Richard Matheson dies.

Read any good books lately?
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Richard Matheson dies.

Postby kennyc » Tue Jun 25, 2013 11:16 am

Just heard this:

I Am Legend' writer Richard Matheson dies at 87
By Ed Payne, CNN
updated 2:38 AM EDT, Tue June 25, 2013

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
Richard Matheson wrote more than 25 novels and nearly 100 short stories
His book, "I Am Legend," inspired three films, including one starring Will Smith
Matheson was to be honored by the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films
He wrote episodes of "The Twilight Zone" and "Star Trek"

(CNN) -- Richard Matheson, a prolific American science fiction author and screenwriter whose stories were made into movies and TV episodes, has died. He was 87.
He died at his home in Los Angeles on Sunday, according to his son.
"As monumental as he is as a writer, he was every bit that as a husband, father, grandfather and friend," Richard Christian Matheson said on his Facebook page. "He was my hero and my best friend and I loved him deeply. I will miss him forever. I know we all will."
During a career that spanned more than 60 years, the elder Matheson wrote more than 25 novels and nearly 100 short stories, plus screenplays for TV and film. Several of his novels were made into movies.
Photos: People we lost in 2013 Photos: People we lost in 2013
"I Am Legend," released in 1954, inspired three films, including 2007's movie of the same name that starred Will Smith.
His 1956 novel "The Shrinking Man" was adapted for the big screen, becoming "The Incredible Shrinking Man."
Matheson was a major contributor to Rod Serling's classic TV series "The Twilight Zone," penning more than a dozen scripts from 1959 to 1964, including "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet." He also wrote for "The Alfred Hitchcock Hour" and was the creative force behind the classic "Star Trek" episode "The Enemy Within."
.....

http://www.cnn.com/2013/06/25/showbiz/r ... ?hpt=us_c2

One of my favorite short stories by him, Born of Man and Woman - it was his first published story:

http://www.inspirationbit.com/a-bit-of- ... and-woman/
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Re: Richard Matheson dies.

Postby Bart Stewart » Sat Jul 27, 2013 2:42 am

Thanks for that tribute to Matheson, Kenny. He was a huge influence on vast numbers of writers. My first book was a collection of short stories in the Twilight Zone style, and I mentioned the great Matheson as one of its inspirations on the back cover. HG Wells may have been the actual originator of that literary style. Wells said create a normal, familiar setting, and inject one element of the unreal into it.

I think it's a shame that when you mention fantasy fiction people automatically think of "sword and sorcery" stuff, and not Wells and Matheson. (Not that I'm out to ban sword and sorcery. I have nothing against supernatural tales as long as they get filed under Fiction.)

Matheson was so good at creating fantastic scenarios that did not insult the intelligence. Other times he would simply offer no explanation at all for a scenario, so you had to use your own imagination to explain it.

I recommend his book Third From the Sun. That has the story Born of Man and Woman, and a really clever little piece called Disappearing Act.

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Re: Richard Matheson dies.

Postby Enquiring Minds » Wed Jun 03, 2015 6:11 am

I remember him mostly for his tv work. He wrote the script for the vampire story The Night Stalker based on The Kolchak Tapes by Jeff Rice. He also worked on the sequel The Night Strangler. The success of these two tv movies spun off into the series Kolchak:The Night Stalker.
He was also a regular writer on Ghost Story/Circle of Fear a 1972-73 anthology of supernatural stories which aired just as Night Gallery was winding down. In my opinion the scripts were better than that show.

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Re: Richard Matheson dies.

Postby Matthew Ellard » Wed Jun 03, 2015 6:22 am

Enquiring Minds wrote:I remember him mostly for his tv work. He wrote the script for the vampire story The Night Stalker based on The Kolchak Tapes by Jeff Rice. He also worked on the sequel The Night Strangler. The success of these two tv movies spun off into the series Kolchak:The Night Stalker.
He was also a regular writer on Ghost Story/Circle of Fear a 1972-73 anthology of supernatural stories which aired just as Night Gallery was winding down. In my opinion the scripts were better than that show.


I also watched The Night Stalker as a kid. I felt that the X Files was a remake simply with "sexual tension" added, so I never watched it..

I know that Matheson also wrote for the original Star Trek series.

Mr Matheson was obviously a lucky person whose job was his hobby.

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Re: Richard Matheson dies.

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Wed Jun 03, 2015 10:34 am

Matthew Ellard wrote: I felt that the X Files was a remake simply with "sexual tension" added, so I never watched it.

You never watched it but you knew you wouldn't like it? Who told you this?
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Re: Richard Matheson dies.

Postby Matthew Ellard » Thu Jun 04, 2015 4:17 am

Gawdzilla Sama wrote:
Matthew Ellard wrote: I felt that the X Files was a remake simply with "sexual tension" added, so I never watched it.

You never watched it but you knew you wouldn't like it? Who told you this?


Good point. I still have never watched it.

It's funny. It was the Night Stalker that made me become aware of "thinking about facts" as an alternative, to going "with the flow". In each episode the newspaper editor tells Kolchac why his paranormal story doesn't make sense. The ongoing story "proves" otherwise. It made me understand that there could be two different positions for one set of facts. ( Really basic stuff)

Fantasy TV can be quite educational sometimes.

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Re: Richard Matheson dies.

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Thu Jun 04, 2015 10:04 am

I have all eleven seasons on DVD and I say you've missed 4-5 good seasons.

It's like sucking dicks. You don't know if you'll like it until you try.
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Re: Richard Matheson dies.

Postby zeuzzz » Thu Jun 04, 2015 9:29 pm

Gord has given his true opinion on this with a clever forum based allegory I noticed.

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The X Files / Haven't ever watched them

Postby Matthew Ellard » Fri Jun 05, 2015 1:10 am

Gawdzilla Sama wrote:I have all eleven seasons on DVD and I say you've missed 4-5 good seasons.

It's like sucking dicks. You don't know if you'll like it until you try.


Ummm Errrr Ummmmm errr....ummmm..... for reasons totally unrelated to your enticing suggestion, regarding exploring novel situations, I promise to watch the first series of the X files at my next earliest opportunity.
:D :D :D :D

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Re: Richard Matheson dies.

Postby Austin Harper » Fri Jun 05, 2015 3:56 am

But the X-Files only has nine seasons (and two movies, a one season spin-off series for the Lone Gumen, and a three season sort of related series Millennium).

Plus the miniseries coming up next year.
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Re: Richard Matheson dies.

Postby toroid » Thu Jun 25, 2015 1:58 pm

Glad this thread resurfaced!

I vividly remember reading the first Matheson story I ever encountered, his 1954 short story Dance of the Dead soon after it was published.
http://gravetapping.blogspot.com/2008/04/dance-of-dead-by-richard-matheson.html

But the tables have turned; the world today is now science fiction while the past (at least 'til 1984) appeared more "real". I have the feeling that none of us will get out of this alive...

Enquiring Minds wrote:I remember him mostly for his tv work. He wrote the script for the vampire story The Night Stalker based on The Kolchak Tapes by Jeff Rice. He also worked on the sequel The Night Strangler. The success of these two tv movies spun off into the series Kolchak:The Night Stalker.
He was also a regular writer on Ghost Story/Circle of Fear a 1972-73 anthology of supernatural stories which aired just as Night Gallery was winding down. In my opinion the scripts were better than that show.

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Re: Richard Matheson dies.

Postby toroid » Thu Jun 25, 2015 2:18 pm

I remember reading a short sci-fi story (not by Matheson, but perhaps from the '60's or soon after)) about a crew member of a space shuttle who routinely awakened from the rocket's blast-off induced blackout before anyone else, who was secretly in love with the captain and used the few precious moments alone with him to gently stroke his hair, face and lips. A radical plot for its time, which I've never been able to find a reference for...

Has anyone here any knowledge of a story like this? Full details of what the plot was about weren't revealed until the last paragraph or two. Google comes up empty.



Gawdzilla Sama wrote:I have all eleven seasons on DVD and I say you've missed 4-5 good seasons.

It's like sucking dicks. You don't know if you'll like it until you try.

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Re: Richard Matheson dies.

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Thu Jun 25, 2015 3:45 pm

I read a story about a guy who wakes up to find he's in the distance future where all humans are hermaphroditic. The society has adjusted to the new paradigm where gender is irrelevant. Our Hero, however, is not able to adjust and flees from the enclosed "bio-dome". He wanders out into the desert and is picked up by a road-train. He's actually in the Australia outback and it's not long after his supposed "cryo sleep". The upshot is that this was a social experiment that had been running for decades and the people operating the "future" wanted to see how current humans would react to the new paradigm.

I told that poorly, and probably got some details wrong (it has been ~30 years since I read the story.)
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Almost lost but not forgotten

Postby toroid » Thu Jun 25, 2015 8:24 pm

toroid wrote:I remember reading a short sci-fi story (not by Matheson, but perhaps from the '60's or soon after)) about a crew member of a space shuttle who routinely awakened from the rocket's blast-off induced blackout before anyone else, who was secretly in love with the captain and used the few precious moments alone with him to gently stroke his hair, face and lips. A radical plot for its time, which I've never been able to find a reference for...

Has anyone here any knowledge of a story like this? Full details of what the plot was about weren't revealed until the last paragraph or two. Google comes up empty.

Gawdzilla Sama wrote:I have all eleven seasons on DVD and I say you've missed 4-5 good seasons.

It's like sucking dicks. You don't know if you'll like it until you try.
Gawdzilla Sama wrote:I read a story about a guy who wakes up to find he's in the distance future where all humans are hermaphroditic. The society has adjusted to the new paradigm where gender is irrelevant. Our Hero, however, is not able to adjust and flees from the enclosed "bio-dome". He wanders out into the desert and is picked up by a road-train. He's actually in the Australia outback and it's not long after his supposed "cryo sleep". The upshot is that this was a social experiment that had been running for decades and the people operating the "future" wanted to see how current humans would react to the new paradigm.

I told that poorly, and probably got some details wrong (it has been ~30 years since I read the story.)


It appears that both those stories are essentially lost forever.

Here's a story that's very hard to find evidence of but isn't lost. Here's the website upon which the following review aoppears. The author is Gregory Tidwell
http://www.omphalosbookreviews.com/index.php/reviews/info/315
and the review itself appears near the bottom. I apologize for the length but IMHO it's a timely tale for these times. There is a 2009 copyright so if posting the review is a violation PM me and I'll remove the text.


THE PUBLIC HATING, by Steve Allen 1956, originally published in SF: The Year's Greatest Science Fiction and Fantasy: Before you ask I want to tell you that yes, this story is by that Steve Allen. This is the story of criminal punishment in the near future. In it psi ability has been discovered and everyone has them. Individually people cannot do too much, but when they get together and focus on the same task, they can maybe move mountains. In the story thousands of people come together at Yankee Stadium in New York to punish a convicted felon. Professor Ketteridge, the felon, has been pronounced guilty of treason. The United States District Court in New York sentenced him to a "public hating," and in a fast-track looking challenge, the United States Supreme Court affirmed. Ketteridge has been brought to the stadium, which on his day was filled to capacity. Yankee Stadium apparently is used frequently for these kinds of sentences, but common rapists and muggers bring out only 30,000 or so. Not today.

Ketteridge's crimes are obviously known to the general public. Everyone seems to know what he has done, though in this story his actual crimes were never revealed. When he was brought out onto the diamond a speaker stood up and whipped the public into a frenzy of hate. For the most part the crowd complied and allowed themselves to be driven to a hateful rage, but for many it took some work.

"I ask you," said Weltmer, "to rise. That's it, everybody stand up. Now I want every one of you...I understand we have upwards of seventy thousand people here today...I want every single one of you to stare directly at this fiend in human form, Ketteridge. I want you to let him know by the wondrous power that lies in the strengths of your emotional reservoirs, I want you to let him know that he is a criminal, that he is worse than a murderer, that he has committed treason, that he is not loved by anyone, anywhere in the universe, and that he is, rather, despised with a vigor equal in heat to the power of the sun itself!"

I swear that sounds like a late night religious sermon, doesn't it? It continues:

People around Traub were shaking their fists now. Their eyes were narrowed, their mouths turned down at the corners. A woman fainted.

"Come on," shouted Weltmer. "Let's feel it!"

Under the spell of the speaker Traub was suddenly horrified to find that his blood was racing, his heart pounding. He felt anger surging up in him. He could not believe he hated Ketteridge. But he could not deny that he hated something.

Weltmer was whipping the crowd up and asking them to direct their hatred towards Ketteridge. The power of the hate, channeled through psi abilities, killed Ketteridge slowly and painfully.

Traub stared unblinking through the binoculars at Ketteridge's right arm as the prisoner leaped to his feet and ripped off his jacket, howling. With his left hand he gripped his right forearm and then Traub saw the flesh turning dark. First a deep red, and then a livid purple. The fingers contracted and Ketteridge whiled on a small platform like a dervish, slapping his arm against his side.

"That's it," Weltmer called. "You're doing it. You're doing it. Mind over matter! That's it. Burn this offending flesh. Be as the avenging angels of the Lord. Smite this devil! That's it!"

Definitely an anti-death penalty piece of literature, it works on several levels. It is definitely a critical look at the motivations and social utility of capital punishment. The crowd must be whipped up into a frenzy of hate first, so the obvious question is "is this punishment warranted?" Judges and juries that punish offenders may be charged in court with heeding the letter of the law, but what they are really doing is directing the will of the people onto the offender. Allen has given us a story here where the intermediary has been removed and the people are given a chance to enact their own punishment. Only in this case some people can't really be bothered to hate someone for a reason that really does not affect them. Granted, others in the stadium - perhaps even most of them - seemed to feel the required rage right away, without much prodding. But remember, this is not only a festival atmosphere that is obviously likened in the minds of the viewers to a chaotic sporting event (British soccer hooliganism, anyone?), but Weltmer was invoking religious retribution, and I have a feeling that this had happened so many times in the past with other criminals that the crowd was probably conditioned to slip into rage, even if they couldn't conjure it on their own.

Another question I was struck with is this: If you have to get into that emotional a state to kill in the first place, how can you be sure that you are doing the right thing? Rage is a strange thing. When we feel it we make choices in the heat of the moment that we probably would not ordinarily make. Personally I've never killed anyone, though I have had to fight to keep my hands off of other people's windpipes in moments of anger. Not to say that action in the heat of the moment that results in the death of a convicted wrong-doer is all that bad. We have discussed the purposes of criminal punishments in the past - recall that one of them is retribution. In some cases the purpose that a judicially enacted punishment is enacting is pay-back, and in cases of treason, we sometimes kill the offenders. But I still think that a cold, sterile and clinical execution at least looks better than a frenzied mob pouring fatal amounts of hate (psychic or otherwise) on the head of a frightened, lonely man. Consider here that psychic powers are a metaphor for the will of the people. No matter what a court said, the will of the people is confused by rage and hatred. The viewers may still be able to say that they executed a punishment as ordered by a court with the proper jurisdiction to do so, but they will never be able to say that they did the right thing. Not that capital punishment is any less subject to attacks of the enlightened when it is carried out in a brightly lit room with a preacher standing nearby, or somebody's hand on a hot line to the governor's manison, but I think you get my drift here. In the end what we have here is probably nothing more then detached blood-lust, and for that reason that it is an excellent attack on the propriety of the death penalty. This is how legal-themed SF should play out. Law, Penal Theory, Psi-Powers, Revenge, Death Penalty, Criminal Procedure, Religion; 4.5 Stars

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Re: Richard Matheson dies.

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Thu Jun 25, 2015 8:59 pm

The story I mentioned was in an anthology, so it's still out there somewhere.
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Re: Richard Matheson dies.

Postby Pyrrho » Thu Jun 25, 2015 10:27 pm

When do we wake up.
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Re: Richard Matheson dies.

Postby toroid » Fri Jun 26, 2015 12:36 am

Gawdzilla Sama wrote:The story I mentioned was in an anthology, so it's still out there somewhere.


(You posted awhile ago I was on your ignore list, but for the record) I Googled both your and my story's plot lines using several trial formats and came up with zilch!

At least I knew Steve Allen (the late night TV Renaissance man) was the author of the The Public Hating but forgot the title. Amazon Marketplace sellers are offering the 1956 SF: The Year's Greatest Science Fiction and Fantasy anthology for as little as 7 bucks plus shipping.

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Re: Richard Matheson dies.

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Fri Jun 26, 2015 12:48 am

When did I have you on my ignore list? I ask because I replied to your post and haven't edited my ignore list in years.

I'll ask some friends if they remember it.
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Re: Richard Matheson dies.

Postby toroid » Fri Jun 26, 2015 1:32 am

Think about the gun sh-t!

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Re: Richard Matheson dies.

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Fri Jun 26, 2015 8:59 am

Chachacha wrote:"Oh, thweet mythtery of wife, at waft I've found you!"

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Re: Richard Matheson dies.

Postby toroid » Fri Jun 26, 2015 3:06 pm


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Re: Richard Matheson dies.

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Fri Jun 26, 2015 3:39 pm

Yeah, that. Misremembered a fair amount, but three decades is a fair amount of time.
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Re: Richard Matheson dies.

Postby Gord » Sat Jun 27, 2015 5:33 am

Omigod! I thought he'd died again!

Can we please rename this thread???
"Knowledge grows through infinite timelessness" -- the random fictional Deepak Chopra quote site
"You are also taking my words out of context." -- Justin
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