I Am Legend

150px-LegendhbWhen I started this blog, I wanted to chart my progress, but I can’t help but think how I got to this point. I remember re-reading I AM LEGEND by Richard Matheson about three years ago. I got midway through the book when I realized I should give writing a real shot. I didn’t set out to write the next I AM LEGEND, but I did set out to create my own piece of fiction. I found this book a true inspiration and think about it often.

Somewhere between high school and college I read I AM LEGEND for the first time. However, it was actually the Vincent Price movie that I remember more than the book. “The Last Man on Earth” was true to the book, but was campy and didn’t really capture Robert Neville. This was the classic case where the book is way better than the movie. The book follows Neville’s life in a post-apocalyptic world after a virus either kills or mutates the living into vampire-like creatures. Matheson did an amazing job of blending hard science fiction with horror. Go to your local bookstore and see where you find I AM  LEGEND. I’ve found both in sci-fi and horror and sometimes in the literature section.

What Matheson did is what I’m setting out to do in my novel. Create a pseudo reality with a fantastic element. What fiction writer doesn’t strive to do that? But read I AM LEGEND and you’ll know what I mean. The book is gritty in emotion and action.

I AM LEGEND was published back in 1954, and is responsible for influencing the zombie and vampire genre we see today (both in films and books). I give it full credit for my interests today in reading and writing. It’s a gold standard that I like to hold myself to, and hope to one day have my work mentioned in the same breath as this novel.


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