A week after James Gandolfini
died, we lost another Jersey boy: novelist, short story writer, film and TV screenwriter Richard Matheson
. His was not as well-known a name to the general public as Gandolfini’s, certainly, and perhaps only familiar to sci fi and fantasy fans, the genres within which he scored some of his most memorable successes. When he died, Steven Spielberg
, whose early career received a huge boost when he directed the made-for-tv movie Duel
(1972) which Matheson adapted from his own short story, said, “For me, he is in the same category as Bradbury and Asimov.”
Personally, I don’t think he stood in that same tier with Bradbury, Asimov, Clarke, Robert A. Heinlein
– the real sci fi giants. Nor did he stand in any rung below them. Rather, he stood off to the side.
Clarke grappled with our place in the cosmos, Bradbury used sci fi and