by Michael McCarty
The Richard Matheson Companion is rare, hard to find and expensive if you if even find it … but it is well worth it.
Here is my review of the book:
The Richard Matheson Companion
Edited by Stanley Wiater, Matthew R. Bradley and Paul Stuve, Gauntlet Press, 576 pgs.
$50 unsigned numbered edition, $60 signed numbered edition, ISBN: 1-887368-96-5
Gauntlet Press has been very good to Richard Matheson over the years, publishing his books and scripts in attractive, collectible editions. And one could also say that Richard Matheson has been good to Gauntlet Press. So it was only destiny that Gauntlet Press would publish such a definitive volume as The Richard Matheson Companion.
Matheson, of course, is a multi-talented storyteller whose career has spanned five decades and the speculative fiction genres and their various written formats, including stories, novels, TV and movie screenplays, stage plays, etc. He has penned such classics for the Twilight Zone: “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” (with a sweaty William Shatner as the only person who sees a gremlin messing with an airplane’s engines in mid-flight), “Third from the Sun,” “Little Girl Lost,” “The Invaders,” “Night Call,” “Death Ship” and “Nick of Time” (with a less sweaty William Shatner).
But Matheson’s masterpieces are too numerous for me to stop at one paragraph.
He has also written for such TV shows as Star Trek, Night Gallery, Amazing Stories, and Masters of Horror.
And let’s not forget that Matheson’s screenplay for Duel helped launch Steven Spielberg’s career. Or that he wrote the screenplay for the TV movie, The Night Stalker, directed and produced by Dan Curtis, which aired on January 11, 1972, and drew over 75 million viewers, making it the highest-rated TV movie of its time.
His words have also made it to the big screen. He is the author of many classic speculative fiction books which have been turned into movies: I am Legend (which became The Last Man on Earth, The Omega Man, and I am Legend), The Shrinking Man (The Incredible Shrinking Man), A Stir of Echoes (Stir of Echoes), Bid Time Return (Somewhere In Time), and What Dreams May Come, which became the movie of the same name.
You’d think it would be almost impossible to cover the complete works of such a legendary writer all in one book – but The Richard Matheson Companion does a superb job, with essays by the people who know him best, as well as those who have been influenced by him the most, including William Nolan, George Clayton Johnson, Gahan Wilson, Harlan Ellison, David Morrell, Dennis Etchison, Joe R. Lansdale, Jack Ketchum, F. Paul Wilson, Dean Koontz, Barry Hoffman, Brian Lumley, Greg Cox, Stephen Simon, Ed Gorman, Lewis Beale, his wife and five children.
And let’s not forgot the twenty-five pages of photos and the 183-page compiled and annotated biography and filmography.
Yes, this is the Holy Grail for Richard Matheson fans – including myself. I was lucky enough to interview Matheson for my book, More Giants of the Genre – and that is listed on pages 484-485 of The Richard Matheson Companion. To say the creators of this book have done their homework would be the understatement of the century.
Truly this is an incredible tribute to an incredible writer.
I interviewed Richard Matheson in my book MODERN MYTHMAKERS ….
And it includes in-depth interviews with Elvira, John Carpenter, Adrienne Barbeau, Ray Bradbury, Ramsey Campbell, Dan Curtis, Neil Gaiman, Mick Garris; Laurell K. Hamilton, Jack Ketchum, Dean Koontz, Graham Masterton, Joe McKinney, H.G. Lewis, Linnea Quigley, John Saul, Peter Straub, The Night of the Living Dead crew, C. Dean Andersson Richard Matheson and more.
MORE MODERN MYTHMAKERS
Features Horror, Science Fiction and Dark Fantasy’s most influential writers and filmmakers interviewed about the art and craft of their genres.
The 25 interviews include Steve Alten, Reggie Bannister, Terry Brooks, Charles de Lint, Dennis Etchison, John Everson, Alan Dean Foster, Ray Garton, Sephera Giron, Owl Goingback, Charles Grant, Nancy Holder, Paul Kane, Ronald Kelly, Joe Lansdale, Bentley Little, Jeff Long, Jonathan Maberry, Elizabeth Massie, Larry Niven, William Stout, Jeff Strand, Harry Turtledove, J.N. Williamson, and Connie Willis.
Foreword by Gerard Houarner. Afterword by Jeffrey Thomas.
If you’re interested in books on writing, the horror genre, science fiction, famous authors, or even becoming a full time author, this book is a must-have.
More Modern Mythmakers is the sequel to 2015’s Modern Mythmakers by Michael McCarty, published by Crystal Lake Publishing.