I'm getting sick of writers whose work I enjoyed and admired dying. The latest is Richard Matheson, who wrote one of my favorite Twilight Zone episodes ever ("Nightmare at 20,000 Feet") and one of my favorite science fiction horror novels (I Am Legend). (There's a reposted Associated Press story about Matheson here.)
I've already writtenhere about how his novel The Shrinking Man was included in the Library of America's American Science Fiction: Nine Classic Novels of the 1950s -- and my dismay that his I Am Legend wasn't -- and how the film version of I Am Legend created expectations of prospective readers of the novel that inevitably led to disappointment here. I was also especially fond of his novel Hell House (which he adapted for the film The Legend of Hell House, which I also quite liked).
He may be better known -- in Michigan, at least -- for writing the novel that became the Mackinac Island-shot film Somewhere in Time (the novel was originally titled Bid Time Return). His novels and short stories also became the TV films Duel and Trilogy of Terror, and the theatrical films What Dreams May Come, A Stir of Echoes, The Box and Real Steel, and he adapted other writers' works, most notably Edgar Allan Poe for a series of Roger Corman-directed films starring Vincent Price, as well as Dennis Wheatley's The Devil Rides Out (aka The Devil's Bride) and (less impressively) Jules Verne's Master of the World. My hope is that everyone who reads this will read -- or re-read -- one of his classic books or stories, or watch one of his films. I'd recommend the books I Am Legend and Hell House (though be warned: the latter contains a fair amount of sex) and the films The Devil's Bride and The Legend of Hell House.
Stephen Bitsoli is a features writer and copy editor at the Macomb Daily who moonlights as an avid reader. This blog is for people who love books, though it may occasionally go off on a tangent or stray into other media, including magazines, radio drama, television and film. Bitsoli is particularly fond of obscure fiction, much of it falling in the broad category of science fiction and fantasy.