SF Masterwork of the Week: The Shrinking Man

This is one of the seminal texts of 1950’s SF, the novel that inspired the film, The Incredible Shrinking Man – the first film to win a Hugo Award. Indeed, it is hard not to see the title of Richard Matheson’s book without mentally inserting the word ‘Incredible’ into it.  We are delighted to be republishing this classic in the SF Masterworks series, with a new introduction by the Nebula and BSFA Award-winning author, 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’s other major work, I Am Legend, is also available as an SF Masterworks paperback and an SF Gateway eBook, and you can read more about him in his entry in The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction.