Archive for the ‘ Collections ’ Category

AVAILABLE NOW – THE IMPOSSIBLE WEIGHT OF LIFE

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Written Backwards presents The Impossible Weight of Life, a painfully autobiographical collection of speculative fiction and poetry by Michael Bailey, author of previous collections such as Scales and Petals, Inkblots and Blood Spots, and Oversight. Available now wherever books are sold!

Amazon: eBook | trade paperback | hardcover. Also available in the UK, Canada, AustraliaGermany, FranceItaly, Spain, India, Brazil, Mexico, Netherlands, Japan, and Kindle Unlimited where available.

Barnes & Noble: trade paperback | hardcover

Books-A-Million (BAM!): trade paperback | hardcover

Fiction:

  • Time is a Face on the Water
  • Speaking Cursive
  • Ghosts of Calistoga
  • Möbius
  • The Long White Line
  • Hourglass
  • The Other Side of Semicolons
  • Gave
  • Essential Oils
  • Fragments of Br_an
  • I Will Be the Reflection Until the End
  • Emergence of the Colorless
  • Oll Korrect

Poetry:

  • Loosed Earth
  • Hurt People Hurt People
  • Life (C)remains
  • Lest We End
  • Past the Past
  • Blink
  • Sands of Time
  • Shades of Red
  • Who Will Teach Them?
  • The Nocturnal Waking Nightmare
  • Paper Earth
  • Apanthropy
  • Night Rainbows

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THE IMPOSSIBLE WEIGHT OF LIFE

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Written Backwards presents The Impossible Weight of Life, a painfully autobiographical collection of speculative fiction and poetry by Michael Bailey, author of previous collections such as Scales and Petals, Inkblots and Blood Spots, and Oversight.

Release date: October 13th, 2020.

Amazon: eBook | trade paperback | hardcover. Also available in the UK, Canada, AustraliaGermany, FranceItaly, Spain, India, Brazil, Mexico, Netherlands, Japan, and Kindle Unlimited where available.

Barnes & Noble: trade paperback | hardcover

Books-A-Million (BAM!): trade paperback | hardcover

This time around, after an imbalanced world temporarily destroyed his vestibular system and flipped life upside-down (thanks to an extended bout of a strange condition called Bilateral Loss of Labyrinthine Function), literally burned to the ground during California wildfires, then became threatened after rising from the ashes by acts of school violence, a flood, further fire evacuations, prolonged power outages, multiple uprootings, social injustice, political unrest, and finally a global pandemic, he decided it’s time to bend the boundaries of the written word once more, in case, you know, the world rolls itself off the giant scale that balances life and death to end things once and for all.

This collection contains Bram Stoker Award-nominated short stories such as “I Will Be the Reflection Until the End” and “Time Is a Face on the Water,” but also never-before-published mind-benders created during his “highly-medicated” state of recovery, including a story about memory loss called “Fragments of Br_an,” (composed on a typewriter that no longer exists, now ash), “Emergence of the Colorless,” a statement about the beginning of the end of prejudice, and the far future “Oll Korrect,” in which artificial intelligence is used to explore humankind. As for poetry, there are favorites such as “Loosed Earth” and “Shades of Red,” but many new poems to help with balance, including “Hurt People Hurt People,” “Night Rainbows,” and “Paper Earth.”

Fiction:

  • Time is a Face on the Water
  • Speaking Cursive
  • Ghosts of Calistoga
  • Möbius
  • The Long White Line
  • Hourglass
  • The Other Side of Semicolons
  • Gave
  • Essential Oils
  • Fragments of Br_an
  • I Will Be the Reflection Until the End
  • Emergence of the Colorless
  • Oll Korrect

Poetry:

  • Loosed Earth
  • Hurt People Hurt People
  • Life (C)remains
  • Lest We End
  • Past the Past
  • Blink
  • Sands of Time
  • Shades of Red
  • Who Will Teach Them?
  • The Nocturnal Waking Nightmare
  • Paper Earth
  • Apanthropy
  • Night Rainbows

Available for pre-order now.

FREE READING MATERIAL

With the recent pandemic hitting the world, many are in self-quarantine, or being forced to work from home (or will be soon) to cope with both schools and businesses temporarily closing. If you find yourself needing reading material during this difficult time as a distraction from life, I am making all my books (that I can) free on Amazon Kindle starting midnight on 03/14/2020 (the soonest I can), through 03/18/2020.

Simply click the covers for direct links in the US, or see other options below if you’re in the UK, Canada, Australia, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, India, Brazil, Mexico, Netherlands, or Japan (that’s as far as my reach is capable at the moment).

Stay safe, everyone …

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Also available in the UK, Canada, Australia, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, India, Brazil, Mexico, Netherlands, Japan

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Also available in the UK, Canada, Australia, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, India, Brazil, Mexico, Netherlands, Japan

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Also available in the UK, Canada, Australia, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, India, Brazil, Mexico, Netherlands, Japan

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Also available in the UK, Canada, Australia, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, India, Brazil, Mexico, Netherlands, Japan,

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Also available in the UK, Canada, Australia, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, India, Brazil, Mexico, Netherlands, Japan

All titles are also available for free to Kindle Unlimited subscribers.

Paul Michael Anderson is also making his fiction collection available as well:

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LEAP YEAR OVERSIGHT!

Want to familiarize yourself with the strange fiction of Michael Bailey? Have a Kindle? Like stories that blend science fiction with horror? Celebrate the leap year with a free copy of Oversight

Starting midnight on 02/28/2020 through the end of 03/03/2020, have a complimentary copy of Oversight. The collection features two novelettes (“Darkroom” and “SAD Face”) and a short story (“Fade to Black”). All that’s asked for in return is a review on either Amazon.com or Goodreads (or both).

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Also available in trade paperback for less than a fancy coffee.

AmazoneBook | trade paperback. Also available in the UK, Canada, Australia, GermanyFranceItalySpainIndiaBrazilMexicoNetherlandsJapan, and Kindle Unlimited where available.

Barnes & Nobletrade paperback

Books-A-Million (BAM!)trade paperback

OVERSIGHT

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OVERSIGHT, a themed collection by Michael Bailey, is now available in affordable trade paperback and eBook. This collection was previously released as a signed / limited hardback by Unnerving, limited to 60 copies. Includes “Darkroom” and “SAD Face” (novelettes), and “Fade to Black” (short story). About 25,000 words.

AmazoneBook | trade paperback. Also available in the UKCanada,Australia,
Germany, France, ItalySpainIndiaBrazilMexicoNetherlandsJapan, and Kindle Unlimited where available.

Barnes & Noble: trade paperback

Books-A-Million (BAM!)trade paperback

OVERSIGHT / ADAM’S LADDER

4 signed and numbered hardbacks of Oversight by Michael Bailey remain in the world, and they are up for grabs here: https://amzn.to/2n1ZPtG for $30.00. Only 60 copies were ever made of this limited edition, so these are the last of them. The collection contains the novelettes “Darkroom” and “SAD Face” with different covers featured on each side of the book.

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Darkroom: After living most of her life blindfolded-for fear of what she might see-Grace shifts though time in a series of strange experiments involving old-fashioned black-and-white photography in order to create a flipbook of her father aging in reverse. Near completion of her project, and no longer able to go through with it on her own, she brings along her likewise blindfolded and temporarily deafened sister-for fear of what they might also hear in their travels-and together they take snapshots, wandering their childhood home, hand-in-hand, albeit with added disabilities to protect them from that which doesn’t hide so well in the past. The undeveloped, they soon discover, what they’d forgotten of their troubled youth, is perhaps more frightening than what they later develop in the darkroom.

SAD Face: Yuliya dons a prosthetic face designed to help her cope with Social Anxiety Disorder, the essential oil infused mask not only disguising her expression, but the wet city stench as it soothes. Time, it can only stop when someone takes a photo, and that’s what they did, whoever made it-took her picture and made her a mask to hide behind whenever social phobia bullied her. A dead-face: expressionless, eyes only visible through open sockets, mouth slightly parted; the way she imagined she’d look the day she died. And now, whenever someone sees her-stares at her-wearing her Yuliya mask, they are looking at her past. Yet behind her SAD face, she sometimes finds confidence, until she takes it off and attempts to uncover the woman hiding beneath.

Adam's Ladder - Cover

And if you’re a fan of dark science fiction, 10 signed (by the editor) trade paperback copies of Adam’s Ladder are also available for only $10.00 plus shipping. Simply click the cover above, or the link, and choose the $10.00 version under other buying options. The seller is listed as nettirw.

TRESPASS!

Now through the end of June 10th, 2019, trespass the fiction of Erik T. Johnson for free, and anywhere in the world! His debut fiction collection, Yes Trespassing, a tome of over 120,000+ words, is available on Kindle for absolutely nothing. If you’ve ever thought of trespassing, now is the time.

Country-specific links: US, UK, Canada, Australia, Italy Germany, France, SpainJapan, India, Mexico, or search Yes Trespassing on any other Amazon site. The book is also available in a glorious trade paperback from Written Backwards.

And yes, that is a picture of little Erik on the front cover, and an entire short story.

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“Electric.” – Josh Malerman, author of Bird Box

“Absolute greatness. A magnum opus of almost staggering proportions … reminiscent of the works of Vandermeer, Burroughs, and Bradbury, but fully unique.” – This is Horror

“The stories read with an acidic note something akin to Chuck Palahniuk mixed with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.” – Unnerving Magazine

“Brilliance unfettered and unscarred by convention … Weird fiction at its gonzo best.” – Ginger Nuts of Horror

“A trippy mescaline-binge of truly superb fiction. Extraordinary.” – Patrick Freivald, author of Jade Sky

“No one writes a line like Erik T. Johnson.” – John F.D. Taff, author of The End in All Beginnings.

A LITTLE OF EVERYTHING

The latest Written Backwards interview is with John Langan. author of such novels as House of Windows and The Fisherman, as well as numerous fiction collections, including Mr. Gaunt and Other Uneasy EncountersThe Wide, Carnivorous Sky and Other Monstrous Geographiesand his latest Sefira & Other Betrayals. His work can be found in magazines and anthologies all over the world. We discuss a little of everything …

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Michael Bailey: When overhearing people discussing the fiction of John Langan (because I often find myself doing most of the listening and not much of the talking while in crowds), I often hear things like “literary” and “quiet horror.” What do you consider quiet horror, and likewise what do you consider literary?

John Langan: “Quiet horror” is a term I associate with the years surrounding the Splatterpunk movement, when it was thrown up as a more restrained alternative to the work of Skipp & Spector, Schow, etc. At the time, quiet horror was connected to writers such as Charles Grant and Steve Rasnic Tem. If I’m not mistaken, Doug Winter wrote a review essay arguing (compellingly, to my mind) that the apparent differences between the groups were vastly outweighed by their similarities. In the years since then, the term quiet horror has been employed in a less-systematic way in an attempt to identify works of horror in which the emphasis is on atmosphere and subtlety of effect rather than more dramatic narrative moves. Although I haven’t made a systematic study of it, I have the sense that it’s applied to those writers we associate with the classic tradition of the ghost story, with M.R. James or Susan Hill. The problem is, if you read James’s fiction, then you’ll find that there’s a lot of delightfully over-the-top stuff going on. (I also suspect that this more recent use of quiet horror is an attempt to draw a line between it and more cinematically inflected fiction, i.e. zombie narratives.)

As for the word “literary,” it’s one of those that tends to cause all manner of uproar, isn’t it? As I see it, the most important thing to remember about “literary” is that it’s an adjective, not a noun. In other words, it describes a certain set of characteristics that can be applied to any kind of fiction. What those characteristics are may be subject to debate, although I’m reasonably sure they would include attention to character and style. I think it was Nabokov who said that the literary is that which we are always rereading, and I like that definition very much.

MB: In the acknowledgments for your debut novel, House of Windows, you wrote, “This book had a hard time finding a home: the genre people weren’t happy with all the literary stuff; the literary people weren’t happy with all the genre stuff.” Who is your intended audience?

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JL: It used to be that I read everything I wrote to my wife. So while I wrote whatever I did because I wanted to read it, myself, she was my first audience. Then, after our son was born, it became harder to maintain this practice. I still have her in mind as my ideal reader, but these days, I’m also thinking about friends such as Laird Barron, Stephen Graham Jones, and Paul Tremblay. Anytime I write something that these guys like, I know I’ve made contact with the ball.

MB: Who do you write for? Who should anyone write for?

JL: At the risk of being redundant, I write for myself, my wife, my friends, and then anyone who’s willing to pick up the story or book and give it a chance. I’m not sure that there’s a universal answer for the second question—although it would seem to me difficult not to be writing for yourself—but I think you should write for whoever helps you to write. If writing for yourself alone is enough to make that happen, then that’s great. If writing for someone else helps, then that’s fine, too.

MB: Having read The Fisherman, which won the Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in a Novel a few years ago, I would have to say that I would consider it a multitude of things (horror being one of them), but not necessarily any one thing over the other. It’s horror, sure, but it could be considered cosmic horror, or Lovecraftian, or “quiet,” the way Victor LaValle’s wonderful novella The Ballad of Black Tom is a little of each of those things. What do you consider The Fisherman?

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JL: I’m happy to call it a horror novel, but that’s because I subscribe to a big-tent view of horror, in which all manner of narratives can be gathered under its folds. I tend to think that fiction in general is a fundamentally hybrid or mixed art (an idea indebted in no small part to the ideas of the literary critic M.M. Bakhtin), so it seems to me entirely appropriate that all manner of genres and sub-genres should be part of a novel.

MB: Is there a need for genre and sub-genre? I recently read a post by a prolific writer in which he stated (not verbatim) that he doesn’t write horror, or science fiction, or any one thing; he simply writes what he wants to write, and lets other people determine what they want to call it. Do you agree?

JL: From a critical perspective, I don’t see anything wrong with having categories that allow you to point out similarities between different works of literature. From a reader’s perspective, I don’t see anything wrong with having categories that allow you to find books that are similar to those you’ve enjoyed already. And from a writer’s perspective, I don’t see anything wrong with having a tradition to engage with in my work. So I guess as long as the genre category functions in an expansive way, in a way that brings more to the critic / reader / writer, I’m quite happy with it.

MB: I once overheard an editor say that she wished you wrote more often. Your first novel was published in 2009, and your second in 2016. But between that seven-year span you also published two fiction collections: Mr. Gaunt and Other Uneasy Encounters (2008) and The Wide Carnivorous Sky and Other Monstrous Geographies (2013), and co-edited an anthology with Paul Tremblay called Creatures: Thirty Years of Monsters. That’s four books in seven years (five if you count the anthology, which I do, because I know how much work goes into them), which I would say is a good pace. Do you wish you wrote faster, or published more often?

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JL: Over the past several years, I’ve published a reasonable number of stories—as well as, very recently, a third collection of stories. My problem is, in part, that many of those stories have appeared in smaller press publications, which someone who’s read, say, The Fisherman may not necessarily have heard of. But I have enough material for at least another three collections after Sefira, and I’m hoping to do something about that sooner rather than later.

I do, however, wish I were one of those writers who can toss off a novella in a week. In part, my daily process means that I don’t work particularly quickly: I do a lot of revising as I’m writing. I’ve also learned that some works require more time than others to complete, and may need to be put aside for a while. (This was the case with both The Fisherman and Sefira, the title piece in my new collection, both of which took me years to finish.) And while I’ve enjoyed a great deal of success with my writing, it hasn’t been enough to support me and my family, which means I need to work a day job, which cuts into my writing time. In addition, I’ve been reviewing horror and dark fantasy for Locus magazine, which also requires a certain amount of time that would otherwise go to fiction writing.

Moving ahead, I’d like to devote a bit more time to writing longer works, especially novels.

MB: What are your writing and / or publishing habits? Do you write when you want to write? Do you set goals?

JL: I try to write every day, with a goal of completing a page a day. When I’m not working a day job, it’s easier to maintain that schedule. In terms of publishing habits, I’ve tried to say yes to every invitation to contribute to an anthology I’ve received. (Which I suppose has cut into my novel writing.) I have immediate goals, usually to have something done on or not too far past the deadline. My long-term goals are a bit more nebulous: I would very much like to complete one hundred stories and ten novels—arbitrary numbers, I know, but ones that help me have some sense of how I’m doing, overall. I think I’m up to around sixty stories, with several more underway; while I have plans for another six novels if I can ever find the time to write them.

MB: You have been a finalist for the International Horror Guild Award, a Bram Stoker Award nominee for Superior Achievement in a Fiction Collection for Mr. Gaunt, and won for your novel The Fisherman, as well as serve on the Board of Directors for the Shirley Jackson Awards. What do awards mean to you, and what do you believe they should mean to other writers?

JL: The recognition an award nomination brings is a fine thing, while an award can certainly make your day. In my case, the Bram Stoker was the award I had first wanted to win, back when I was a teenager and it was created, so while I could not have complained had any of the other writers I was on the ballot with won it, there was a special delight in hearing my name read out on that night.

At their best, awards can shine light on deserving work, leading readers to writers they might not otherwise have encountered. That said, in any award process, there’s always going to be work that is overlooked, that may not come to light until years later. And even if you win an award, you still have sit down to write the next day. So awards should be enjoyed, but not used as the final measure of success—which is, after all, having readers for your work.

OVERSIGHT: SIGNED / LIMITED

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1̶0̶  8 copies remain of Unnerving’s signed / limited hardback release of Oversight by Michael Bailey, featuring the novelettes “Darkroom” and “SAD Face.” Only 60 of these books were ever printed, and Written Backwards happens to have the last of them. Pretty little collectibles. If you want a one, click any of the images …

Once these are gone, they are gone. There will not be another printing.

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Each of the two stories are still available as individual eBooks, if you’re the eReader type. You can get them on Kindle from Unnerving here: Darkroom, and here: SAD Face.

“Darkroom” – After living most of her life blindfolded-for fear of what she might see-Grace shifts though time in a series of strange experiments involving old-fashioned black-and-white photography in order to create a flipbook of her father aging in reverse. Near completion of her project, and no longer able to go through with it on her own, she brings along her likewise blindfolded and temporarily deafened sister-for fear of what they might also hear in their travels-and together they take snapshots, wandering their childhood home, hand-in-hand, albeit with added disabilities to protect them from that which doesn’t hide so well in the past. The undeveloped, they soon discover, what they’d forgotten of their troubled youth, is perhaps more frightening than what they later develop in the darkroom. 

“SAD Face” – Yuliya dons a prosthetic face designed to help her cope with Social Anxiety Disorder, the essential oil infused mask not only disguising her expression, but the wet city stench as it soothes. Time, it can only stop when someone takes a photo, and that’s what they did, whoever made it-took her picture and made her a mask to hide behind whenever social phobia bullied her. A dead-face: expressionless, eyes only visible through open sockets, mouth slightly parted; the way she imagined she’d look the day she died. And now, whenever someone sees her-stares at her-wearing her Yuliya mask, they are looking at her past. Yet behind her SAD face, she sometimes finds confidence, until she takes it off and attempts to uncover the woman hiding beneath.

Individual eBook links:

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SHORT FICTION SALE

Now through April 21st, Written Backwards is hosting a short fiction sale. 6 books, 600,000 words, all for under 6 bucks. In other words, 6 books for under a buck (each) in both the US and UK. Time to fill up your Kindles!

All titles are also available for free through Kindle Unlimited, or are free if you’ve already purchased the paperback through Amazon. Simply click the book covers below for direct links in the US, or follow the links after each title if you’re in the UK.

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Winner of the Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in an Anthology. Features illustrations throughout by gak, an introduction / novelette by Norman Partridge (nominated for Superior Achievement in Long Fiction), an afterword by Mary SanGiovanni, as well as photography and the interconnecting tale “The Librarian” by the editor. Also available in the UK for only £0.99.

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Bram Stoker Award-winning editor Michael Bailey brings you a genre-bending anthology of dark science fiction and poetry, with fiction illustrated throughout by world-renowned artist L.A. Spooner, poetry and spot illustrations by Orion Zangara, cover artwork by George C. Cotronis, and an introduction on humanness by New York Times bestselling author F. Paul Wilson. Also includes the Bram Stoker Award-nominated novelette “The Jupiter Drop” by Josh Malerman. Also available in the UK for only £0.99.

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A literary blend of science fiction and horror, and the winner of the Benjamin Franklin Award. Includes short stories, novelettes, and poetry from established authors and newcomers from around the world, such as the Bram Stoker Award-winning stories “The Vaporization Enthalphy of a Peculiar Pakistani Family” by Usman T. Malik, and “Ruminations” by Rena Mason. Also available in the UK for only £0.99.

Note that due to contractual obligations, the eBook edition does not include Stephen King’s short story “The Jaunt,” which is included in the trade paperback edition.

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Twenty-five, or maybe twenty-six or -seven or perhaps twenty-eight (let’s say it’s twenty-eight) individual works by Erik T. Johnson, some previously-published, some appearing  for the first time, stories like “The Leaf” and “Krug’s Pen,” “The Depopulation Syndrome,” “The Invention of the Mask” (which you can find on the front cover), “The Depopulation Syndrome” and the novella Scissors Seldom Come. Trespass. Read the horror, the wonder, the mindscrewing. Also available in the UK for only £0.99.

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Fourteen stories from the intersection of pain and anxiety, rage and fear by Paul Michael Anderson, illustrated throughout by Pat R. Steiner. Triumph and tragedy, terror and transformation. Includes an introduction by Damien Angelica Walters and and afterword by Bracken MacLeod. Also available in the UK for only £0.99.

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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. Includes the novelette “Dandelion Clocks,” illustrations and cover artwork by Daniele Serra, and an introduction by Douglas E. Winter. Also available in the UK for only £0.99.

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