I am Legend by Richard Matheson
I don’t like vampire novels much, so I wasn’t planning to read Richard Matheson’s classic vampire story I am Legend which was published in 1954, is also known by the title The Omega Man, and is, of course, the basis for the movie I am Legend.
But then I recently read and was enthralled by two other books by Matheson: The Incredible Shrinking Man and Steel and Other Stories. I realized that The Incredible Shrinking Man wasn’t really so much about a man who was losing his height as it was about a man who was losing his manhood. Likewise, the novella “Steel,” the titular piece of Steel and Other Stories and the premise for the movie Real Steal, isn’t so much about a fighting robot as it is about a man who, similar to ... Read More
Richard Matheson(1926- )
Richard Matheson began publishing SF with his short story ‘Born of Man and Woman’ in 1950. I Am Legend was filmed as The Omega Man (1971), starring Charlton Heston, and I Am Legend (2007), starring Will Smith. Matheson wrote the script for the film The Incredible Shrinking Man, an adaptation of his second SF novel The Shrinking Man. The film won a Hugo award in 1958. He wrote many screenplays as well as episodes of The Twilight Zone. He continued to write short stories and novels, some of which formed the basis for film scripts, including Duel, directed by Steven Spielberg in 1971. A film of his novel What Dreams May Come was released in 1998, starring Robin Williams. Stephen King has cited Richard Matheson as a creative influence on his work.
I am Legend by Richard Matheson
The Incredible Shrinking Man by Richard Matheson
Every day Scott Carey is getting shorter by 1/7 of an inch. The doctors have figured out why — he was exposed to a combination of insecticide and radioactivity — but so far they have not been able to make him stop shrinking. Now Scott is only one inch tall and he is trapped in the cellar of his family’s rented home with a stale piece of bread, an out-of-reach box of crackers, a sponge, a garden hose, a water heater, and a black widow spider. And in seven more days, he’ll be gone.
Well, that’s enough to make many readers want to hear Scott’s story. How did he get in the cellar? Why didn’t he prepare for this since he had plenty of time? Where is his wife and daughter? Will the therapies reverse the shrinkage? Will the spider get him?
Readers who are expecting a horror-adventure story will be pleased with Richard Matheson’s T... Read More
Steel and Other Stories by Richard Matheson
Steel and Other Stories is a collection of stories written by Richard Matheson who is probably best known for his novels I am Legend and The Incredible Shrinking Man. Most were originally published in pulp magazines in the 1950s, though two are recent and have never been collected before. Each is quite short:
"Steel" — (1956, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction) Steel Kelly, a washed-up boxer, is now living vicariously through his broken down robot fighter. If they can win the next match, Steel hopes he’ll have enough money to fix up his robot. “Steel” was the inspiration for a Twilight Zone episode and the movie Real Steel. It’s exciting and demonstrates Richard Matheson’s talent for writing men from a psychological perspective.
"To Fit... Read More
Weird Tales: 32 Unearthed Terrors edited by Stefan R. Dziemianowicz, Robert Weinberg & Martin Greenberg
Though hardly a runaway success in its day, and a publication that faced financial hardships for much of its existence, the pulp magazine known as Weird Tales is today remembered by fans and collectors alike as one of the most influential and prestigious. Anthologies without number have used stories from its pages, and the roster of authors who got their start therein reads like a "Who's Who" of 20th century horror and fantasy literature. During its 32-year run, from 1923-1954, and in its 279 issues, Weird Tales catered to a select readership that could not help but be impressed by early efforts from the likes of ... Read More
A Stir of Echoes — (1958) Publisher: Tom Wallace lived an ordinary life, until a chance event awakened psychic abilities he never knew he possessed. Now he’s hearing the private thoughts of the people around him — and learning shocking secrets he never wanted to know. But as Tom’s existence becomes a waking nightmare, even greater jolts are in store as he becomes the unwilling recipient of a compelling message from beyond the grave! This eerie ghost story, by award-winning author of Hell House and I Am Legend, inspired the acclaimed 1999 film starring Kevin Bacon.
Hell House — (1971) Publisher: Rolf Rudolph Deutsch is going die. But when Deutsch, a wealthy magazine and newpaper publisher, starts thinking seriously about his impending death, he offers to pay a physicist and two mediums, one physical and one mental, $100,000 each to establish the facts of life after death. Dr. Lionel Barrett, the physicist, accompanied by the mediums, travel to the Belasco House in Maine, which has been abandoned and sealed since 1949 after a decade of drug addiction, alcoholism, and debauchery. For one night, Barrett and his colleagues investigate the Belasco House and learn exactly why the townfolks refer to it as the Hell House.
Somewhere in Time — (1975) Publisher: Like What Dreams May Come, which inspired the movie starring Robin Williams, Somewhere in Time is the powerful story of a love that transcends time and space, written by one of the Grand Masters of modern fantasy. Matheson’s classic novel tells the moving, romantic story of a modern man whose love for a woman he has never met draws him back in time to a luxury hotel in San Diego in 1896, where he finds his soul mate in the form of a celebrated actress of the previous century. Somewhere in Time won the World Fantasy Award for Best Novel, and the 1979 movie version, starring Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour, remains a cult classic.
What Dreams May Come — (1978) Publisher: The New York Times bestselling novel that inspired the Oscar-winning movie! What happens to us after we die? Chris Nielsen had no idea, until an unexpected accident cut his life short, separating him from his beloved wife, Annie. Now Chris must discover the true nature of life after death. But even Heaven is not complete without Annie, and when tragedy threatens to divide them forever, Chris risks his very soul to save Annie from an eternity of despair. Richard Matheson’s powerful tale of life-and love-after death was the basis for the lavish 1998 film starring Robin Williams.
7 Steps to Midnight — (1993) Publisher: When a mysterious imposter steals his identity and life, mathematician Chris Barton is suddenly thrust into a whirlwind of danger and intrigue. Overnight, without warning or explanation, not even his own sister recognizes him, but people he has never met are trying to kill him. On the run, from California to London to Paris and beyond, vicious assassins pursue Chris while cryptic messages lead him on a wild, danger-filled chase around the world. Full of twists and surprises, this is the story of an ordinary man driven to the breaking point in a high-tension game of deceit and betrayal where there are no rules, nothing it as it seems, and it is always… 7 Steps to Midnight.
Abu and the 7 Marvels — (2002) Ages 9-12. Publisher: From the land of genies and their magical feats comes this enchanting twist on the traditional quest tale. Abu, a young peasant, sets off with the most ancient genie in his country’s domain in search of the seven marvels of the world in order to prove himself worthy of the hand of a beautiful princess. With cunningly crafted prose, gorgeous illustrations, and unique characters, this novel reveals itself to be no ordinary genie tale. From an unraveling flying carpet and ever-encroaching henchmen to a land made of sweets and a city under the sea, this tale takes readers on a daring journey of true love, bravery, glittering treasure, and intrigue.
Other Kingdoms — (2011) Publisher: For over half a century, Richard Matheson has enthralled and terrified readers with such timeless classics as I Am Legend, The Incredible Shrinking Man, Duel, Somewhere in Time, and What Dreams May Come. Now the Grand Master returns with a bewitching tale of erotic suspense and enchantment.… 1918. A young American soldier, recently wounded in the Great War, Alex White comes to Gatford to escape his troubled past. The pastoral English village seems the perfect spot to heal his wounded body and soul. True, the neighboring woods are said to be haunted by capricious, even malevolent spirits, but surely those are just old wives’ tales. Aren’t they? A frightening encounter in the forest leads Alex into the arms of Magda Variel, an alluring red-haired widow rumored to be a witch. She warns him to steer clear of the wood and the perilous faerie kingdom it borders, but Alex cannot help himself. Drawn to its verdant mysteries, he finds love, danger… and wonders that will forever change his view of the world. Other Kingdoms casts a magical spell, as conjured by a truly legendary storyteller.