Richard Matheson has written a wonderful new genre-defying novel, OTHER KINGDOMS, which was published by TOR in April 2011. Matheson’s mass market publisher, however, made a number of changes (mostly deletions) to this novel and he is eager to see his first unedited draft see publication.
In 1918 a young American soldier wounded in World War I comes to Gatford to escape his troubled past. The pastoral English village seems the perfect spot to heal his wounded body and soul. The neighboring woods are said to be haunted by capricious, even malevolent spirits, but Alex White considers these old wives’ tales.
Or are they?
A frightening encounter in the forest leads Alex into the arms of Magda, an alluring red-haired widow rumored to be a witch. She warns Alex to steer clear of the wood and the perilous faerie kingdom it borders, but Alex cannot help himself. Drawn to the woods he finds love, danger and wonders that will forever change him. And, he will face the wrath of Magda for not heeding her advice.
So, what was taken out of the original text submitted by Matheson to his publisher? Without spoiling for readers, the unedited version of OTHER KINGDOMS contains one of Matheson’s most graphic scenes of violence that he has ever written. The deleted scene and violence is fundamental to a pivotal character in the novel and without this scene the tension of this most significant chapter is greatly diluted.
There are several other scenes inexplicably deleted that provide insight into the main character’s father – a brutish man who bullied his family. Restoring this scenes allow the reader to fully understand just how vile this character is. Also added is a stroke the main character had (he’s telling a story of his youth when he’s in his eighties) that explains some of the story-telling technique Matheson utilizes in the novel. Matheson himself suffered a mild stroke in the midst of writing this novel and incorporated it into the book. The mass market publisher saw fit to remove any reference to the stroke.
As he has done throughout his long career Matheson handwrote OTHER KINGDOMS. In the lettered edition we will include copies of the handwritten version of some of the material deleted from the mass market text.
“This Gauntlet edition includes one of the most horrific scenes ever penned by Mr. Matheson – a scene that was cut from the mass market edition. Brilliant, beautifully wrought, nightmarish and unforgettable, OTHER KINGDOMS is another unclassifiable masterpiece the grandmaster of speculative fiction.” — J.L. Comeau, The Tomb of Dark Delights.