Monday, June 24, 2013
RIP, Richard Matheson
For those who don't know yet, groundbreaking writer, Richard Matheson, author of the masterpieces, "I Am Legend" and "What Dreams May Come" died today. What makes his death all the more depressing is just how few people actually know who he is. Sure, we readers and lovers of sci-fi and fantasy know all about his career. But then, there are those who might have heard of some of his work, but don't actually know that he wrote it. He was no Bradbury, Asimov, or Vonnegut, that's for sure. His work overshadowed his name.
And really, that's just fine. I don't think Matheson would be all that upset that his work outshines his name, as his work was just that damn good. Most people know him by the short stories that became movies, like "A Stir of Echoes", "I Am Legend" (All three versions), "What Dreams May Come", "The Box" and "Somewhere in Time," but he also wrote for television, namely The Twilight Zone (Remember that Shatner episode on the plane with the gremlin? Yep, Matheson. Or what about the one with the human boxer who fights robots?-The one that eventually inspired the movie "Real Steel"? Yep, Matheson again.). He also wrote for Star Trek, and seriously, the man's work is up there with Philip K. Dick's when it comes to adaptations.
Stephen King cited him as an inspirations, and thousands upon thousands of other writers I'm sure can say the same thing. Matheson would blend horror and beauty, and sometimes do it in the very same story. Hell, in the very same sentence even, and that's what made Matheson one of the best of all time. Even if you didn't know his name, you'll definitely miss him. We all will.