I did not read the King's novel, but I did see the movie. And I just read the book of short Sci-Fi stories by Robert Sheckley (recently deceased genius of Sci-Fi), and the Prize of Peril is exactly it. Does anyone know of a connection?
Bob Sheckley told me he was surprised at Running Man because it was so close to The Prize of Peril. Sheckley said King was apparently a fan of his, so I asked Bob how he handled it. He said he wrote out a list of all the similarities between the two stories and then called King on the phone. He said King was surprised and said he didn't remember reading The Prize of Peril. Sheckley really had nowhere to go after that and the conversation was over. Sheckley didn't characterize King as a thief or as not as nice guy, but he told me King probably read it and forgot about it, and then was too embarrassed because he'd accidentally stolen from Sheckley, a writer he liked.
Douglas Adams also claimed not to have read Sheckley before writing Hitch-hiker. Him I don't believe at all, there are so many things lifted from Sheckley it's ridiculous.
But Sregardless of whether King read The Prize of Peril and forgot or whatever, heckley wasn't resentful of King and just shrugged it off. Too bad King didn't have the good will to write him a check!
Wow thanks for the information. As usual looks like SK borrowed another author's idea like he did with "needful things" from Richard Matheson's short story "the distributor". I'm sure he's done it other times as well. Oh well hopefully he made it his own somehow, but it sounds like there are a lot of similarities. Too bad he didn't give the other guy more credit.