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Both longtime fans and readers who have never encountered horror and suspense author Matheson (I Am Legend), winner of Stoker and World Fantasy lifetime achievement awards among many others, should enjoy this collection of a dozen stories originally published in the 1950s and 1960s. In the standout title story, later adapted as a Twilight Zoneepisode, a discontented husband and wife are presented with a device and told they will get $50,000 every time they press its button. The catch is that every push will cause someone else's death. Many of the other tales pack a similar punch. The collection also includes "The Creeping Terror," a vicious parody of the author's home state of California. The inventive plots and spare but convincing portraits of the ordinary men and women caught up by forces beyond their control demonstrate why Stephen King has called Matheson his most significant influence. (Apr.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.