The strange and bizarre fifth dimension beyond the boundaries of imagination. A realm of fantasy, science fiction, horror, terror, suspense, and mystery. The characters, setting, and genre change, but there’s a constant in this incredible world of make-believe known as The Twilight Zone. Rod Serling, creator, producer, narrator, host, and writer. Of the 156 series episodes, he wrote 92 of them. The Twilight Zone: Complete Stories contains 19 short stories written by Serling which became episodes of the series.
The Twilight Zone: Complete Stories is an out of print hardback collector’s edition released in 1990. It’s a big volume holding three smaller editions available in paperback, and I reviewed each in individual reviews. First is 1960’s Stories From The Twilight Zone. Second is 1961’s More Stories From The Twilight Zone. Third in 1962’s New Stories From The Twilight Zone. I also wrote a preview listing the stories featured in each of these smaller editions. In the individual reviews, I focused on the stories. Here, I’ll focus on the three parts and the entire piece they create.
To begin, I’ll start with a few thoughts on Stories From The Twilight Zone. Of the three part’s, this one’s the best. It’s got a good story selection. Only one story came from a horrible episode, but while the story version wasn’t great, it was still a much better reading than watching experience. The story in question is “The Fever.” I wouldn’t call any of these offerings bad, and “The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street” is my favorite from the first six stories.
Moving along to More Stories From The Twilight Zone, it’s on par with the first part, but not quite as strong in selection. Of the seven stories, I found two weak and not enjoyable. “A Thing About Machines” is bad, and “A Stop at Willoughby” is worse. However, it’s hard to pick a favorite from the five remaining. Their strength props up the two stories above and makes them tolerable.
To end, we have New Stories From The Twilight Zone. The worst of the three, and the writing isn’t to blame, but the story selection. This ends on a strong note with the final two stories, second to last “The Midnight Sun” being my favorite of these six. The thing is, there’s two stories here from horrible episodes and in story form they aren’t any better. “The Whole Truth,” and “The Night of the Meek” are the worst of the 19 total, and I struggled with boredom to get through their pages.
I’ve been wanting to add The Twilight Zone: Complete Stories to my bookshelf for the last few years. Am I pleased I finally did? Yes, and I’m pleased with the near perfect condition of the copy I found. I’d recommend this version over the three separate paperback editions. I’ve never read any of Rod Serling’s writing before, and I’m looking forward to reading more of his work.
Copyright © Drew Martin 2017