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Vintage Treasures: Duel by Richard Matheson

Sunday, April 26th, 2020 | Posted by John ONeill

Duel Terror Stories by Richard Matheson-small Duel Terror Stories by Richard Matheson-back-small

Cover art by Eshkar/Uretsky

Richard Matheson was one of the greatest American horror writers of all time. Films based on his work include I Am Legend (filmed three times, most recently in 2007), Real Steel (2011), The Box (2009), Stir of Echoes (1999), What Dreams May Come (1998), Somewhere in Time (1980), Trilogy of Terror (1975), The Legend of Hell House (1973), Duel (1971), and The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957).

Of course, among genre fans he’s mostly remembered for his short fiction. He wrote nearly 100 short stories, and many of those were adapted for the screen as well. He wrote 16 episodes of Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone, including several of the most famous, such as “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” and “Steel.” Matheson is still widely read today, and deservedly so. He produced over a dozen collections in his lifetime, including Third from the Sun (1955), The Shores of Space (1957), and Nightmare at 20,000 Feet (2002).

Duel, which gathered 18 of his most famous tales, including “Born of Man and Woman,” “Third from the Sun,” and “Duel,” was published by Tor over seventeen years ago. That pretty firmly makes it a Vintage Treasure in my book. Astonishingly, it is still in print as a mass market paperback, which I don’t mind telling you caused me all kind of editorial confusion. Is it a Vintage Treasure? A New Treasure? May seem trivial to you, but it’s never happened to me before. This thing is nearly two decades old, this shouldn’t be a hard question.

In any event, this is great news for anyone who doesn’t have to face esoteric cataloging dilemmas on a Sunday morning. Duel is a fantastic collection, and somewhere in an alternate timeline frustrated collectors are paying crazy prices for it. Lucky for you, in this timeline brand new copies are available for just $8.99. Take advantage of this strange space-time anomaly, and grab your copy today.

Here’s the complete Table of Contents.

“The Test” (The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, November 1954)
“One for the Books” (Galaxy Science Fiction, September 1955)
“Born of Man and Woman” (The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Summer 1950)
“Third from the Sun” (Galaxy Science Fiction, October 1950)
“SRL Ad” (The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, April 1952)
“Lover, When You’re Near Me” (Galaxy Science Fiction, May 1952)
“Shipshape Home” (Galaxy Science Fiction, July 1952)
“F—” (Thrilling Wonder Stories, April 1952)
“The Last Day” (Amazing Stories, April-May 1953)
“Return” (Thrilling Wonder Stories, October 1951)
“Brother to the Machine” (If, November 1952)
“Little Girl Lost” (Amazing Stories, October-November 1953)
“Duel” (Playboy, April 1971)
“Steel” (The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, May 1956)
“Being” (If, August 1954)
“Trespass” (Fantastic, September-October 1953)
“Death Ship” (Fantastic Story Magazine, March 1953)
“When the Waker Sleeps” (Galaxy Science Fiction, December 1950)
An Appreciation Ray Bradbury
Bibliography: Original Publications

Our previous coverage of Richard Matheson includes:

Richard Matheson Turns 87 Today by Matthew Wuertz (2013)
Richard Matheson, February 20, 1926 – June 23, 2013 (2013)
Vintage Treasures: The Shores of Space (2014)
Movie of the Week Madness: Trilogy of Terror by Thomas Parker (2018)
Birthday Reviews: Richard Matheson’s “Third from the Sun” by Steven H Silver (2018)

Duel was published by Tor Books in hardcover and trade paperback on January 4, 2003, and reprinted in mass market paperback on December 5, 2017. It is 464 pages in paperback. It is still in print, priced at $27.95 in hardcover, $20.99 in trade paperback, $8.99 in mass market, and $7.99 in digital formats. The cover is by Eshkar/Uretsky.

See all of our recent Vintage Treasures here.

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