I heard Richard Matheson died two days ago, June 23, 2013, at the age of 87. He was quite the author. My first exposure to his work was when I read his short story Born of Man and Woman when I was around 10. It was in a collection, the Science Fiction Hall of Fame. What a story! So short, so many questions left unanswered. That was his first short story.
He went on to write so many stories, and screenplays, with some excellent ones being:
- The Shrinking Man, though I only saw the movie The Incredible Shrinking Man
- Twilight Zone episodes including Nightmare at 20,000 Feet
- The TV movie version of Duel
- For Star Trek the original series he wrote “The Enemy Within” in which William Shatner gets to play Captian Kirk as two characters, a good and an evil one.
- His great I Am Legend, which was filmed three times to date, The Last Man on Earth, the newer two dealing with particular fears of the time: biological warfare for The Omega Man in 1971, and human-created viruses for I Am Legend in 2007.
- He scripted Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles mini-series
- He worked on The Night Stalker which was my favourite horror series of its time, and I remember watching it on TV Sunday evenings one summer.
He was such a prolific writer and monumentally influential that his stories will probably be retold for centuries.