Inkblots and Blood Spots by Michael Bailey

Available Now

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. The collection is introduced by 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.”


About the Author

Michael is the multi-award-winning author of the novels PALINDROME HANNAH, PHOENIX ROSE and PSYCHOTROPIC DRAGON, as well as the short story and poetry collection, SCALES AND PETALS.

He is also the editor of PELLUCID LUNACY and the CHIRAL MAD anthologies, which features work from Jack Ketchum, David Morrell, Ramsey Campbell, and John Skipp. His most recent anthology, QUALIA NOUS, a literary blend of science fiction and horror, includes stories by Stephen King, William F. Nolan, Thomas F. Monteleone, Gary A. Braunbeck, and other legends of the craft. In early 2015, his publishing company, Written Backwards, will also release THE LIBRARY OF THE DEAD, a fully-illustrated anthology with stories and new collaborations from some of the most prolific horror writers working today, including Brian Keene, Christopher Golden, and Gene O’Neill. 

His books have been recognized by the International Book Awards, National Best Book Awards, Independent Publisher Book Awards, the USA Best Book Awards, the London Book Festival, Foreword Reviews Book of the Year, This is Horror’s Anthology of the Year, the Indie Book Awards, the Paris Book Festival, the Eric Hoffer Grand Prize, and more. His nonlinear fiction and poetry can be found in anthologies and magazines around the world, including the US, the UK, Australia, Sweden and South Africa—and in 2013 he was nominated for a Bram Stoker Award for his Bradbury-inspired story “Fireman / Primal Tongue.” He is currently working on a series of illustrated novellas and collaborative projects from some of the best in the business.


“I first encountered Michael Bailey’s work at the Borderlands Press Writers Boot Camp. His writing stood out immediately—vibrant, bold, and bursting with original concepts. He showed me he was 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


"Artfully executed. A unique and powerful contribution to speculative literature."

Tim Deal, Shroud Quarterly


“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, Bram Stoker Award winner, author of INVISIBLE FENCES


“With INKBLOTS AND BLOOD SPOTS, 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 the critically acclaimed novel VERLAND: THE TRANSFORMATION and the upcoming novella THE EYE THAT BLINDS


"Michael Bailey continues to amaze. He is on track to becoming his generation's Ray Bradbury."  

—F. Paul Wilson


“With INKBLOTS AND BLOOD SPOTS, Michael Bailey gives us a dazzling assortment of stories and poems. They bleed into our souls like knives and leave us breathless. Bailey is a fabulous writer, unique and fresh, and these stories are his best. Go buy this book. Now. You don’t want to miss this one. It has my highest recommendation.”

—John R. Little, Bram Stoker Award winning author of DarkNet, MIRANDA, and THE MEMORY TREE


“This collection of captivating stories and poems is 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


“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. His stories are always darkly sharp-edged in tone, texture, and delivery, easily appropriate for genre fiction. But perhaps most important, his stories are about something . . . each one is built on a meaningful, engaging, intellectual premise. I highly recommend this short story collection, which includes some compelling and delightful poetry.”