Review: The Best of Richard Matheson

Richard Matheson made his name writing short stories and novellas that looked at genre standards with a modern eye. The unexpected turns those took made them both standards in SF magazines of the day and the basis for many a Twilight Zone episode. I saw a collection at the LAPL and decided to have a look.

The man deserves his reputation. The stories are well crafted and clever. It’s easy to see how these stories both delighted readers and inspired later writers to play with different perspectives on old tropes.

They are a product of their time. I wouldn’t want to be a woman in a Matheson world. While I can be frustrated that a writer who can generate sympathy for the Devil would still have Satan’s wife doing the dishes, I still recognize the craft.


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