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Richard Matheson: Collected Stories, Vol. 1 Paperback – December, 2003
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These are gems of astounding imagination and scope, mind-blowing word tapestries that have influenced every fiction writer working today. -- Creature Feature
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-Born of Man and Woman
-Third From the Sun
-When the Waker Sleeps
-Clothes Make the Man
-Dress of White Silk
-Brother to the Machine
-Lover When You're Near Me
-To Fit the Crime
-Dying Room Only
-The Last Day
-Legion of Plotters
-Little Girl Lost
-Long Distance Call
Anyway, I could just keep going on and on with specifics as there are still quite a few great stories here that I haven't mentioned, (such as `Lover, When You're Near Me', `Mad House', `Little Girl Lost' etc.) but you get the idea. Very cool stuff, check it out. (The latter two Matheson collections are very good as well, though this one is probably my favorite of the 3. They're all worth getting, definitely)
Collected Stories, Volume 1 (of 3) has a couple dozen of Matheson's earliest short stories, and while not every story is a classic, there is also not a dud in the bunch. I can't describe them all, but some of the highlights include stories that would later become Twilight Zone episodes: Third From the Sun (about a couple families fleeing into space from a worldwide disaster), Death Ship (about space explorers who come across a crashed spaceship with a disturbing surprise inside), Little Girl Lost (about a young child falling into another dimension) and Long Distance Call (involving an invalid old lady receiving mysterious phone calls).
Those may be the more familiar stories, but there are other gems as well, including Matheson's first story, Born of Man and Woman, a child's story of maltreatment by his parents. Blood Son involves another child, this one whose sole aspiration is to become a vampire; F--, a science fiction story of a future era where food is no longer not consumed, its very mention is considered obscene; Mad House, about a man whose rage eventually poisons his very home; Shipshape Home, about an apartment complex with a strange janitor and stranger things in the basement; and The Disinheritors, a twist on the Goldilocks story. And there are many more stories as well.
Nowadays, when many short stories are artistic slice-of-life stories with more style than substance, Matheson's stories may come off as old-fashioned, but I'll take them there straightforward brilliance any day over more literary efforts. This book is a bag of candy, a whole collection of wonderful treats; and even better, there are two more volumes to go!
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As you all know, Richard Matheson's stories are the cornerstone of what has now become modern horror literature.Read more