Archive for the ‘ Short Fiction ’ Category

INKBLOTS AND BLOOD SPOTS

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00073]

Previously published through Villipede Publications, Inkblots and Blood Spots, a collection of stories and poems by Michael Bailey, is now available from Written Backwards in trade paperback for only $12.95 (new 8×5″ format), and in eBook for only $4.95 The book is illustrated throughout by Daniele Serra, and features an introduction by Douglas E. Winter.

dani_samples

Stories include the Bram Stoker Award-nominated “Fireman / Primal Tongue,” which also received an Honorable Mention for Year’s Best Horror; “Dandelion Clocks,” a haunting, melodic tribute novelette 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.”

Praise for Inkblots and Blood Spots

“A writer willing to bypass all the familiar territories and stake out a new narrative landscape all his own. With this collection of dynamic stories and poems, he will show you as well.” – Thomas F. Monteleone

“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, author of Invisible Fences

“A dazzling assortment of stories and poems. They bleed into our souls like knives and leave us breathless.” – John R. Little, author of DarkNet and Miranda

“Artfully executed. A unique and powerful contribution to speculative literature.” – Tim Deal, Shroud Quarterly

“A cornucopia of dark, diverse treasures. Michael Bailey delivers the kind of startlingly original, beautifully imagined, and deeply affecting stories that linger long in the mind, and even longer in the psyche.” – B.E. Scully, author of Verland: The Transformation

“Both haunting and poignant. Filled with love and loss, the weight of these resolutions echoes out into the darkness with a heartbreaking permanence.” – Richard Thomas, author of Disintegration

“Michael Bailey continues to amaze. He is on track to becoming his generation’s Ray Bradbury.” – F. Paul Wilson

CHIRAL MAD 4: An Anthology of Collaborations is now available!

CM4 - COVER (9X6)

Today is the official release date of Chiral Mad 4: An Anthology of Collaborations, now available around the world in hardcover, trade paperback, and eBook. This is perhaps the most ambitious project ever imagined by Written Backwards. The entire book is one giant collaboration: co-editing by Michael Bailey & Lucy A. Snyder, a co-introduction by Gary A. Braunbeck & Janet Harriet, and 16 original works by 36 different contributors, all collaborations. 424 pages!

20,000-word novellas by Bracken MacLeod & Paul Michael Anderson, F. Paul Wilson & Erinn L. Kemper, Emily B. Cataneo & Gwendolyn Kiste, Sarah Monette & Elizabeth Bear.

10,000-word novelettes by Chesya Burke & LH Moore, P. Gardner Goldsmith & Valerie Marcley, Kristopher Triana & Chad Stroup, and a four-way collaboration by Kristi DeMeester, Richard Thomas, Damien Angelica Walters & Michael Wehunt.

5,000-word short stories by Elizabeth Massie & Marge Simon, Maurice Broaddus & Anthony R. Cardno, Erik T. Johnson & J Daniel Stone, Seanan McGuire & Jennifer Brozek.

And 52 pages of graphic adaptions, including drool-enticing work by Daniele Serra & Brian Keene, Orion Zangara, Glen Krisch & Matt Stockwell, James Chambers, Jason Whitley & Christopher Mills, and a bitter-sweet first and final collaboration of “Firedance” between longtime friends Glenn Chadbourne & Jack Ketchum that spans over 26 pages.

Now available around the world:

US: https://goo.gl/KAw84x
UK: https://goo.gl/dT2tgH
CAN: https://goo.gl/4uznY9
IT: https://goo.gl/hGFfmA
AUS: https://goo.gl/DcwgWm
JP: https://goo.gl/wtzK25
DE: https://goo.gl/gnauxY

Need to catch up on past volumes? Chiral MadChiral Mad 2, and Chiral Mad 3 are also available. Simply click the images below to get started.

9780999575444 CM3 CS_Cover (2nd Edition)

Chiral Mad 3, an anthology of psychological horror nominated for the Bram Stoker Award in Superior Achievement in an Anthology, is available in trade paperback for $14.95, or eBook for $6.95. Fiction/poetry; 361 pages; 9×6 format; illustrations by Glenn Chadbourne; introduction by Chuck Palahniuk.

The third act in the critically-acclaimed series contains 45 illustrations by Glenn Chadbourne, over 20 stories by the likes of Stephen King, Jack Ketchum, Ramsey Campbell, Gary A. Braunbeck, Mort Castle, Josh Malerman, Scott Edelman, Richard Thomas, Richard Chizmar and Gene O’Neill, and with 20 intertwined poems by the likes of Elizabeth Massie, Marge Simon, Bruce Boston, Erik T. Johnson, Stephanie M. Wytovich.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000040_00009]

Chiral Mad 2 is available in trade paperback for $14.95, or eBook for $6.95. Fiction; 424 pages; 9×6 format.

An anthology of psychological horror containing twenty-eight short stories by established authors and newcomers from around the world. Featuring the imaginations of David Morrell, Mort Castle, P. Gardner Goldsmith, Ramsey Campbell, Jack Ketchum, Ann K. Boyer, John Skipp, Gary McMahon, Lucy A. Snyder, Thomas F. Monteleone, and many others, with an intro and outro by Michael Bailey. Also features the Bram Stoker Award winning novelette by Gary A. Braunbeck.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000040_00009]

Chiral Mad is available in trade paperback for $14.95, or eBook for $6.95. Fiction; 374 pages; 9×6 format.

An anthology of psychological horror containing twenty-eight short stories by established authors and newcomers from around the world. Featuring the imaginations of Gord Rollo, Monica J. O’Rourke, Jon Michael Kelly, Meghan Arcuri, Christian A. Larsen, Jeff Strand, Gary McMahon, John Palisano, Jack Ketchum, and many others, with an introduction by Thomas F. Monteleone.

CHIRAL M4D!

The fourth volume in the critically-acclaimed and ever-evolving Chiral Mad Series is finally here, and quite different than its predecessors. Available now!

$34.95 / hardback
$19.95 / trade paperback
$9.95 / eBook

CM4 - COVER (9X6).jpg

Chiral Mad 4: An Anthology of Collaborations includes 4 novella, 4 novelettes, 4 short stories, and 4 graphic adaptations. 424 pages! But here’s the catch: Every single story in this anthology is a collaboration. Bram Stoker Award winners Michael Bailey and Lucy A. Snyder even co-edited the anthology to bring you an incredibly diverse and entirely collaborative dark fiction experience, including a co-introduction by Gary A. Braunbeck and Janet Harriett, and a few other surprises.

01.jpg

The original Chiral Mad was meant to be an only child, and featured mostly short fiction, a few novelettes, and an introduction by Thomas F. Monteleone. The book was a charity project, and raised over $5,000 for Down syndrome awareness ($3,000 of that going to the Down Syndrome Information Alliance). But soon after publication, there was already high demand for a Chiral Mad 2. The second volume contained a few novellas, and an introduction by the book itself. And then Gary A. Braunbeck went and won himself a Bram Stoker Award for his long fiction piece “The Great Pity,” sparking even higher demand for a Chiral Mad 3. Always evolving, the third volume included poetry, illustrations throughout by Glenn Chadbourne, and an introduction by Chuck Palahniuk. And for the first time, the series was nominated for a Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in an Anthology, with Scott Edelman’s “That Perilous Stuff” nominated for Long Fiction, and Hal Bodner’s “A Rift in Reflection” nominated for Short Fiction, thus sparking an insane amount of demand for a Chiral Mad 4.

And so again, the series evolved.

Sudden Sanctuary page 1 (mb).jpg

The idea for collaborations originated during a bad time for both the horror and science fiction writing communities. Everyone pointing fingers, not really getting along. Everyone seemingly mad at each other and unfriending each other and taking jabs whenever possible. Chiral Mad, perhaps it could help bring people together …

Chiral Mad 4, you want it to happen? Then fucking start holding hands and start singing “Kumbaya” and get along already. Something like that. And since the series is one to ever-evolve, more insane ideas took shape. Why not make the entire anthology a collaborative effort? Why not havea co-editor? And since it’s #4 in the series, why not have 4 different forms of storytelling, with 4 collaborations of each? Why not include graphic adaptations this time, along with novellas, novelettes, and short stories? Why not have a co-introduction? Every single part of the book collaborative … why not?

STORM_01.jpg

The book, it’s huge in both scope and in physical form. 52 pages of graphic adaptations. Something like 120,000 words of new fiction. It’s a tome. So, what can you expect with the fourth (and perhaps final) volume of Chiral Mad? A little bigger price tag, unfortunately: $19.95 for the trade paperback, $9.95 for the eBook, and at some point there will be a hardback edition available for $29.95. It’s worth it. That much is promised. The full insanity? Here’s the final Table of Contents:

“Somewhere Between the Mundane and the Miraculous” (introduction) – Gary A. Braunbeck & Janet Harriett

[ part one ]

“How We Broke” – Bracken MacLeod & Paul Michael Anderson
“Fade to Null” – Brian Keene & Daniele Serra
“Asperitas” – Kristopher Triana & Chad Stroup
“Home and Hope Both Sound a Little Bit Like ‘Hunger'” – Seanan McGuire & Jennifer Brozek
“Golden Sun” – Richard Thomas, Kristi DeMeester, Damien Angelica Walters & Michael Wehunt
“The Substance of Belief” – Elizabeth Massie & Marge Simon
“The Ghost of the Bayou Piténn” – James Chambers, Jason Whitley & Christopher Mills
“The Long and the Short of It” – Erinn L. Kemper & F. Paul Wilson

[ part two ]

“The Wreck of the Charles Dexter Ward” – Sarah Monette & Elizabeth Bear
“Sudden Sanctuary” – Glen Krisch, Orion Zangara & Matt Stockwell
“Peregrination” – Chesya Burke & LH Moore
“Ghost Drawl” – Erik T. Johnson & J. Daniel Stone
“Detritus Girl” – P. Gardner Goldsmith & Valerie Marcley
“Wolf at the Door” – Anthony R. Cardno & Maurice Broaddus
“Firedance” – Jack Ketchum & Glenn Chadbourne
“In Her Flightless Wings, a Fire” – Emily B. Cataneo & Gwendolyn Kiste

JKGC_00a.jpg

Quite the line-up, no? And, as you can see from the above image, Chiral Mad 4 includes a final collaboration with long-time friend Dallas Mayr / Jack Ketchum. The adaptation of “Firedance” is worth the price of admission alone, and runs 26 pages. Dallas, Glenn and yours truly worked our fingers to the bones to bring you something special, something to remember him by.

So, once again, crack the spine, dig your claws deep into these pages, sit back, and enjoy a new kind of chirality.

FREE EBOOK WEEKEND (9/15-9/16)

Free e-Book Weekend 1

As a thank you for helping with the Written Backwards eBook Sale, three e-Books will be available for free this weekend only, Saturday through Sunday: three firsts by Michael Bailey: Palindrome Hannah (1st novel), Scales and Petals (1st collection), and Our Children, Our Teachers (1st standalone novelette).

Amazon will list these for $0.00 / £0.00 starting at 12:00am on the 15th until 11:59pm on the 16th. All other e-Book titles part of the Written Backwards eBook Sale are still available for $0.99 / £0.99 through midnight on the 18th.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000040_00009]

Enter a cruel palindrome world: a symmetric place where disturbing situations displace the common; where good acts transmute to evil ones; where windows and mirrors are interchangeable. Within, characters influence each other through macabre arrangements of involuntary happenstance, and learn the inevitabilities of coincidence. A segmented story of a mother and daughter intertwines the others. This hidden sixth story, assembled from the five separate narratives, uncovers the sad life of a child who carries a palindrome name, and her struggling teenage mother. With five stories heading one direction, and Hannah traveling the opposite, the story unfolds like a palindrome. A puzzle within a puzzle.

SP - Cover

Between writing the novels Palindrome Hannah and Phoenix Rose, Michael Bailey penned and published a number of these dark short fiction and poetry pieces, some of which can be found in literary magazines and  anthologies  around the world.  A few of these fallen dragon scales and flower petals, as he likes to call them, are reprinted here, while others are seeing print for the first time, hand selected and arranged by the author. Once you crack the spine, there’s no going back.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000026_00094]

Children are often our greatest teachers, but what happens if the lesson is too heavy to hold? In Our Children, Our Teachers, a high school in rural Brenden, Washington is taken hostage by a gathering of unlikely students trying to teach the world a new lesson … a foreshadowing, perhaps, to darker times ahead for the American education system, if gun control is not addressed properly.

All other Written Backwards titles listed below will continue to run for only $0.99 / £0.99 until midnight, September 18th.

$0.99 Sale

$0.99 / £0.99 EBOOK SALE (9/11-9/18)

Update (9/11, 7:30am): Chiral Mad 3 (in the US only) is having issues with the promotion, and is still being listed at full price. There is currently a trouble ticket in with Amazon to hopefully clear this up, unless you don’t mind paying the full amount. All other books listed below (in both the US and UK) are available for under a buck/pound until midnight, September 18th. Thank you for the support!

$0.99 Sale

To celebrate the soon-to-be released Chiral Mad 4: Collaborations & Adaptations (aka, Chir4l Mad), Written Backwards is running a sale on eBooks simultaneously in the US and the UK, from midnight September 11th through midnight September 18th.

During this time, choose from the original Chiral Mad, Chiral Mad 2, Chiral Mad 3, Pellucid Lunacy (the first anthology by Written Backwards), You Human, Adam’s Ladder, Bones Are Made to Be Broken (the debut fiction collection by Paul Michael Anderson), and / or The Library of the Dead (winner of the Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in an Anthology).

All titles are either $0.99 or £0.99, available on Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk. If you are a member of Kindle Unlimited, these titles are free. If you have previously purchased the trade paperback, you can get the eBook edition for free. All we ask is that you consider leaving an honest review after giving these books a read.

If you need to catch up on past Written Backwards titles, this is a great opportunity to snag 8 books for under 8 bucks, or pounds, or whatever. To make things easier, here are links to each. From September 11th through September 18th, the price will drop to $0.99 or £0.99. Simply click the book you want and add it to your cart, or just scroll and check out their awesome covers.

9780999575444 CM3 CS_Cover (2nd Edition)

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000040_00009]

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000040_00009]

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000026_00094]

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000040_00018]

Adam's Ladder - Cover

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00074]

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000040_00009]

 

BONES ARE MADE TO BE (RE-)BROKEN

UPDATE:

Bones Are Made to Be Broken is now available in trade paperback for only $14.95, and eBook for only $6.95! Hint: click either “trade paperback” or “eBook” for links to each. Over 120,000 words. Kind of a great deal.

Get ready to break some bones on July 24th, 2018, or re-break them if you’ve broken them already. Either way, mark your calendars for the re-release of Paul Michael Anderson’s debut fiction collection, Bones Are Made to Be Broken!

Some history: A few years ago, I had the pleasure of working on this collection in terms of editing and interior design. This project started out as a joke in that Pat R. Steiner produced a mock cover for a nonexistent Paul Michael Anderson collection and I commented on social media with “I’d publish that!” Well, that book eventually happened under an imprint from another publisher. It looked something like this:

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00074]

I now have the pleasure of reintroducing this book for its second printing, this time directly through Written Backwards. Paul has a thing with bridges, you see, and so the image below is my preferred vision for the cover, which also includes some incredible blurbs and review snippets, which we’ll get to shortly.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00074]

What’s new? Well, the first thing is the price. We were able to reformat the book in a way that allows for a $14.95 price tag. This new version comes in at 426 pages, so that’s quite a steal! All the original stories are included, as well as artwork by Pat R. Steiner, a foreword by Damien Angelica Walters (author of Cry Your Way Home, Paper Tigers), yet this new version includes a few surprises : Story Notes (previously only included in the deluxe hardback), an updated acknowledgments, and a new afterword by Bracken MacLeod (author of Come to Dust, 13 Views of the Suicide Woods, and Stranded). This thing is packed with awesome content.

What do other writers think about Bones Are Made to Be Broken? How about some blurbs, for starters:

“A dark carnival of rigorous intelligence and compassion” – Jack Ketchum

“Moody, compelling, and drowning in wonder” – Erinn L. Kemper

“A treasure for any horror or dark SF fan’s library” – Marge Simon

“A deftly told, beautifully written collection of horror and humanity” – Mercedes M. Yardley

Challenges the mind and punches the gut” – Craig DeLouie

“Stories that creep inside and make a nest of your innards” – Kristi DeMeester

“Intense and emotionally crippling” – Stephanie M. Wytovich

“A truly superb collection of deeply unnerving short stories” – Jonathan Maberry

Yes, Bones Are Made to Be Broken is quite the collection, which includes fourteen short stories, one of which is a novelette and another the title novella (well worth the admission on its own, or so I’m told). But don’t take it from me, reviewers seem to like the collection as well. Here’s what a few of them have to say:

“Endlessly stunning, supremely disquieting” – Fangoria

“An outstanding collection” – Gingernuts of Horror

“A striking horror experience” – Splatterpunk

“Full of character-driven, emotionally-charged stories” – This is Horror

“Stories with depth, heart and soul” – The Grim Reader

“Hands down the best book I’ve read all year” – Horrortalk

“Riveting” – Litreactor

“An absolute must-read collection” – Unnerving Magazine.

So, mark your calendars. We’re going to reintroduce the world to Bones Are Made to Be Broken in trade paperback on July 24th, 2018, with a digital edition forthcoming.

PRISMS

PRISMS_COVER 2 FRONT

Although this book will not be published through Written Backwards (scheduled to be released through PS Publishing in 2019), I am proud to announce the next dark science-fiction anthology co-edited by the always-incredible Darren Speegle, and by yours truly.

Prisms is perhaps the most diverse project I have ever had the pleasure of working on, and has a ratio of 50:50 male to female writers, which has been both a dream and goal of mine these last few years.

What is the prism, in this case? The dispersion of humankind into the spectrum of herself / himself; an object, a place, or something figurative; the human condition as it relates to the self, or to humankind in general; ascension; translation …

Prisms will include the following entirely original fiction:

“We Come in Threes” – B.E. Scully
“The Girl with Black Fingers” – Roberta Lannes
“The Shimmering Wall” – Brian Evenson
“The Birth of Venus” – Ian Watson
“Fifty Super-Sad Mad Dog Sui-Homicidal Self-Sibs, All in a Leaky Tin Can Head” – Paul Di Filippo
“Encore for an Empty Sky” –  Lynda Rucker
“Saudade” – Richard Thomas
“There is Nothing Lost” – Erinn L. Kemper
“The Motel Business” – Michael Marshall Smith
“The Gearbox” – Paul Meloy
“District to Cervix: The Time Before We Were Born” (novelette) – Tlotlo Tsamaase
“Here Today and Gone Tomorrow” – Chaz Brenchley
“Daylight Robbery” – Anna Taborska
“The Secrets of My Prison House” – J. Lincoln Fenn
“A Luta Continua” – Nadia Bulkin
“I Shall but Love Thee Better” (novelette) – Scott Edelman

PRISMS_COVER_FRONT

* Please note that these are not the official covers for Prisms; they are simply mock-ups I created during the conception stages of this project.