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Simon Bestwick (Simon_b)
Username: Simon_b

Registered: 10-2008
Posted From: 213.106.77.123
Posted on Monday, June 24, 2013 - 11:06 pm:   

His daughter, Ali, broke the news on Facebook. Still hoping against hope this turns out to be a mistake. He really was one of the greats.
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Joel (Joel)
Username: Joel

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 2.30.203.25
Posted on Tuesday, June 25, 2013 - 01:13 am:   

Oh, no. That's terrible news. Matheson is one of the great originals of modern horror with Bradbury and Bloch, he created a new horror fiction that combined the terse energy of noir with the psychological unease of classic ghost stories. I Am Legend gave vampire fiction its most driven, fatalistic novel with so much closure its door is still slamming shut half a century later.
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Joel (Joel)
Username: Joel

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 2.30.203.25
Posted on Tuesday, June 25, 2013 - 01:28 am:   

If posthumous life is influence and continued relevance and bite into the world, the continued impact of anger and compassion, Matheson is still with us.
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Simon Bestwick (Simon_b)
Username: Simon_b

Registered: 10-2008
Posted From: 213.106.77.123
Posted on Tuesday, June 25, 2013 - 07:56 am:   

True, Joel.

It appears to be definite. I don't mind admitting I'm absolutely devastated by the news. I can still remember picking up a copy of Shock #3 at a school jumble sale when I was ten. It completely blew me away.

The only comparable loss in my recent experience was the passing of Ray Bradbury. Another genius writer and another legend has gone. But at least the stories remain.
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Hubert (Hubert)
Username: Hubert

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 178.116.59.128
Posted on Tuesday, June 25, 2013 - 11:24 am:   

Devastated is right! It's in the papers over here as well. I liked his short stories best of all - "First Anniversary', "Through Channels", "The Children of Noah", "Shock Wave", "The Distributor" . . . too many to enumerate here. One of the very few writers whose worldview rubbed off on the young reader I was all those many years ago.
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Simon Bestwick (Simon_b)
Username: Simon_b

Registered: 10-2008
Posted From: 213.106.77.123
Posted on Tuesday, June 25, 2013 - 11:42 am:   

From the This Is Horror website:

'We will bring you tributes throughout the day to Richard Matheson. Please feel free to email in your own tributes to Michael@ThisIsHorror.co.uk'

Floor's open, folks...
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Tuesday, June 25, 2013 - 12:08 pm:   

Although I only came to his written works in later years Richard Matheson has always been like a mythical figure to me... and Gods don't die.

I believe he first entered my consciousness through Stephen King's gushing praise in 'Danse Macabre' and, as I never saw his books on the shelves in my youth, he became one of those legendary names I knew must be great but that I never thought I'd read. Little did I realise that the man had been responsible for so many of the pivotal films and TV shows of my youth - both in his prolific scriptwriting prowess and the adaptations of his stories by others (he was responsible for many of the absolute best 'Twilight Zone', 'Alfred Hitchcock Presents', 'Boris Karloff's Thriller' & 'Star Trek' episodes and films such as 'The Incredible Shrinking Man', 'Night Of The Eagle', 'The Devil Rides Out', 'The Legend Of Hell House', etc, etc, etc...).

When I finally came across a reprint of 'I Am Legend' (1954) - thinking, "there's that bloke Stephen King used to go on about", and got around to reading it the effect was one of the major revelatory moments of my novel reading life and directly led to my resurgence of interest in genre writing as literature - after too many years naively thinking of it as part of my misspent youth. If Poe was the foundation and Lovecraft the culmination of the first golden era then Bradbury was the bridge between the two and Matheson was the rock solid strengthening and expanding foundation of the second... with King his most indebted imitator.

Only recently did I get around to reading 'The Shrinking Man' (1956) and 'A Stir Of Echoes' (1958) - unconsciously beginning a chrono read - and I would hail them as the most remarkable thematic genre trilogy of their era. Brilliantly incisive and utterly gripping suspense/horror/sci-fi/fantasy page-turners of immense literary stature and breathtaking entertainment value. They are genre-defining stories that live in the mind on some sort of gut primal level that touches the allegorical genius of the truly great writers (Kafka, Camus, Golding, etc) and that touch the heart of the reader and speak to the human condition with compassion and devastating honesty like only the best of human beings can (Wells, Heinlein, Dick, etc). What more can I say?

I don't feel sad - I feel lucky I still have so many of the riches this man give to the world to discover. His novels, his short stories and his marvellous TV and film scripts. Hallelujah!!
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Carolinec (Carolinec)
Username: Carolinec

Registered: 06-2009
Posted From: 92.237.187.186
Posted on Tuesday, June 25, 2013 - 12:17 pm:   

So sad to hear this news. It's been a bad year so far for the loss of many genre greats.

My introduction to Matheson was though his TV stories - The Twilight Zone, etc. It was only later that I started to read his stories, and I found them even more powerful and moving in that medium. A man with a message. A truly wonderful writer. We've lost another genre great - no doubt about that.
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Mbfg (Mbfg)
Username: Mbfg

Registered: 09-2010
Posted From: 212.219.63.206
Posted on Tuesday, June 25, 2013 - 01:48 pm:   

One of my enduring memories is reading a tatty copy of "I Am Legend" between bands at the 1975 Reading Festival (a real festival, not the coporate-ridden, place-to-be-seen fashion item they are now)and being so completely emotionally engaged and moved that the thousands of people surging around me faded into the background and I felt utterly alone with that book.

Cheers
Terry
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 82.31.16.88
Posted on Tuesday, June 25, 2013 - 03:28 pm:   

The SHOCK series were among my most treasured books as a teen. I memorised a few of the tales.
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Simon Bestwick (Simon_b)
Username: Simon_b

Registered: 10-2008
Posted From: 213.106.77.123
Posted on Tuesday, June 25, 2013 - 04:04 pm:   

I've put up a short tribute to the great man here.
http://www.thisishorror.co.uk/features/simon-bestwick-pays-tribute-richard-mathe son/
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Ramsey Campbell (Ramsey)
Username: Ramsey

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 92.8.16.164
Posted on Tuesday, June 25, 2013 - 11:19 pm:   

Alas! But his work will live on.
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Thomasb (Thomasb)
Username: Thomasb

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 75.25.141.120
Posted on Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - 01:07 am:   

It surely will!
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Craig (Craig)
Username: Craig

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 99.126.164.88
Posted on Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - 03:09 am:   

One of the authors whose work I've only read sporadically, but meant to get to some day; now it's Matheson's oeuvre I'll be getting to. Everything I'd read was impressive, and the TV/film-work a kick. R.I.P.
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Thomasb (Thomasb)
Username: Thomasb

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 75.25.141.120
Posted on Friday, June 28, 2013 - 11:17 pm:   

And here's a little something I wrote about him on on my webpage:

http://tbdeluxe.blogspot.com/2013/06/richard-matheson.html

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