Few writers have found acceptance in as many varied fields as Richard Burton Matheson. He has been successful as a horror writer, as a science fiction writer, and in mainstream romance fiction. He has also written westerns, film scripts--including many Roger Corman films and Spielberg's debut, DUEL--and television scripts, for shows like THE TWILIGHT ZONE and STAR TREK. Matheson's fiction writing career began in 1950 and, throughout the rest of that decade, he wrote numerous short stories, some of which were collected in BORN OF MAN AND WOMAN and I AM LEGEND. The latter was centered on the grim title story in which a man discovers that he is the only human left in a world overrun by vampires. It has been filmed twice, as THE LAST MAN ON EARTH (1964) and THE OMEGA MAN (1971). THE SHRINKING MAN (1956), a cautionary tale about the dangers of the nuclear power, was filmed in 1957 as THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING MAN, with a screenplay by Matheson. He concentrated on film and television in the '60s; his next novel, HELL HOUSE, was not published until 1971. It was also adapted for the silver screen, as THE LEGEND OF HELL HOUSE. Matheson had another hit with BID TIME RETURN (1975), the gentle romantic story of a man who travels back in time to meet an actress with whose photograph he has fallen in love. The novel won the World Fantasy Award and was made into the cult film SOMEWHERE IN TIME with Christopher Reeve--for film buffs, it also featured William H. Macy in his first cinematic role. His 1978 novel, WHAT DREAMS MAY COME followed in the style of BID TIME RETURN, and also won a devoted following--it was filmed in 1998, starring Robin Williams. In 1984, Matheson won the World Fantasy Lifetime Achievement Award. His work in horror fiction helped to earn him the Bram Stoker Life Achievement Award in 1991. In the late 1990s, new editions of much of Matheson's work were reissued and this, coupled with the continued adaptation of his stories to film and television, will keep his name current among the fans of the many genres in which he excels.
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