RIP: Richard Matheson

Prolific science fiction and horror author Richard Matheson, best known for perhaps I Am Legend, died last Sunday. He was 87.

Hitfix’s Drew McWeeny on Matheson’s towering legacy:

What amazes me is how a guy who could write so many things that meant so much to so many people could somehow still maintain a relatively low key degree of fame. We should have statues of Richard Matheson in front of libraries around this country, and yet for many audiences, they don’t even realize how much of his work marked them at some point. […]

Over the next few days, I have no doubt you’re going to see lovely tributes to Matheson from guys like Stephen King and Neil Gaiman, and honestly, anyone who writes fantastic fiction for either books or magazines or films or TV owes some debt of some sort to Matheson. There is nothing you can do that will not in some way see you following in his footsteps. When I worked on “Masters Of Horror,” one of his children, Richard Christian Matheson, adapted one of his short stories for Tobe Hooper’s “Dance Of The Dead” episode. Chris Carter spoke at length during the run of “X-Files” about how much he owed to Matheson, and you can definitely feel his influence in the way that show told stories.

I have loved his books, his stories, things adapted from his work… he is more than an author. He is an institution. He is a cornerstone of everything that I love in storytelling. Richard Matheson is as significant a writer as this country has ever produced, and his work will be read for generations to come.

That is so very, very, very true. NPR has a great round-up of tributes and whatnots.

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