Links to the works of Richard Matheson in television shows, short stories, books and movies.

Eighty-eight years ago yesterday, on February 20th, 1926, Richard Matheson was born. In 1950, his story, Born of Man and Woman, was published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science FictionIt garnered a great deal of attention and his literary career was launched. He died on June 23rd, 2013. Between those dates, he changed everything in the field of horror. (He also wrote sci-fi, fantasy, westerns and mysteries, but I think his greatest contribution was to my own beloved genre.) To read a simple but complete biography of his life, visit Bio.

If you are a casual horror / sci-fi fan, you may not realize just how influential this writer was in his lifetime. Stephen King is frequently quoted as saying “[Richard Matheson is the] author who influenced me most as a writer.” Just days after Matheson’s death, King posted a tribute, at StephenKing.com, which you can read HERE.

Right now, I want to celebrate this man’s life by getting some of his brilliance into your head. I’ve collected the most easily accessible works in the lists below. Please note that I’ve NOT seen or read everything here. Those pieces that I especially recommend are highlighted in green text. (Please also know that seeing any adaptation of I Am Legend is going to be frustrating. None of them do it justice. In the video interview at the bottom of this post, Matheson says so himself.)

*****

TELEVISION SERIES

TheTwilightZoneLogo

It’s possible at hulu.com to stream all episodes of the original Twilight Zone series on your computer for free. This is what Matheson contributed to that series:

THE TWILIGHT ZONE:

S1 E11 And When the Sky Opened
S1 E14 Third From the Sun
S1 E18 The Last Flight
S1 E23 A World of Difference
S1 E36 A World of His Own

S2 E7 Nick of Time
S2 E15 The Invaders
(This is, perhaps, the most memorable episode from my childhood, when I’d sneak to turn the TV on the middle of the night, when everyone else was asleep.)

S3 E13 Once Upon a Time
S3 E26 Little Girl Lost
S3 E34 Young Man’s Fancy

S4 E5 Mute
S4 E6 Death Ship

S5 E2 Steel
S5 E3 Nightmare at 20,000 Feet
S5 E19 Night Call
S5 E21 Spur of the Moment

NIGHT GALLERY (1971):

S2 E8 (segment The Big Surprise)
S2 E22 (segment The Funeral)

STAR TREK:
S1 E5 The Enemy Within (You must be a subscriber to watch Star Trek on hulu.)

*****

SHORT STORIES

Return

Like so many authors of his generation, Matheson wrote for periodicals, and in his time there were many wonderful, inexpensive pulp-style magazines to host his creativity. At unz.org, you will find “A Free Website for Periodicals, Books, and Videos” where you can view PDFs of certain stories, just as they appeared when they were published.

FROM STARTLING STORIES:
Miss Stardust (March, 1955)
Witch War (July, 1951)

FROM THRILLING WONDER STORIES:
Return (October, 1951)
The Foodlegger (April, 1952)

*****

BOOKS

hell house bantam 1973 matheson

Of course, Matheson was an author of books too … many of them horror. I believe you will (always and forever) find him on the shelves of any decent bookstore, but a lot of us have switched to e-books. Here’s what I found at Amazon:

KINDLE EDITIONS
The Memoirs of Wild Bill Hickok $6.64
The Gun Fight $5.98
Legends of the Gun Years $8.89
Other Kingdoms $7.59
The Path: A New Look At Reality $7.59
Shadow on the Sun $6.83
Duel: Terror Stories by Richard Matheson $8.89
The Beardless Warriors: A Novel of World War II $7.59
Hunted Past Reason $8.89
Steel: And Other Stories $6.95
A Stir of Echoes $8.89
What Dreams May Come: A Novel $8.89
Hell House $8.89
The Box: Uncanny Stories $6.83
Nightmare At 20,000 Feet: Horror Stories By Richard Matheson $8.89
Somewhere In Time $5.98
I Am Legend (RosettaBooks into Film) $6.09

… but as for that last one, if you are a horror fan, you should own the most beautiful copy of the bound book you can afford. It IS canon.

*****

MOVIES

Kolchak

When it comes to the movie adaptations of Matheson’s work, I’ve gathered a few resources for you. I’ve provided the IMDb listing for all of them, and the Netflix listing where I could. Any movie that is available on streaming is generally available on disc too. If I did not provide a Netflix link, that means it’s not available NOW, but many are expected to become available eventually.

The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957) Netflix Disc IMDb

The Pit and The Pendulum (1961) Netflix Disc IMDb

Burn, Witch, Burn (1962) IMDb

The Last Man on Earth (1964) IMDb

Die! Die! My Darling! (1965) IMDb

The Devil Rides Out (1968) IMDb

De Sade (1969) Netflix Streaming IMDb

Cold Sweat (1970) IMDb

The Omega Man (1971) Netflix Disc IMDb

Duel (1971) Netflix Disc IMDb

The Night Stalker aka The Kolchak Papers (1972) IMDb

The Night Strangler (1973) IMDb

Kolchak: The Night Stalker SeriesSeries on Netflix Streaming

The Legend of Hell House (1973) Netflix Disc IMDb

Dying Room Only (1973) IMDb

Scream of the Wolf (1974) IMDb

Trilogy of Terror (segment, Amelia – the Zuni fetish doll piece, of course, 1975) Netflix Disc IMDb

Dead of Night (1977) Netflix Disc IMDb

The Martian Chronicles (series – 3 episodes 1980) Netflix Disc IMDb

Somewhere in Time (1980) Netflix Streaming IMDb

The Incredible Shrinking Woman (comedy, 1981) IMDb

Twilight Zone: The Movie (segment, Nightmare at 20,00o Feet, 1983) Netflix Disc IMDb

Loose Cannons (comedy, 1990) Netflix Disc IMDb

What Dreams May Come (based on the novel, 1998) Netflix Disc IMDb

Stir of Echos (based on the novel, 1999) Netflix Disc IMDb

I Am Legend (based on the novel, 2007) Netflix Disc IMDb

The Box (based on the short story, Button, Button, 2009) Netflix Disc IMDb

Real Steel (based on the short story, Steel, 2011) Netflix Disc IMDb

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14 Comments on “Links to the works of Richard Matheson in television shows, short stories, books and movies.”

  1. Thanks so much for this! I’ll be passing this link onto my blog.

  2. zipcoffelt says:

    Interesting – he wrote the books that became two of my favorite movies – Somewhere in Time and What Dreams May Come. Thanks for posting!!

    • Oh, that’s cool. I know you aren’t a horror fan, so I’m pleased to hear that you found something interesting here. I think horror authors can be particularly good at doing a great loves story because they are tapped into the deep and secret emotions so much of the time. It’s kind of like how heavy metal music bands occasionally create beautiful ballads.

  3. Ray Yanek says:

    I instantly recognized “What Dreams May Come”, “Stir of Echoes”, and “I am Legend” but there were quite a few others listed her that I didn’t know he wrote. Quite the professional life, kind of gives us wanna-be’s a mark to shoot for!

  4. Hunter Shea says:

    Richard Matheson was legend. His work defined generations of horror and sci-fi fans. He was a bold writer who was second to none. A true maestro who became a part of my DNA.

  5. Pooka says:

    I was mostly just nodding and reading along, agreeing but with little true connection to any of it and then I got to the part where What Dreams May Come was mentioned. Right then is when I went “…OH.”. What Dreams May Come is one of my absolute favorite movies. I vaguely knew it was based on a novel (as I’m sure it’s mentioned among the credits somewhere), but didn’t realize it was part of Richard Matheson’s collection of works. I’ve since looked into reviews of the book versus the movie. I’m now worried about picking up a copy of the novel, because Swan Song may gain a friend in the Cherished And Devoured shelf.

    But then again, maybe Swan Song is lonely.

    • I just love your comments here, Daughter. Please let me know what you think of the book. I haven’t read it, and in fact just discovered recently that Matheson is responsible for it. I want to go after the book thatTime After Time is based on too.

      As usual, you surprise me. I know you don’t like surrealism … but I guess What Dreams May Come is more magical realism, now that I think about it. That will be a useful distinction for me in the future, I think.

      Come to think of it, you might really enjoy The Night Circus, which I just finished not long ago. I’ll send it to you.

      • Pooka says:

        I see what you mean about the surrealism. Perhaps this reasoning will help explain. In What Dreams May Come, the bits of surrealism are there yes, but those bits are by nature controlled. Your afterlife is what YOU make it; you bend it to your desires. The hell is very Dante’s Inferno so while it is disturbing, at this point in human history it is so synonymous with what Hell “must” be, that it’s pretty much expected.

        Surrealism as featured in the work of Dali and many of his compatriots seems wild, uncontrolled and insurmountable to me. My brain can’t resolve it, and it does not like that. I do find some of it to be deeply troubling. It’s a very specific thing that I can only best place under the umbrella of “surrealist” in order to shield myself where I can.

        It’s quite possible that I may find the novel to be uncomfortable due to the various differences between screenplay and book. The only way to find out is to read it.

  6. jokelly65 says:

    Thanks for this, I have read every one of his books, seen most if not all of the movies and tv shows over the years. I own “last man on Earth”, “I am legend”, “Legend of hell house” and “Omega man” on DVD and watch them several times a years. as a kid I watched Kolchak the night stalker every time it was on.

    Mr. Matheson impacted my life and my opinions of what makes a good story, horror or otherwise. I personally think he should be inducted into a hall of fame for his impact on Tv, Movies and books. I can think of no other Author who has been so influential in all three mediums.


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