The Twilight Zone: The Original Stories

The Twilight Zone: The Original Stories

by Richard Matheson

Although Rod Serling, who created the classic television series that ran from 1959 to 1965, is the writer most associated with The Twilight Zone, he was not, of course, the only one.

The result is a masterful collection of 30 classic tales by Richard Matheson (who also wrote the warmly nostalgic introduction), Charles Beaumont, Ray Bradbury, Damon Knight, Lewis Padgett, Jerome Bixby, and Manly Wade Wellman, among others.

Fans of The Twilight Zone will enjoy revisiting their favorite episodes in literary form, but even if you've never seen the show, you'll enjoy this fine anthology.

B. Lovehill Charles Beaumont Its a Good Life Jerome Bixby The Valley Was Still Manly Wade Wellman The Jungle Charles Beaumont To Serve Man Damon Knight Little Girl Lost Richard Matheson Four OClock Price Day I Sing the Body Electric!

The Beautiful One Is Here Ray Bradbury The Changing of the Guard Anne Serling-Sutton In His Image The Man Who Made Himself Charles BeaumontMute Richard Matheson Death Ship Richard Matheson The Devil, You Say?

  • Language: English
  • Category: Horror
  • Rating: 4.25
  • Pages: 550
  • Publish Date: June 1st 1985 by Avon Books
  • Isbn10: 038089601X
  • Isbn13: 9780380896011

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I'm not crazy about science fiction, but I enjoyed just about every one of these stories, with the exception of one or two.

(Men from Mars? Venable Brothers Beyond the Void by Paul Fairman The Howling Man by Charles Beaumont It's a Good Life by Jerome Bixby --A great allegory on religious fear. In His Image by Charles Beaumont Mute by Richard Matheson --A startlingly insightful autism allegory (though I disagree with the conclusion)(in every way). Blind Alley by Malcolm Jameson Nightmare at 20,000 Feet by Richard Matheson --I'm still not sure how we're meant to interpret the ending!

The man explains that he is an agent of God and that it is time for the Lew to move on to the afterlife. Lew says he always wanted to make that one pitch, that big one, the one for the angels. She is taken up to her apartment and the doctor says it will be hours but by midnight they should know if she is going to survive. The pitchman sees the angel hanging around and asks whats going on. That night the angel is approaching the apartment and Lew is outside with his table set up. He tells the angel he isnt going to try to change his mind but first has he see the ties that are on sale? The man accompanies the angel but first stops to pack his bag, stating Who knows who might want to buy something up there, up there right? Perchance to Dream by Charles Beaumont (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charl...) I have seen this one. Hall states that he is afraid to fall asleep as he will die the next time he goes to sleep. He knows that the next time he dreams she is going to get him on the roller coaster and he will have a heart attack. Disappearing Act by Richard Matheson (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richa...) This is one that I have not seen. Later on, he decides to walk to her office, no that isnt creepy at all guys, but when he arrives he finds the company doesnt exist and the building has a totally different business in it. Being circumspect he tries to ask about the girl but his friend acts like he has no idea what happened. After some time to think it over the author decides that he must have not asked directly and tries to call his friend. Henry Bemis is a mild-mannered man who just wants to read but is never able to find the time to do so. By the time he is able to get out the rubble he finds that it looks like there has been some type of attack that has killed all the humans on earth but him. He makes his way through town till he gets to the library and it occurs to him that he finally has time to read. In the show, the man is always trying to read but keeps getting pulled away by his wife, his boss, and others. However, in the book there isnt this interplay, its simply stated that he wants to read but his family and busy life keep him from doing so. In the show it makes the man looks bad and his wife a shrew, I feel the characters come out more likable in this version. Another big difference is that after the bomb goes off there are a few descriptions in the story of what he sees, including bodies in various states of damage. What You Need by Lewis Padgett (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lewis...) A man who is a reporter, I guess he is what we would now call an expose reporter, is looking for his next story when he notices a sign for a store. Not taking a no he starts to watch the customers and the delivery boy and eventually thinks he has enough information to force a story. The next day the reporter breaks his promise and returns to the store saying that he has to know what he needs the next day. The man then tunes into the future where he instead gave the reporter a good pair of shoes and sees that the reporter will keep extorting him until one day he becomes greedy and decides to kill the shop owner for his machine. The world is going to hell in a handbasket and a devastating war is about to break out so he has gotten his family and a few friends together. Brothers Beyond the Void by Paul Fairman (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_...) I feel like I have seen this one but not sure. The Howling Man by Charles Beaumont (Repeat Author) This is one I have seen. Finally, one day as the monk is sleeping the man slips out and finds a cell where the screaming is coming from. Inside there is a man who claims that he was kidnapped from his family by the monks. Feigning interest, the young man acts like he believes it and returns to his room. The young man finally returns home and watches the news as he sees a familiar face start to show up and a terrible war brews. Years later the war has ended the man receives a postcard telling him that he can rest, the monastery has their captive back. Its a tempting offer and the man gives a few demonstrations that show Joe that he can do as he says. The Jungle by Charles Beaumont (Repeat Author) I found this one to be the weakest of the stories in the book. To Serve Man by Damon Knight (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Damon...) Chances are you know the Simpson parody of this, which was based on the Twilight zone episode, which was based on this story. The protagonist is a translator for the UN who soon finds himself out of a job as world peace no longer necessitates a reason for the UN. The aliens claim all they do for humanity is because of their book To Serve Man. One of his fellow translators is suspicious and manages to get ahold of a copy and starts to try to translate. As they are in line the friend who, as it turns out did not have a choice about going, mentions that he finally translated some of the books and To Serve Man is a cookbook. I think it might have been more of a better story in its time in the thought process that there might be more than the three dimensions that we are used to and that they would be beyond our ability to comprehend.

the stories in the first half of the book were wonderful. a few of them were true to their episode, and so many were vastly different from what ended up on tv, but nonetheless, almost all of the stories in the first half of the book were amazing.

I could sit down for a few minutes, read a quick story and get back to the day without putting the book down mid-plot.

In fact, you didn't know if it was properly written down as a story anywhere.

His first short story, "Born of Man and Woman," appeared in the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction in 1950. Between 1950 and 1971, Matheson produced dozens of stories, frequently blending elements of the science fiction, horror and fantasy genres. He wrote a number of episodes for the American TV series The Twilight Zone, including "Steel," mentioned above and the famous "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet"; adapted the works of Edgar Allan Poe for Roger Corman and Dennis Wheatley's The Devil Rides Out for Hammer Films; and scripted Steven Spielberg's first feature, the TV movie Duel, from his own short story. Other Matheson novels turned into notable films include What Dreams May Come, Stir of Echoes, Bid Time Return (as Somewhere in Time), and Hell House (as The Legend of Hell House) and the aforementioned Duel, the last three adapted and scripted by Matheson himself.