More Stories from the Twilight Zone

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Rod Serling began his career in radio broadcasting, but began writing for television during his college years in the early s. After a number of successful scripts for network television, Serling, sick of the sponsor censorship depleting his scripts of political commentary and ethnic representation, decided to create his own show.

He was dedicated to telling the stories of the people who inhabited these fault lines. Serling and his Twilight Zone television program offered more than just tales of suspense and conjecture.

These are adult fairy tales—if the supernatural entities in question are aliens, mutants, atomic power, social inequality, technological advances, and vast government conspiracies. Serling all but mythologizes mid-twentieth century fears and anxieties through serial tales that are often like their folk tale ancestors accessible and moralistic.

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The Twilight Zone made possible many later phenomena that embrace the new 20th century pop culture mythologies, such as the X-Files and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. First, take a look at this cover. His desperation for companionship and the brief moments—only minutes, really—when the supply ships visit are palpable. But then the captain leaves an unauthorized package, a gift, for the prisoner.

I have a distinct, 21st century, 4th wave feminist reading of everything. This story is a product of its time.

More Stories from the Twilight Zone

But so am I. And I wanted to feel compassion for the prisoner and his cruel and unusual fate, but his violence and objectification towards Alicia for simply existing shut off all compassion and relatability. That said, I do have to thank Serling for including a story that makes me, as a reader, aware of my own status as outsider to this story. Daniel Day-Lewis in his most electrifying role, as both alien heads. That we may be but the experiments of strange masters without our knowledge.

I can sort of see why an electric razor would attack a man in an ascot with that mirror. The outsiders in this case, are the repairmen, his secretary, and the police officer: people who tend to do blue-collar work. He is rude while using his vast vocabulary as both weapon and shield. He would prefer the solitude of his own home.

Except the machines hate him as well.

It is apparent from the beginning that the reader is not intended to like Finchley. On a basic, moralistic reading, we are to believe that in the end, Finchley got what he deserved. However, I think more is at play here. The beginning scene plays out as a television repairman attempts to get at the truth of why he has to repeatedly come to Mr. At the start of the story, Finchley has problems both with people and with machines. People only have so much energy that they can devote to external things.

More Stories from the Twilight Zone

I believe it to be impossible that he would abandon Finchley to a fate as simple as a self-righteous-ass-who-deserves-what-he-gets, and I reject that moralistic interpretation. An older black boxing champion is matched against a younger white fighter. He takes a beating throughout the fight, then hits the mat in the fourth round. The ref counts him out.

Then, suddenly, declares him the winner. He goes back to his neighborhood amid adulation. The boxing scenario is intensely macho, but the story is extremely emotional.

Societal issues are folded into the details: the black main character from the ghetto who is desperately invested in his athletic success, but who is reluctant to hope. He fears that a young boy needs to be more realistic, that imagination appears to be more of a danger than the inherent violence of his profession. It takes a literal miracle to open his eyes to hope in the end. Another popular theme to be expected in both The Twilight Zone and this book of stories is the notion of an afterlife. Throughout the ages, death has been a blend of curiosity and fear for mankind.

More Stories from the Twilight Zone by Carol Serling (ebook)

There is no shortage of social commentary in these tales. This bizarre and somewhat disconcerting tale examines the possible ramifications of a world where killing is socially acceptable when a life is no longer deemed worth living. One of the most wonderful pieces of writing is a previously unpublished story by Rod Serling himself.

This tale is a real gem from a man who built his legacy through the use of his own vivid imagination.


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All of these stories are worth reading. All of them deserve a place in this collection, a collection that readers will enjoy no matter where they are, here… or in The Twilight Zone. Click here to learn more about this month's sponsor!