Earthbound - In 1982, before Matheson achieved the cult-and-grandmaster status he enjoys today, Playboy Press published a version of this erotic ghost story that was so severely edited that the author took his name off the book, which was presented as by "Logan Swanson." In this "approved and restored" version, David and Ellen Cooper's 21-year marriage is nearing the rocks, so they decide to leave L.A. for a honeymoon on Long Island. Soon after they arrive at their beach cottage, a strange woman, Marianna, appears to David, who's immediately entranced. Matheson adeptly explores David's growing fear and guilt, which becomes intensified after he and Marianna make love in a secret room in the house. Although Marianna is portrayed as an "earthbound spirit" (a ghost who rejects the afterlife, appears real to all senses, believes she is alive and, through psychic attack, sucks life from the living) she's really more or less just another succubus, gussied up in Caspar-the-friendly-ghost clothing. With each graphically detailed sexual rendezvous, Marianna pushes David to deeper levels of obsession, loss of will and irrationality. When the evil ghost threatens Ellen, however, he comes to his senses just in time for a literally cliff-hanging ending. Though the author injects some excellent suspense into this tale, he also veers into unabashed bathos and outright titillation; anyone who's been waiting for a new--or even revised--Matheson on the level of I Am Legend or The Shrinking Man will have to keep marking time.