Europe! And a tribute to Richard Matheson.

I’m breaking from my usual “every Thursday” schedule to inform all of you guys that I won’t be able to post my regular Thursday blog this week.  Why?

Because I’m taking a trip to Europe, that’s why!

Tomorrow morning, I’ll be flying out to Reykjavik, Iceland for a few days, followed by a brief stay in London and an additional week in France.  It’s definitely going to be an interesting next few weeks, and I’ll make sure and post travel updates, photos and so on by the next time I update this blog.

In other news…

Before I go, I want to take this chance to pay my respects to one of my writing heroes, Richard Matheson, who passed away on June 23rd, 2013 at the age of 87 years old.

I-am-legend-book-cover

For those who might be unfamiliar with his work, Richard Matheson was an iconic writer of sci-fi, fantasy, horror and genre fiction; he created such classic novels as I Am Legend, What Dreams May Come, Bid Time Return and The Shrinking Man.  He was also the writer of many short stories, including “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet,” the story of a man who notices a monster on the wing of his airplane; this story was famously adapted into a Twilight Zone episode of the same name, starring a young William Shatner.

richardmath_nightmare

As a teenager, Matheson was one of my earliest writing inspirations, and even today his work continues to be one of my greatest influences.  There have been few reading experiences that have ever grabbed me as much as that first time I read I Am Legend, and his short stories are some of the best in fiction.  If it weren’t for Richard Matheson, I would not be the writer I am today.

I’m hardly alone in this opinion; many authors, filmmakers and artists have acknowledged their appreciation for Matheson, among them such bestselling creators as Stephen Spielberg, Anne Rice, George Romero and of course Stephen King, who has often cited Matheson as his primary influence.  Matheson was one of the most important genre authors of the 20th century, and his name certainly deserves to be mentioned alongside such creators as Ray Bradbury and Isaac Asimov.

Richard Matheson was a writer with an uncanny grasp of humanity.  His characters were real people – full of pathos, loneliness and desperation, characters who used their minds to combat the terrifying situations they were confronted with.  His plots were engaging, and his stories were unforgettable.  He was one of the all-time greats, and he will be missed.

RIP.

-Nicholas Conley

richardmath

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