Richard Matheson

Richard Matheson

Richard Matheson (1926-2013) was a prolific speculative fiction author and screenwriter who wrote novels, short stories, movie screenplays, and scripts for television. He is perhaps best known for I Am Legend, a novel that was translated to the silver screen twice-once starring Charlton Heston, and once starring Will Smith. His screenplay The Incredible Shrinking Man, based on a prior novel, won the Hugo Award in 1958. Several other novels of Matheson's have been adapted to film, including What Dreams May Come, A Stir of Echoes, Duel, and Hell House. The movie version of Duel, based on a Matheson short story of the same name, was directed by Steven Spielberg. He is also known for writing dozens of episodes for The Twilight Zone, including the iconic "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet," and several popular Star Trek episodes, including "The Enemy Within."

In addition to the Hugo Award, Richard Matheson was the recipient of the World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement (1984) and an Edgar Award for a teleplay written for The Night Stalker. He was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame in 2010.

Featured Books By Author

I Am Legend

Robert Neville has witnessed the end of the world. The entire population has been obliterated by a vampire virus. Somehow, Neville survived. He must now struggle to make sense of everything that has happened and learn to protect himself against the vampires who hunt him constantly. He must, because perhaps there is nothing else human left.

I Am Legend was a major influence in horror and brought a whole new thematic concept to apocalyptic literature. Several humanistic and emotional themes in this book blend the horror genre with traditional fiction: we see Neville as an emotional person, and observe as he suffers bouts of depression, dips into alcoholism and picks up his strength again to fight the vampiric bacteria that has infected (and killed off) most of humankind. Neville soon meets a woman, Ruth, (after three years alone), who seems to be uninfected and a lone survivor. The two become close and he learns from Ruth that the infected have learned to fight the disease and can spend short amounts of time in the daylight, slowly rebuilding strength and society as it was.

The novel was adapted to film in 1964 as The Last Man on Earth, as Omega Man in 1971 and finally as I am Legend in 2007, starring Will Smith.

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Hunger and Thirst

Hunger and Thirst is Richard Matheson's first and until now previously unpublished novel, written fifty-plus years ago when Matheson was only twenty-three-years old. Matheson's agent told him it was unpublishable due to its length and so to that end, Matheson put the manuscript in a drawer and left for California where his writing career changed dramatically. The action in Hunger and Thirst centers around Erick, who lies paralyzed on his bed after being shot during a botched bank robbery. As he lies there, Erick contemplates the mess that his life has become and holds out hope to be saved.
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Now You See It

In Now You See It, the prolific master of suspense and screenwriting (I Am Legend; The Incredible Shrinking Man) delivers a knock-out tale the likes of which have not been seen since Henry Clouzot's devlilish thriller Diabolique.

Some years ago, the Great Delacorte, a famed stage magician, came down with a stroke that left him in a vegetative state, able to move only his eyes. The entire action of the novel is witnessed through these eyes as Delacorte sits in the Magic Room of his country estate, a room custom-tailored to display stage illusions. Delacorte's son, Max, has taken his name and place as an illusionist in every effort to replace his father. Max is supported by his wife Cassandra and her amazingly identical lookalike younger brother Brian. But for the past year, Cassandra has been poisoning Max's food with arsenic and a sleeping pill. She wants the act all for herself--but Max has his own ideas, and his revenge is the big dish that Matheson sets before us in this dazzler that offers top-flight fun!

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Richard Matheson