One of the seminal texts of 1950's SF - the novel that inspired the film. Introduction by Lisa Tuttle.
While on a boating holiday, Scott Carey is exposed to a cloud of radioactive spray. A few weeks later, following a series of medical examinations, he can no longer deny the extraordinary truth. Not only is he losing weight, he is also shorter than he was. Scott Carey has begun to shrink.
Richard Matheson's novel follows through its premise with remorseless logic, with Carey first attempting to continue some kind of normal life and later having left human contact behind, having to survive in a world where insects and spiders are giant adversaries. And even that is only a stage on his journey into the unknown.
Richard Matheson (1926-2013)
Richard Matheson was born in 1926. He began publishing SF with his short story 'Born of Man and Woman' which appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction in 1950. I Am Legend was published in 1954 and has been adapted to film three times. Matheson wrote the script for the film The Incredible Shrinking Man, an adaptation of his second SF novel The Shrinking Man (published in 1956). The film won a Hugo award in 1958. He wrote many screenplays (including The Fall of the House of Usher) as well as episodes of The Twilight Zone. He continued to write short stories and novels, some of which formed the basis for film scripts, including Duel, directed by Steven Spielberg in 1971. Further SF short stories were collected in The Shores of Space (1957) and Shock! (1961). His other novels include Hell House (1971) (filmed as The Legend of Hell House in 1973), Bid Time Return (1975), Earthbound (1982) and Journal of the Gun Years (1992). A film of his novel What Dreams May Come (1978) was released in 1998, starring Robin Williams. A collection of his stories from the 1950s and 1960s was released in 1989 as Richard Matheson: Collected Stories. He died in 2013.