If nothing else, the fact that Richard Matheson wrote “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” — you know, THAT episode of The Twilight Zone — would have put him in the pantheon of genre writers. But he also wrote the short story and the subsequent screenplay for Duel, which became Steven Spielberg’s seminal TV movie. And he wrote the Star Trek episode “The Enemy Within.” And he wrote the teleplay for The Night Stalker, which spawned the TV series Kolchak: The Night Stalker. And the novel What Dreams May Come. And the adaptations of Poe for Roger Corman’s early ’60s series of movies. And the novel that was adapted as the movie Somewhere In Time. And I Am Legend, which spawned THREE movie versions. (There, that’s burying the lede.) And many, many more.
Matheson died yesterday at 87, and anyone who’s into science fiction should take a moment to remember one of the most prolific and influential writers of his generation, influential enough to inspire Stephen King and to have a character named after him on The X-Files. If you were a fan, tell us your favorite Matheson story or movie or TV adaptation here in the comments….