetry, it has finally found a home with Villipede Publications, who have done a marvelous job orchestrating the complexity it takes putting a beautiful book like this together. Shawna L. Bernard, aka Sydney Leigh, edited the collection and went through hell and back again to bring you this book. And now the trade paperback is available at Amazon in the US and Amazon in the UK, and eventually through extended distribution channels.
From the back cover:
From the mind of award-winning author and editor Michael Bailey comes Inkblots and Blood Spots, a painfully beautiful collection of short stories and poetry that reaches deep into the imagination, breaking hearts and boundaries along the way…
In a lyrical and uninterrupted dance, Bailey entwines evocative literary short fiction with rhythmic poetry and comes full circle in one seamless collection. His stellar performance is accompanied by the stunning artwork of Daniele Serra, winner of the British Fantasy Award, and an Introduction by the legendary Douglas E. Winter.
Stories include the Bram Stoker nominated “Fireman / Primal Tongue,” which also received an Honorable Mention for Year’s Best Horror; “Dandelion Clocks,” a haunting, melodic tribute to the tragedy of 9/11; “I Wanted Black,” where a young boy’s birthday is anything but cause to celebrate; “Mum,” a tale of two sisters unfolding like the bandages on their mother’s badly burned body…
Take a surreal stroll through a carnival in “Underwater Ferris Wheel,” where the biggest attraction may be your last ride; witness a pregnant woman’s harrowing encounter with soul-stealing faerie in “Not the Child”; and find out why it gets cold in a little girl’s room at night when she sees “A Light in the Closet.
Danielle Serra provided the captivating cover, as well as provided half-page, full-page, and multi-page illustrations throughout for each of the stories. The book weighs a solid pound, runs 256 pages, and is chock full of surprises that will hopefully take your breath away in some way or another. These interesting thumbnails were stolen from the publisher’s website to give you an idea of what you can expect when cracking the spine.
The one and only Douglas E. Winter was kind enough to write the introduction, and there are some rather nice blurbs:
“Michael Bailey continues to amaze. He is on track to becoming his generation’s Ray Bradbury.” – F. Paul Wilson
“Vibrant, bold, and bursting with original concepts… a writer willing to bypass all the familiar territories and stake out a new narrative landscape all his own.” – Thomas F. Monteleone
“Haunting and poignant… filled with love and loss, the weight of these resolutions echoes out into the darkness with a heartbreaking permanence.” – Richard Thomas
“The stories and poems in Inkblots and Blood Spots bleed into our souls like knives and leave us breathless. Bailey is a fabulous writer, and these stories are his best. Go buy this book. Now. It has my highest recommendation.” – John R. Little
“Inkblots and Blood Spots is a smart collection of stories that evoke real fear, because they’re grounded in emotional truth. Michael Bailey has that rare ability to terrify readers and break their hearts–often in the same paragraph.” – Norman Prentiss
“Most writers are either stylists or story-tellers. The stylists tend to be more common in literary fiction, the storytellers more common in genre work. Michael Bailey’s prose is highly accessible, but very precise… he’s a stylist, his prose very clean. Michael is indeed a very literate storyteller.” – Gene O’Neill
“Artfully executed. A unique and powerful contribution to speculative literature.” – Tim Deal
If you’re a fan of Goodreads to track your reading habits, there is a page setup for Inkblots and Blood Spots, which you can find here. And if you’re looking to see more, check out the latest blog by my editor, Shawna Bernard, at The Spider Box. I think she states it best:
“The work in Inkblots and Blood Spots has been carefully arranged so that it’s woven together with characters, settings, themes, rhythms, and voices that all connect and flow into the telling of one longer tale throughout.” – Shawna Barnard
The collection includes 15 previously published short stories, “Dandelion Clocks,” a new novelette, and a mix of 17 poems, some of which are previously published, and some that are new.
Dance with me.
- Bootstrap / The Binds of Lasolastica
- A Light in the Closet
- Not the Child
- It Tears Away
- The Dying Gaul
- The Mascot
- Underwater Ferris Wheel
- I Wanted Black
- Fireman / Primal Tongue
- Dandelion Clocks
- Beneath Clouds
- The Two of You
- Sticks and Bones
- Simon the Parasite
- Listen To Me
- All but the Things that Cannot be Torn
- Secret Smile
- Open Auras
- Though it Rains
- Countdown to Null
- Not Responding
- Whisper Dance