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Steel and Other Stories

3.58  ·  Rating Details  ·  430 Ratings  ·  82 Reviews
In the title story of this collection from "New York Times" bestselling author Richard Matheson, "Steel," human boxing has been replaced by heavyweight bouts between massive robots. But that is just one of over a dozen unforgettable tales in this collection, which includes two new stories never before published in book form.
Audio CD
Published September 27th 2011 by Blackstone Audiobooks
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Oct 21, 2014 Jim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A free download from my local library by Black Stone Audio. Narrated by Scott Brick.

Steel was good, but the book descriptions tout that this is what the movie with Hugh Jackman in it was based on. OK, but the Twilight Zone episode with Lee Marvin in it was far more accurate to the story & really fantastic.

To fit the crime is a man dying & then what he finds in the afterlife. Pretty much perfect justice. Matheson's got a mean side, no doubt.

The wedding just goes to show there's nothing to
As I've said in multiple reviews centering on the works of Richard Matheson, the best news in all the recent Hollywood adaptations of his work is that much of the Matheson catalog is coming back into print, allowing readers to discover that Matheson is much, much more that the guy who wrote, "I Am Legend."

I will have to admit I was a bit surprised to find out the recently released "Real Steel" was based on a short story by Matheson. That fact alone made me want to see the movie more than any of
Kat  Hooper
Oct 26, 2011 Kat Hooper rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
ORIGINALLY POSTED AT Fantasy Literature.

Steel and Other Stories is a collection of stories written by Richard Matheson who is probably best known for his novels I am Legend and The Incredible Shrinking Man. Most were originally published in pulp magazines in the 1950s, though two are recent and have never been collected before. Each is quite short:

* "Steel" — (1956, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction) Steel Kelly, a washed-up boxer, is now living vicariously through his broken down ro
I've never delved into any Matheson, and so this collection of short stories has been both my introduction to his work, and a delightful surprise. The narrative styles, perspectives, and topics covered are surprisingly diverse, and despite the fact that 13 of the 15 stories were written in the 1950's, there are very few elements that feel "dated".

Standout tales for me include "To Fit The Crime", in which the cynical, hate-filled protagonist spews torrents of deliciously creative insults at every
Apr 28, 2015 Carmen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Science Fiction Fans
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sean DeLauder
Jan 16, 2014 Sean DeLauder rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Sean by: Hugh Jackman
Like Philip K. Dick, Richard Matheson's work seems fabulous fodder for the film industry:

Steel--Real Steel (2011)
I Am Legend (1954)--The Last Man on Earth (1964); The Omega Man (1971); I Am Legend (2007)
The Duel--Duel (1971)
What Dreams May Come (1977)--What Dreams May Come (1998)
A Stir of Echoes (1958)--Stir of Echoes (1999)
Hell House (1971)--The Legend of Hell House (1973)
The Shrinking Man (1956)--The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957)

... and more.

This is probably no surprise as his
Abner Rosenweig
Matheson was an outstanding writer. Beyond some of the best episodes of Twilight Zone, he wrote Duel, A Stir of Echoes, I am Legend, Somewhere in Time, What Dreams May Come, and other classics.

This anthology of Matheson short stories does not represent the author at his best.

Many of the stories are brief or poorly developed. Others are takeoffs of cliche Twilight Zone conceits. Overall the writing lacks the polished veneer of a mature author. Rather than real steel, we get a lot of bargain-bin c
Feb 04, 2014 Ron rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
As with any collection of short stories, there are some good ones and some not so good ones. It is interesting to read the story Steel and the compare it to the movie Real Steel. Let's just say that they weren't very similar. I thought the collections in I Am Legend and The Box were better than this collection.
Laura Martinelli
I’ll be completely honest; much like my experiences with the literary canon, my reading of the sci-fi/fantasy canon is pretty much…nil. More so on the sci-fi side, mainly because I was always more interested in fantasy rather than spaceships and other planets and suchlike. (I still haven’t gotten to freaking Isaac Asimov—won’t touch Card, Heinlein is a big maybe.) Richard Matheson was among the ranks of “I’ve heard of him, but I’ve never actually read anything by him.” To be fair, SciFi Channel’ ...more
Jan 02, 2012 M rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Richard Matheson uses his wacky ideas to craft a unique volume of various tales. Opening with "Steel," a human fighter subs himself in for his clunker in order to try and win prize money (any rememblance to Hugh Jackman's flick is purely coincidental!) A dying poet snubs his family only to wind up in a literal hell. A man's superstitious nature eventually proves to be a wedding couple's downfall in a wryly crafted story. Gunslinging is the name of the game for a traveling wanna-be, who finds tha ...more
Alyssa Archambo
I really enjoyed this collection of short stories. I have never read anything by Matheson before, so I was surprised to find that I actually enjoyed his style and outlook of the world. Of course, some I liked better than others, but overall, I thought they were enjoyable science fiction pieces. I really enjoyed "Steel," "The Splendid Source," and "The Traveler."

Most of these stories did tend to be depressing, so I wouldn't suggest reading it all in one go. Sprinkle it with some happy reading on
Dec 31, 2011 Benjaminxjackson rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Science Fiction Fans, Short Story Fans
This is a collection of short stories that fall into the science fiction and fantasy genres. Most were published in the 1950s and cover the standard science fiction topics of the age including robots, time travel, the atomic bomb, and how human beings interact with them. There is also one Western which is a nice, short study of human folly.

There are two stories from the past three years, one that seems to be an attempt to cash in on the vampire craze in a quirky, but entertaining way, and the ot
Mar 24, 2016 Sonatajessica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Sonatajessica by: Goodreads giveaway win!
Matheson is not simply a good storyteller but a the hell of a writer, too. There was a certain poetic edge underlying these stories which made them even more worthwhile.
A well chosen collection presenting a variety of genres: Science Fiction, Horror, a Wild West tale, Noir, time traveling, Dystopia, and some general fiction with a pleasantly weirdness to them. In parts his style here reminded me of the wonderful Shirley Jackson, a connection I didn't make before but find very fitting now (and i
May 12, 2012 Alazzar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Richard Matheson is one of my favorite writers. So, naturally, when I heard that Real Steel was based on one of his short stories, I decided I needed to read said story and then see the film.

I still haven’t seen the film yet, but I can say this—the story is great. Like, almost-made-me-cry great. Not because it’s a particularly sad story (by most standards), but because it kinda hit home with me.

The rest of the stories were sorta hit-or-miss. The nice thing about reading Matheson is that you know
Bernie Gourley
Feb 23, 2013 Bernie Gourley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Steel and Other Stories is a collection of 15 stories from the author of I am Legend. 13 of the 15 stories are from the 50's and so early Cold War phobias is a recurring theme

1.)The title story, Steel, is about android boxers. Viewers of the movie Real Steel, which was extremely loosely based on this story, will find the story not at all like the film. In the film the boxers are robots, but in the story they are androids. For those readers who aren't sci-fi geeks, the difference is that android
-Imaginativo e incluso impactante en su tiempo, correcto actualmente.-

Género. Relatos.

Lo que nos cuenta. Recopilación de relatos escritos por el autor entre 1951 y 1956, conocida también como “Acero puro y otras historias” en ediciones más recientes, y que toca temas tan diversos como un inquietante embarazo sin coito, la literatura como forma de escapar a la realidad, desarrollos de negocio inesperados pero provechosos en una funeraria, el secuestro de una pareja con fines terribles, diferente
A. Bowdoin Van Riper
When Richard Matheson dies, it’s a fair bet that the lead on his obituaries will be built around the phrase “author of I Am Legend.” He should be known for that, but also for a great deal more from his decades’ long career. Steel is one useful corrective: a collection of Matheson’s taut, highly polished short stories of the fantastic.

The fifteen tales that make up Steel range across multiple genres and moods. “Descent” and “The Doll That Does Everything” are straight-up science fiction, “The Con
David Caldwell
For those who don't recognize the author's name,he has written tons of things that have been adapted into TV and movies. These include I Am Legend(several versions),What Dreams May come, Stir of Echoes, Terror at 20,000 Feet(there is...some...thing...on the wing)and of course 2 stories from this collection. The Splendid Source was adapted as an episode of Family Guy.Steel was an episode of Twilight Zone and into the movie Real Steel.I have not seen the movie but from the commercials and previews ...more
Dec 24, 2012 Drake rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After watching the movie Real Steel, I loved the premise, but hated the campy execution. So I sought out the original source and wasn’t at all disappointed. Unlike the movie, the title story, Steel, is a dark tale about a down-and-out robot boxer who takes the ultimate risk to succeed. I’ll leave it at that, but it is a must read. As for the other stories in the mix, most are great and are worth the read. My favorites are The Doll That Does Everything (one of the best twist endings I have ever r ...more
Another lot of fine Richard Matheson short tales, this collection published as a result of the 'Real Steel' movie based on the first story 'Steel', which I had already read in the 'Duel' collection. The unique thing about this collection is most of the stories were originally published in the 1950s bar two who were printed in 2009 and 2010 respectively. The third youngest story was printed in 1958, therefore there is a gap of 51 years between stories! I don't think there is a story collection ou ...more
May 10, 2014 Mike rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I haven't devoured a book like this since I was a teenager discovering Stephen King. Matheson's range is stunning--sci-fi, fantasy, western, weird fiction, horror, humor, thriller, noir. And stories that just can't be pigeonholed into any one genre. He even throws in a doppelganger tale. It was the most satisfying short story collection I've read in a long time. I'm going to enjoy delving deeper into his work this summer.
Fraser Sherman
Typically for an anthology the stories are a mixed bag (other Matheson collections have a higher batting average). The high points including the skeptical “Traveller” visiting the Crucifixion, the extremely funny “Splendid Source” about a man hunting the origin of all the dirty jokes (“They’re everywhere, yet no-one takes credit for them.”) and the 2010 “Window of Time,” about a man traveling back to his own childhood.
Oct 10, 2015 Paige rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
Matheson's been a favorite since the first time I read him and it's always a treat to find some stories I hadn't seen before. This collection is very solid and extremely well paced. It sometimes gets monotonous reading a bunch of stories by the same author back to back, but I didn't get that same feeling here. My favorite in this collection was The Doll that Does Everything.
Tom Mueller
Richard Matheson is one of the original masters of Sci-Fi, often pitting man against man, machine or nature. In the case of "Steel", the combatants were machines - androids - after human boxing had been banned. This short story became the basis for the 2011 movie "Real Steel". Constant Readers benefit by the publication of these nearly forgotten stories in one volume.
Stories in this collection, originally published between 1952 & 1958 in Playboy and several Fanzines popular at the time, was
Apr 26, 2013 Poetreehugger rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was a bit of time travel for me, harking back to the good old days and the good old boys of 1950s American science fiction. Back to the days of ever-present threat of nuclear holocaust (have we grown a thicker skin, or have we decided to ignore the fears, or have they morphed into "terrorism" instead of atomic Armageddon?), on the edge of robotic technology developments, space exploration, snap shots of middle clas couples clear enough to see the pointed glasses and crinoline fluffed s ...more
Fantasy Literature
Steel and Other Stories is a collection of stories written by Richard Matheson who is probably best known for his novels I am Legend and The Incredible Shrinking Man. Most were originally published in pulp magazines in the 1950s, though two are recent and have never been collected before. Each is quite short:

"Steel" — (1956, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction) Steel Kelly, a washed-up boxer, is now living vicariously through his broken down robot fighter. If they can win the next matc
Jul 17, 2014 Amber rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the people who inspired GRRM! If that alone doesn't make you want to read it, the fascinating (and always creatively conceptualized) stories will. Only downside is a few that attempted to end with sobering ambiguity and just left me feeling like it had stopped in the middle.
May 16, 2012 Phil rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've read a collection of Matheson stories before, centered around "I Am Legend" and while I loved the title story, the rest were a bit too creepy for more, more along the lines of Stephen King.

However, I saw this book at the library and didn't immediately connect Matheson and "I Am Legend" to this collection. Despite that, I loved these stories; all of them excellent, and all of them are very twisty.

This edition of the book uses an image from the film Real Steel to promote the title story Steel
Like all short story collections, difficult to rate. Some stories were excellent, but there were definitely a couple of major duds. Definitely recognized that one story from the Family Guy episode (though I'm afraid they did it much better).
Charles Isom
Mar 15, 2016 Charles Isom rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am a huge fan of Richard Matheson and for the most part this collection of short stories lived up to my expectations. He tackles a lot of subjects, including faith and religion in a way that each reader takes away something different.
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Born in Allendale, New Jersey to Norwegian immigrant parents, Matheson was raised in Brooklyn and graduated from Brooklyn Technical High School in 1943. He then entered the military and spent World War II as an infantry soldier. In 1949 he earned his bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and moved to California in 1951. He married in 1952 and has four children, three of w ...more
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