Wednesday 16 January 2013

Richard Burton Matheson

Richard was born in New Jersey on 20 February 1926. He was raised in Brooklyn, attended university in Missouri, and moved to California in 1951. He has been in the Golden State ever since.

Richard, of course, is a famous writer of science fiction. You might have heard of some of his work: I am Legend, Hell House, and What Dreams May Come. You’ve probably read some of his short stories: “Born of Man and Woman,” “Third from the Sun,” and “The Splendid Source,” among tons of other tales. (Seriously, the guy has written a whole lot!).

The titles might not be familiar, but I can remember reading “Born of Man and Woman” in middle school. It’s the one about the child kept locked in the basement, with a twist ending. It’s quite good. It plays on the emotions and it gets you thinking, which is a sign of good literature.

Richard also wrote episodes (and developed his stories into episodes) for The Twilight Zone. He authored the famous, classic episode “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” (the one with William Shatner on the airplane). Other notable episodes Richard authored include: “The Invaders,” “Mute,” and "Little Girl Lost.”

Long-story short, Richard is quite the influential author. The prolific Stephen King, zombie-master George A. Romero, and vampire-lady Anne Rice have all cited Richard as a major influence, inspiring their work or sparking their interest in vampires or zombies.

And on a personal note, Richard has been married to Ruth Ann Woodson since 1952. The couple have four children, and three of them (Chris, Richard Christian, and Ali) are also writers of fiction and/or screenplays. Must be in their genes.


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