Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Reading Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone Magazine, part 4

In which we take a closer look at each issue of the magazine. For our capsule history, go here. 

Volume 1, Number 4 (July, 1981)

Editor: T.E.D. Klein
Cover Art: Linda Lippa
*Leon Garry assumes role as Publisher and Co-Executive Vice President

TZ Publications, Inc.
President & Chairman: S. Edward Orenstein
Secretary/Treasurer: Sidney Z. Gellman
Executive Vice Presidents: Leon Garry & Eric Protter
Executive Publisher: S. Edward Orenstein
Publisher: Leon Garry
Associate Publisher/Consulting Editor: Carol Serling
Editorial Director: Eric Protter
Editor: T.E.D. Klein
Managing Editor: Jane Bayer
Contributing Editors: Gahan Wilson & Theodore Sturgeon
Design Director: Derek Burton
Art and Studio Production: Georg the Design Group
Production Director: Edward Ernest
Controller: Thomas Schiff
Administrative Assistant: Eve Grammatas
Public Relations Manager: Melissa Blanck-Grammatas
Public Relations Asst: Jeffrey Nickora
Accounting Manager: Chris Grossman
Circulation Director: Denise Kelly
Circulation Assistant: Karen Wiss
Circulation Marketing: Jerry Alexander
Western Newsstand Consultant: Harry Sommer
V.P. Advertising Director: Martin Lassman
N.Y. Advertising Manager: Louis J. Scott
Advertising Production Manager: Rachel Britapaja
Advertising Assistant: Marina Despotakis


-In The Twilight Zone by T.E.D. Klein
-Other Dimensions: Screen by Gahan Wilson
-Other Dimensions: Books by Theodore Sturgeon
-“Camouflage” by Stanley Schmidt
-“Smiley” by Steve Rosse
-“Corn Dolly” by Eileen Roy
-“Papa Gumbo” by Ron Goulart
-“Silver” by Charles L. Grant
-“Luna” by G.W. Perriwils
-TZ Profile: Richard Donner by Robert Martin
-TZ Profile: Donner as Filmmaker by Robert Martin
-“A Thousand Paces Along the Via Dolorosa” by Robert Silverberg
-“The Dump” by Joe Lansdale
-“Escape” by John Keefauver
-“The Swamp” by Robert Sheckley
-“Summer Heat” by Carmen C. Carter
-“The Rules of the Game” by Jack Ritchie
-Show-by-Show Guide: TV’s Twilight Zone, Part Four by Marc Scott Zicree
-“The Eye of the Beholder” by Rod Serling (TZ Classic Teleplay)*
-Looking Ahead: In the August TZ

*This episode aired under the title "Eye of the Beholder" but is reprinted here under the title "The Eye of the Beholder." The titles seem to be used interchangeably. The episode also aired under the alternate title "The Private World of Darkness." 

--In The Twilight Zone by T.E.D. Klein
Subtitle: “Extraordinary circumstances . . .”

-This column serves as the monthly editorial from Klein, who generally uses the space to introduce the issue’s contributors. A baffling aspect of this issue is that several of the thumbnail images of the contributors are erroneously attributed. The image of Jack Ritchie is attributed to Ron Goulart and Goulart’s image to Ritchie. Charles L. Grant’s image is attributed to Marc Zicree. The other two images which I can personally identify, Joe Lansdale and Marc Zicree, are also misattributed.

--Other Dimensions: Screen by Gahan Wilson
-Wilson examines Joe Dante’s The Howling (1981) and generally liked it, praising the filmmaker’s awareness of the cultural history of the werewolf film and saying that “this is 1981, and we have moved on from stop-motion jerkiness and silly little hang-ups about how much hair we should have on our face.”

-Wilson looks at the film in the context of older films of transformation (Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, The Wolf Man, etc.) and notices a change not only in the social and political messages behind the new style of horror film of the 1980’s but also in the radical and innovative improvements in special effects makeup. The special makeup effects for The Howling were initially handled by Rick Baker who left the production in the early stages of filming due to a prior commitment to provide the makeup effects for John Landis’s similar film An American Werewolf in London. Baker won an Academy Award (the first of many) for his work on Landis’s film. The effects for The Howling were taken over by Baker’s protégé Rob Bottin and were stunningly visceral and original. Wilson notes the opportunity for horror films to say something more profound about the culture in which they were made beyond the tepid fantasies of the 1930s and 1940s. The Howling was followed by seven sequels, the most recent of which, The Howling: Reborn, was released in 2011.

--Other Dimensions: Books by Theodore Sturgeon
-After spending the previous two book review columns trying to cram as many brief reviews in as he could, Sturgeon settles back to take a deeper look at a smaller selection of books.

-Sturgeon reviews the following:

-The Techno/Peasant Survival Manual by Colette Dowling (Bantam).
-Sturgeon says: “There has never been anything quite like this, and it isn’t easy to present its nature and impact without strapping you to a board and reading you the whole thing.” Sturgeon heaps praise upon the book, which is an attempt to explain in layman terms the emerging technologies of the time which affect the lives of the everyman.

-A Storm Upon Ulster by Kenneth C. Flint (Bantam)
-Sturgeon says it is “splendidly structured and paced, full of brilliant scenes, smells, sounds, conflicts, adventure, magic; and is recommended most highly.” It is the “retelling of the myth of the mighty Irish hero Cuculain, the warrior from Ulster who, single-handed, held back all the armies of the southern kingdoms for the better part of the week.”

-The Changing Land by Roger Zelazny (Ballantine)
-“Here are all kinds of magic, here anything can happen and a good deal of anything does.”

-Under the City of Angels by Jerry Earl Brown (Bantam)
-A “full package of fascinations – so full, in fact, that it overflows.”

-The Steel of Raithskar by Randall Garrett and Vicki Ann Heydron (Bantam)
-“For all its derivatives, however, the book is entertaining and well-paced.”

-Sturgeon briefly notes two anthologies and an author collection:

-Dream’s Edge edited by Terry Carr (Sierra Club)
-What If? by Richard Lupoff, a collection of short stories (Pocket Books)
-Terra SF: The Year’s Best European SF edited by Richard D. Nolane (DAW Books)

-Sturgeon concludes the review column by sharing a bit of graffiti he found written on the wall of a men’s room while he was on his way to the podium at a convention: “The meek shall inherit the earth. The rest of us will go out to space.”

--“Camouflage” by Stanley Schmidt

Illustration by Bob Gale
“The battleship, the battle, the commander – surely they were figments of a nightmare.”

-A college student wanders into a secret section of a school building and discovers an alien plot to take over the Earth. 

-The gimmick in Schmidt’s story is that the alien threat is masquerading as nightmares so that people will dismiss what they see as belonging to a dream. The story ends with the main character awakening fully to the threat. The story is slight and rather ludicrous and includes such elements as an alien leader as a talking rat. Schmidt was the editor of Analog: Science Fiction, Science Fact at the time this story was published. He began editing that magazine in 1978 and continued until March, 2013. Schmidt is also a novelist, short story writer, and anthology editor. Schmidt continues to publish fiction, mostly in the pages of Analog.

--“Smiley” by Steve Rosse
Illustration by E.T. Steadman
“He was just a harmless little man with a harmless little hobby. So why was the woman so frightened?”

-A Jewish deli owner relates the story of a mute man named Smiley who frequents his deli and whose hobby is taking pictures of beautiful women he meets on the street. Smiley become infatuated with a young married woman taking up residency above the deli. It is suggested that Smiley is an incubus who visits the sleeping woman in a dream and impregnates her. 

-This story is longer than is necessary to expound its basic narrative aspects. The build-up to the story is neither unsettling nor suspenseful and the ending is anti-climactic as it is related secondhand. Needless to say, the story certainly doesn’t capture the feeling of The Twilight Zone nor is it a successful work of speculative fiction on its own. The editorial by T.E.D. Klein states that the story is highly autobiographical which may go some measure to explain why it is not successful. A recounting of memory does not a story make. 

-Rosse is described in Klein's editorial as the production stage manager for Theater Memphis, then-largest community theater in the country. He later moved into the film industry working on such films as Homeboy (1988) and Heaven and Earth (1993) in such capacities as Set Dresser and Prop Manager. Rosse was the set decorator for Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing (1989). Rosse later found success in the burgeoning publishing industry of Thailand where his essays and articles were featured in high-circulation English-language periodicals. 

Note: Biographical information in this review has been amended from details provided by the author. -JP

--“Corn Dolly” by Eileen Roy

Illustration by A.G. Metcalf
“The settlers were wise in the ways of science, but they’d forgotten the oldest wisdom of all – the wisdom of the blood.”

-A pioneering team of interplanetary explorers learns the cost of survival when a young woman must be sacrificed to make the ground fertile to grow life-saving crops. 

-I really enjoyed this brief, stark exercise in science fiction horror. Roy plays on the old custom of fashioning a straw doll, a Corn Dolly, as part of a harvest custom in early European farming communities. This was a way to give the spirit of the corn a place to reside during the harvest. Roy combines the inherently unsettling nature of this old custom with Ray Bradburyesque touches of the weird and uncanny in interplanetary travel and exploration. Roy published only three short works of speculative fiction in the early 1980s, also making it into Damon Knight’s Orbit 21, though she appeared to have some talent which could have been fashioned into a successful career. At the time of writing, Roy was a graduate student at the University of Connecticut.

--“Papa Gumbo” by Ron Goulart
Illustrated by Steven Gaurnaccia
“Even in the Deep South, a good zombie’s hard to find.”

-The creator of a television sideshow gets a tip on a real life zombie in the Louisiana bayou country and ventures down there to retrieve said zombie with surprising and amusing results. 

-Like Goulart’s previous effort for the magazine, issue one’s “Groucho,” this tale is a film/television industry comedy with horror fiction overtones, though the story never tips over into actually frightening. It’s played strictly for laughs. Goulart is content to spoof the genre and play his over-the-top characters against each other in overblown dialogue, including an appallingly insensitive and inaccurate portrayal of an African American, along a threadbare plot to a rushed conclusion. As such, the story cannot stand up under its own weight and merely comes off as slight and only marginally diverting or amusing. At least Goulart’s writing style is built for speed, for the story does not drag.  

--“Silver” by Charles L. Grant

Illustrated by Robert Morello
“It’s hard to outrun a memory – especially one with four legs and fangs.”

-A writer is haunted by the vengeful spirits of a young boy and the boy’s large dog whose deaths the writer inadvertently caused. 

-This is probably the story in the issue which most suits a magazine bearing The Twilight Zone name (it shares the style of Charles Beaumont’s third season episode “The Jungle”). It’s no surprise that it comes from a reliable professional like Charles L. Grant, the ambassador of the “quiet” form of horror story, in which suggestion is favored over explicit violence. Grant’s fiction was none the weaker for this approach and he enjoyed a long and successful career beginning with the horror boom of the late 1970s. He is most well-known as the creator of the novels and stories relating the happenings in the fictional town of Oxrun Station. Grant was hugely prolific, however, writing dozens of novels and short stories over the course of his career. The best of his short fiction was collected in Scream Quietly: The Best of Charles L. Grant in 2012 by P.S. Publishing. Grant was also an accomplished editor with the Shadows series of anthologies and the shared universe series of anthologies exploring the haunted town of Greystone Bay. Grant died in 2006.

-“Silver” is typical of Grant’s style: muted, understated, building inexorably toward a tense and frightening climax. Grant never included “Silver” in any of his collections and the story has not been reprinted. Perhaps he felt it was too generic a ghost story though it is a fine example of its type, with a particularly pitiful protagonist and a suitably frightening ghost. 

--“Luna” by G.W. Perriwils (Georgette Perry and William J. Wilson)

Illustrated by José Reyes
“His muscles knotted with agony, and the chill air seared his heaving lungs like fire.”

-A lunar astronaut falls under the wrath of the moon’s version of Artemis, the goddess of the wild places and of the animals. After his return to Earth, she stalks him through his dreams, in which her hounds ultimately capture and kill him. 

-The astute viewer of The Twilight Zone will notice that this story bears a passing resemblance to Charles Beaumont’s first season episode “Perchance to Dream” with its idea that a recurring dream based on prior experience can prove fatal, and with its setting in modern psychoanalysis. Perry and Wilson take the story in an interesting direction, tying it into mythology and presenting a striking, if rushed, ending. Karl Edward Wagner thought the story good enough to include in The Year’s Best Horror Stories X (DAW Books, 1982). Here's what Wagner had to say about the story: "It struck me while reading 'Luna' that not too many years ago this story would have been considered science fiction as well as fantasy. Instead, it is fantasy within a contemporary framework, and proof that a high tech society is no barrier to the supernatural." T.E.D. Klein reprinted the story in the Fall, 1985 issue of Night Cry. Perry and Wilson collaborated on a handful of short stories in the 1980s and 1990s. Both are scientists by profession (Wilson having worked with NASA, giving "Luna" a degree of verisimilitude) and also widely published poets. 

--TZ Profile: Richard Donner by Robert Martin

TZ Alumnus Makes Good

-The first of a two-part profile of the famed director focuses on Donner’s early career, which included a brief acting stint and his emergence as a television director, moving from local television productions to working on some of the biggest shows of the 1960s, including, of course, The Twilight Zone. Donner directed six episodes of the series, all in the fifth and final season of the show. These are: “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet,” “From Agnes – With Love,” “Sounds and Silences,” “The Jeopardy Room,” “The Brain Center at Whipples,” and “Come Wander with Me.” Donner speaks about each episode with the exception of “Sounds and Silences.” Donner’s entry into television, and later film, direction is largely presented as a charmed set of circumstances in which Donner found himself in the right place at the right time with several quality projects landing in his lap. Donner speaks at length about working on “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet,” which was a challenging production due to the technical aspects of the production, as well as my own personal favorite among his Zone episodes, “The Jeopardy Room.”

--TZ Profile: Donner as Filmmaker by Robert Martin
A Flair for the Larger-than-Life

-The second part of Martin’s profile of Donner focuses on Donner’s Hollywood career, beginning with his first feature film, X-15 (1961), featuring David McLean, Charles Bronson, and Mary Tyler Moore, and moving through his now-classic work on such films as The Omen (1976), Superman (1978), and concluding with his departure from Superman II (1980) after completing 80 percent of the filming. Superman II was the last film Donner was involved in at the time of the article. 

--“A Thousand Paces Along the Via Dolorosa” by Robert Silverberg

Illustrated by José Reyes
“You can spend a lifetime running after God – but what will you do when you find him?”

-UCLA psychology professor on sabbatical in Jerusalem learns of an ancient sect who consume a psychoactive mushroom which supposedly brings one closer to God. With the help of a local professor, he gains access to the sect’s village but loses his courage before trying the mushroom. During the Easter celebration in the city, he is swept along by the large crowds down the path of Jesus Christ’s conviction and execution (hence the story’s title) and experiences a powerful moment of ecstasy. 

-Silverberg’s second contribution to the magazine is remarkably like his first contribution. Both concern scholarly Americans in ancient foreign places who are confronted with a strange local custom which changes their worldview. This story is markedly more successful than the first, principally due to the fact that the climax is not underwhelming. Silverberg manages to sketch out the telling details of both character and setting in his typical clear and direct style. Judging from his two stories in the magazine, Silverberg appears to have been very interested in the way Americans view other countries and the ways in which these Americans can be changed by a foreign experience. “A Thousand Paces Along the Via Dolorosa” was collected in Silverberg’s 1984 collection, The Conglomeroid Cocktail Party, which also contains his previous story for the magazine, “How They Pass the Time in Pelpel.” The story was also reprinted in the Winter, 1985 issue of Night Cry.

-Silverberg’s 1963 short story, “To See the Invisible Man,” was adapted as a segment of episode 16 of the first season of The Twilight Zone revival series. It was adapted by Steven Barnes and directed by Noel Black. It originally aired on January 31, 1986.

--“The Dump” by Joe R. Lansdale
Illustrated by Randy Jones
“Living in a garbage dump, you see some pretty odd things. Just make sure the things don’t see you first.”

-The caretaker/resident of a local garbage dump recounts a tale of how he and his friend Pearly discovered a strange creature born out of the composting refuse. 
-This is a slight and humorous story from the prolific Lansdale who was near the beginning of his career at this point but who has since established himself as one of the finest novelists of dark suspense and historical suspense of his generation. The story has some memorably grotesque imagery and a neat twist ending. In his introduction to the story in the volume, Bumper Crop (Golden Gryphon Press, 2004) Lansdale stated that “The Dump” was “a simple little Fred Brown/Robert Bloch sort of story” and that when he finished it he “thought it was, to put it mildly, dumb. I didn’t even make a copy. I folded it immediately, put it in an envelope, so I wouldn’t change my mind, went back to bed, and next day mailed it off to the then new Rod Serling’s Twilight Zone Magazine, a magazine I badly wanted to appear in.” Later, Lansdale writes, “Ted Klein, then editor of Twilight Zone Magazine, phoned to say he loved it and wanted to buy it for the magazine. Later it appeared in Best of Twilight Zone, a magazine anthology. I suddenly began to like it better.”

-The anthology Lansdale refers to is Great Stories from Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone Magazine (1982), which is a magazine style anthology of Klein’s picks of the best stories to appear in the magazine’s first year of publication. The story was reprinted in the Spring, 1990 issue of Cemetery Dance Magazine, and has been collected across a number of Lansdale collections, including Stories by Mama Lansdale’s Youngest Boy (1991), Bestsellers Guaranteed (1993), and the aforementioned Bumper Crop (2004). 

--“Escape” by John Keefauver

Illustrated by Bob Neubecker
“For the tourist, Hong Kong was just too close to home. He wanted a ticket to Dreamland.”

-An American businessman meets a strange Chinese man in a bar who offers to take him to a place of escape called Dreamland. When they arrive they are greeted with song, dance, and revelry. The businessman trades his money for escape money, which will buy him one day, or one month, or one year of escape. When he awakens he finds himself sitting against a meter and feeling terribly sleepy. He is surrounded by others like him. The Chinese man he met in the bar is now the meter guard and demands escape money from him. The businessman pays, then goes back to sleep, having achieved his “escape.” 

-Yet another American in a foreign place gets his comeuppance story (Klein must have loved this type of story). It’s difficult to ascertain what was being attempted with this story but if it was to achieve a dreamlike, surreal atmosphere, it was reasonably well attained. The final fate of the businessman is clearly meant to be a sort of punishment though the character hardly seems to have deserved it. Keefauver sketches out a very Rod Serlingesque character, a tired business executive who seeks reprieve from his demanding life by falling into an escape fantasy. In Keefauver’s hands, however, this seems to be a desire punishable by a narcoleptic existence in limbo. Klein describes Keefauver as “a former newspaper man now living in Carmel, California” and “a prolific writer whose fiction and humorous sketches have appeared in Playboy, Omni, the New York Times, and various Hitchcock anthologies.” Keefauver wrote a number of short horror and fantasy stories beginning in the mid-1960s and appeared in several prominent anthologies including several volumes of The Pan Book of Horror Stories, Charles L. Grants Shadows anthology, J.N. Williamson’s Masques III, and Joe R. Lansdale’s Dark at Heart. 

--“The Swamp” by Robert Sheckley

Illustrated by Thomas Angell
“To play so close to quicksand, a boy had to be stupid – or worse.”

-A man attempts to help one of a group of boys who has fallen into a quagmire only to discover to his horror that the entire life-threatening situation was staged in order to lure him to his death as part of an initiation ritual. 

-Robert Sheckley returns to the magazine with another short-short (he provided three such tales for the first issue of the magazine) and this one is a sharp, vicious shocker which is perfectly paced and executed. Were it not so slight I might have graded it an A. Sheckley was a prolific writer remembered chiefly for his sardonic and often chilling science fiction stories, the most famous of which is probably “The Seventh Victim,” memorably adapted for the X Minus One radio program. The story is not to be confused with the 1943 Val Lewton film of the same name. Sheckley died in 2005. 

--“Summer Heat” by Carmen C. Carter

Illustrated by Robert Morello
“A crime – like a child’s cry – can echo for eternity.”

-A woman moves into an apartment building and, during the height of summer heat, begins hearing a woman yelling at her misbehaving child. The yelling culminates in a perceived act of violence and then abruptly goes silent. When the police are called and the building’s residents gather on the sidewalk it becomes apparent that the sounds they heard were the spiritual echo of a long ago crime

-Carter’s story is essentially a mood piece but a highly effective one at that. The nature of the “haunting” is quite unique but the strength of the story lies in the nicely handled character perspective of living in a crowded apartment building in Brooklyn during a record hot summer. The story also briefly explores the strained relationships which can develop between rushed, stressed parents and their bored, misbehaving children, often with dire results. Carter also notes the casual way by which some people react to domestic violence. 

--“The Rules of the Game” by Jack Ritchie

Illustrated by Oliver Williams
“What is it that you wish for, when a wish is guaranteed to come out wrong?”

-A man walking in the park hears a cry for help and rescues another man from drowning. The rescued man reveals himself able to grant his rescuer three wishes. After casually wasting his first two wishes on trivial matters, the rescuer, a lonely businessman, decides to withhold his final wish due to a fear that it will turn out wrong. Since the rescued man must remain with the businessman until he makes his third and final wish they become great friends. 

-Ritchie here attempts to provide a new spin on a very, very old tale with only marginally successful results. The sentimental ending, although different, simply doesn’t work. Ritchie was a hugely prolific writer of short stories dating back to the 1950s. Though Ritchie is remembered for his mystery and suspense fiction, he wrote a fair number of speculative stories as well. His most famous mystery story, “The Absence of Emily,” won an Edgar Award and has been filmed twice. He wrote only a single novel, Tiger Island, published in 1987. Ritchie appeared in virtually every periodical and book anthology of crime and mystery fiction in his time, including such hardboiled magazines as Manhunt and placing more than 120 stories in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine alone. An episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents, “What Frightened You, Fred?” was adapted from a Ritchie story, as were two episodes of The Alfred Hitchcock Hour. Several of Ritchie’s stories were also adapted for Roald Dahl’s anthology series, Tales of the Unexpected. Ritchie died in 1983.

-The fiction in this issue swelled to an even dozen and even with the increased story selection nothing stood out as truly excellent. The magazine did publish some outstanding and now-classic fiction in its run but not every issue is going to contain one of those tales. An interesting aspect of the lack of above average fiction in this issue, and in other issues, is that the magazine paid high professional rates which dwarfed the rates offered by magazines such as Asimov’s or Analog or The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, to say nothing of the small press magazines like The Horror Show or 2 A.M. Only Omni and Playboy, the latter of which had largely stopped publishing speculative fiction of any kind, offered rates comparable to The Twilight Zone Magazine. 

--Show-by-Show Guide: TV’s The Twilight Zone, Part Four
By Marc Scott Zicree

-Zicree begins his examination of the second season in this issue with a look at an uneven set of episodes, which includes some drab material, including a couple of videotaped episodes, along with some of the best work done on the entire series. The episodes covered include: “King Nine Will Not Return,” “The Man in the Bottle,” “Nervous Man in a Four Dollar Room,” “A Thing About Machines,” “The Howling Man,” “The Eye of the Beholder,” “Nick of Time,” “The Lateness of the Hour,” “The Trouble with Templeton,” “A Most Unusual Camera,” and “Night of the Meek.” Three of these episodes, “The Howling Man,” “The Eye of the Beholder,” and “Nick of Time,” were rated an A+ when we reviewed them.

--TZ Classic Teleplay: “The Eye of the Beholder” by Rod Serling

-This episode first aired on November 11, 1960 and is without doubt one of the finest achievements of the series and perhaps Rod Serling’s finest original teleplay. His vision of a dystopian society which demands conformity to the point of shunning those deemed “ugly” or “different” to segregated outlying communities is still a powerful warning today. William Tuttle’s pig-like makeup designs remain some of the most indelible images from the series. You can read our full review of the episode here.

-The most interesting aspect of the episode is, of course, that none of the principal actors are revealed until the final five minutes or so. Serling makes this note at the beginning of the teleplay: “Production note: throughout the play until otherwise indicated, all characters with the exception of Janet are played either in the shadows or the camera is on their back, but never are actually seen face first.”

--Looking Ahead: In the August TZ

-Next time we have the usual features along with an interview with famed zombie filmmaker George Romero (who recently passed away), as well as George Clayton Johnson’s essential essay “Writing for The Twilight Zone,” and the first installment of “Dr. Van Helsing’s Handy Guide to Ghost Stories” by editor T.E.D. Klein (hiding behind the pseudonym Kurt Van Helsing). Also featured are stories by Lisa Tuttle, David Morrell, and James Patrick Kelly, alongside several lesser known talents. Marc Scott Zicree continues his episode guide to the second season and another Rod Serling teleplay is offered, this time it’s the time travel nightmare, “The Odyssey of Flight 33.” See you back soon!



  1. Jordan, you are doing a real service with this series. I enjoy reading the commentary and, while I read every issue when they came out, I don't have the slightest recollection of any of it. Do you have any suggestions for what I could do with my set of the TZ magazines? They're in bags in a box in the basement not doing me a bit of good.

    1. Thanks so much, Jack! I'm very glad you're enjoying it. It's a labor of love for me. Reading the entire magazine run through is a long time coming and I figured I might as well record my thoughts on each issue for whomever is interested. Also, there's not a lot of information on the magazine out there so maybe this series will help with that.

      As for your set of the magazine, of course you could always list them as a lot on Ebay or list each issue on Amazon. Depending on where you live there may also be a local comic book shop or used book store that may be willing to take them off your hands.

    2. I just saw this today and was tickled pink. You're right, "Smiley" is not very good. It is not quite my only published speculative fiction, but close enough to not matter. I eventually became a newspaper columnist in Thailand and published more than a quarter of a million words in publications all over the Pacific Rim. I have four books for sale on Amazon and I'd be pleased to send you one if you provide an address. Thanks again for the civil and accurate review. My e-mail address is Peace, Steve Rosse

    3. Thanks for stopping by, Steve and filling us in on what you've done outside of "Smiley." I found info hard to come by. I would definitely like to read some of your other work. I'll be in touch.