Richard Matheson Has Died

Richard Matheson, prolific author, screenwriter and horror icon, died on Sunday in Los Angeles. The details of his passing are unknown. He was 87. Matheson was to be presented with the Visionary Award at today's Saturn Awards, and the entire presentation will now be dedicated to him. His influence on the modern field of writers, especially genre writers, cannot be expressed. Over his 60 year career, Matheson's material, if not his name, is well known to the general public. Best known for his short format stories, in both prose and on the screen, including 14 episodes of the original Twilight Zone, such as the William Shatner episode Terror at 20,000 Feet, which shaped the modern horror landscape. He also contributed to Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Star Trek, and originated the character of Kolchak: The Night Stalker.

Recently, his work had regained a focus in the modern culture, with I Am Legend, Real Steel, and The Box all being based on his work. Stephen King once said that Matheson was the author "who influenced me most as a writer," and dedicated his novel Cell to Matheson. His sheer amount of output means that it is rare for anyone who has ever shown an interest in writing genre materials not to have read, been wowed and humbled, and inspired by Matheson's work. Many of his collected editions fill my shelves.

The loss of Matheson all but brings a close to an age of literary giants, which included Asimov and Clarke, Heinlein and Bradbury. The torch, ever more then before, has truly been passed to the people who were inspired by them, the Kings and the Gaimans, who in turn are inspiring a new generation of rising authors. Doesn't make it any easier to watch that transition happen.
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About MR. Clark

Adopting the descriptor of "successfully unpublished author", MR. Clark began writing things on the internet in 2012, which he believed to be an entirely reputable and civilized place to find and deliver information. He regrets much.


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