I happen to be listening to the Hell House audiobook at the moment, and last night I saw that Gauntlet Publications is doing a special publication of one of Richard Matheson's most underlooked novel, The Beardless Warriors.

I have always been an enormous fan of Mathson's work. I can't remember when I first began seeing his name in anthologies and in TV/movie credits, but the name always carried great weight to me.

Matheson is primarily known as a fantasist, but The Beardless Warriors takes place in the coldest reality. It is a fictional chronicle of the author's own experiences in World War 2. It is also as gripping and terrifying as anything he ever published. Some of the themes of Matheson's greater work are present in The Beardless Warriors. Such as the plight of one man against an unimaginably large and unimaginable adversary.

This ordinarily might not be such a big announcement. Another expensive reprint of a book that most serious fans have already read. But there is more to it.

This is, as my heading suggests, a combination deal. There will be the deluxe reprint of The Beardless Warriors, but there will be an accompanying anthology of short stories inspired by the novel.

Brothers in Arms is edited by Gauntlet publisher, Barry Hoffman and Richard Christian Matheson. There will be stories in it by Ray Bradbury, Richard Matheson, David Schow, Ed Gorman, Richard Chizmar, William F. Nolan, Mick Garris, Joe Lansdale, R.C. Matheson, Tom Monteleone, Mort Castle, Preston Sturges, Barry Hoffman, Clive Barker, Gary Braunbeck, Kevin J. Anderson, Whitley Strieber, and Chelsey Quinn Yarbro.

Not a bad lineup, huh? Unfortunately it's a little rich for my blood these days. I hope that Gauntlet, or some other publisher, will see fit to put it out in a more affordable edition sometime in the future.

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