The best books not written by Richard Matheson that Richard Matheson fans will love

Who am I?

When I was about twelve years old I noticed a tattered old paperback in a box at a flea market. Titled Third From the Sun and Other Stories, it featured a colorfully bizarre illustration on the cover along with the author’s name: Richard Matheson. I bought the book—nearly fifty years later I still have it—and so began my journey into the works of one of America’s greatest fantasists. Decades later, I had the honor of working with the man himself, which ultimately led to the creation of my anthology, He Is Legend. Richard is gone now, but his timeless works live on.

I wrote...

He Is Legend: An Anthology Celebrating Richard Matheson

By Christopher Conlon,

Book cover of He Is Legend: An Anthology Celebrating Richard Matheson

What is my book about?

He Is Legend: An Anthology Celebrating Richard Matheson is a tribute to the masterful author of The Incredible Shrinking Man, Somewhere in Time, I Am Legend, What Dreams May Come, and countless other classic works of imagination and terror. Contributors to this one-of-a-kind collection include Stephen King, Joe Hill, Whitley Strieber, Nancy A. Collins, F. Paul Wilson, and many other bestselling writers—all with previously unpublished, brand-new stories!

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Perchance to Dream: Selected Stories

Christopher Conlon Why did I love this book?

Charles Beaumont was close friends with Richard Matheson, and they worked together on such projects as the Roger Corman Edgar Allan Poe films and Rod Serling’s original Twilight Zone. Beaumont’s stories are as rich and varied as Matheson’s, with delightfully witty language and fantastic plot twists. If you love classic Matheson short stories like “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” and “Death Ship,” you’re bound to love Beaumont.

By Charles Beaumont,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Perchance to Dream as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

That Charles Beaumont would make a name for himself crafting scripts for The Twilight Zone is only natural: for his was an imagination so limitless it must have emerged from some other dimension. So take one uneasy step and fall headlong into his world: a world where lions stalk the plains, classics cars rove the streets, and spacecraft hover just overhead. Here roam musicians, magicians, vampires, monsters, toreros, extraterrestrials, androids, and perhaps even the Devil himself. Perchance to Dream contains a selection of Beaumont's finest stories, including five stories that he later adapted for Twilight Zone episodes.

This volume contains…

Book cover of Time and Again

Christopher Conlon Why did I love this book?

As Matheson himself admitted, Finney’s Time and Again served as a kind of template for his own Somewhere in Time. Finney’s novel, however, is lighter in tone and has enormous charm. It’s fair to say that the two books taken together form the basis of what’s come to be known as the time-travel romance genre. Anyone who reads one of these books should read the other—they’re both classics.

By Jack Finney,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Time and Again as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Si Morley is bored with his job as a commercial illustrator and his social life doesn't seem to be going anywhere. So, when he is approached by an affable ex-football star and told that he is just what the government is looking for to take part in a top-secret programme, he doesn't hesitate for too long. And so one day Si steps out of his twentieth-century, New York apartment and finds himself back in January 1882. There are no cars, no planes, no computers, no television and the word 'nuclear' appears in no dictionaries. For Si, it's very like Eden,…

Book cover of The Ritual of Illusion

Christopher Conlon Why did I love this book?

The Ritual of Illusion is a brilliant short novel by Richard Christian Matheson (Richard Matheson’s son). Written entirely in dialogue from the points of view of numerous different witnesses, it tells the story of Hollywood star Sephanie Vamore’s strange rise and bizarre fall. This is Sunset Boulevard Matheson-style…another generation of Matheson, that is.

By Richard Christian Matheson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Ritual of Illusion as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A sinister love letter to the movies, acclaimed author Richard Christian Matheson’s The Ritual of Illusion is a novella of modern fear about where stars truly come from. Oscar-winning film siren, Sephanie Vamore, meteors to iconic fame … but like cinema itself, nothing is as it appears. The fifty witnesses to her mythic ascent and bizarre fate are film royalty … many based on Hollywood glitterati; directors, stars, agents, studio heads, screenwriters, lovers, producers.

Widescreen with lies and revelation, Vamore’s story is told Rashomon-style with dialogue alone—each hypnotic character adding poignant or lurid details to the shocking truth of what…

Book cover of It Only Comes Out at Night & Other Stories

Christopher Conlon Why did I love this book?

If someone asked me to name the greatest American horror story writer of the second half of the twentieth century, I would say “Richard Matheson” without hesitation. But if I were allowed two names, the other—equally without hesitation—would be Dennis Etchison, a writer who resembles Matheson in his economy of language, Southern California settings, and intense, twisty plots. His stories are as dark and disturbing as Matheson’s—and that’s really saying something.

By Dennis Etchison, S.T. Joshi (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked It Only Comes Out at Night & Other Stories as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this second printing, Cycatrix Press is proud to bring the highly acclaimed collection Dennis Etchison's It Only Comes Out at Night, previously only available as a limited-edition hardcover (out of print) from Centipede Press to an affordable trade paperback with the addition of previously uncollected fiction, new illustrations, and unpublished appreciations by fellow authors.

More about It Only Comes Out at Night: Few writers of horror fiction are held in such high regard as Dennis Etchison. This career retrospective takes his best fiction, culled from nearly fifty years in the field.

Dennis Etchison (1943-2019) was an American writer and…

Book cover of Gwendy's Button Box

Christopher Conlon Why did I love this book?

Richard Matheson’s “Button, Button” is a classic story of a couple given a box with a button on it that, if pressed, will yield them great riches…but will also kill someone unknown to them. Matheson’s most famous acolyte, Stephen King (who has said, “without Richard Matheson, I wouldn’t be around”), joins forces with master storyteller Richard Chizmar to create a short novel that is a fascinating variation and extension of Matheson’s tale.

By Stephen King, Richard Chizmar,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Gwendy's Button Box as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'A resonant novella set in one of King's signature locales: the small town of Castle Rock, Maine' Washington Post

The small town of CASTLE ROCK, MAINE has witnessed some strange events and unusual visitors over the years, but there is one story that has never been told...until now.

There are three ways up to Castle View from the town of Castle Rock: Route 117, Pleasant Road, and the Suicide Stairs. Every day in the summer of 1974 twelve-year-old Gwendy Peterson has taken the stairs, which are held by strong (if time-rusted) iron bolts and zig-zag up the cliffside.

At the…

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Radio Free Olympia

By Jeffrey Dunn,

Book cover of Radio Free Olympia

Jeffrey Dunn Author Of Radio Free Olympia

New book alert!

Who am I?

I’ve always been a child of the woods. I preferred to leave my home and wade a creek or explore a hillside. Nothing compared to the sight of a black snake or the feel of a mud puppy. School was a torture until an English teacher introduced me to Richard Brautigan and then read my first serious story to the class. Since then, this dyslexic nature lover has become a dream fisher and history miner with a Ph.D. in English Literature and Cultural Studies. Retired from forty-one years of teaching, I now write and publish cultural fiction.

Jeffrey's book list on where imagination and nature run free

What is my book about?

Embark on a riveting journey into Washington State’s untamed Olympic Peninsula, where the threads of folklore legends and historical icons are woven into a complex ecological tapestry.

Follow the enigmatic Petr as he fearlessly employs his pirate radio transmitter to broadcast the forgotten and untamed voices that echo through the wilderness. Venture deeper and encounter Baie, the founder of Wildsisters, a cranberry-infused roadhouse that offers solace to lost and wayward women. When a newborn is kidnapped, Baie and her community must unite to recover what has been stolen. Yet, their quest for justice extends beyond the realm of human characters—it must also be served for the fragile flora, the diverse fauna, and the very essence of the natural world.

Radio Free Olympia

By Jeffrey Dunn,

What is this book about?

Unleash the Power of the Wilderness in Radio Free Olympia

Discover the captivating allure of Washington's untamed Olympic Peninsula in Radio Free Olympia, an extraordinary literary masterpiece that immerses readers in a mesmerizing realm of visionaries, folklore legends, and historical icons. With an enchanting blend of magical realism and cultural fiction, the brilliant wordsmith Jeffrey Dunn artfully intertwines multiple narratives, crafting an intricate ecological tapestry that resonates deeply within the soul.

Embark on a riveting journey alongside the enigmatic Petr, a foundling whose path leads him deep into the heart of the majestic mountain rainforest. Armed with nothing but a…

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