Saturday, March 30, 2019


Vol. 1 No. 1
March/April 1981
TZ Publications, Inc.
Publisher: Nils A. Shapiro
Associate Publisher: Carol Serling
Editor: T.E.D. Klein
Cover: Jim Warren
Pages: 100
Cover price: $2.00

Who doesn't love THE TWILIGHT ZONE? The original 1950's TV series had great stories, great acting, and the scripting was by some of the most talented writers working at the time; Richard Matheson, Charles Beaumont, George Clayton Johnson, Ray Bradbury, Jerome Bixby, Henry Slesar, and the series creator, Rod Serling, all contributed memorable episodes during the show's initial run. Coincidentally, most of these writers also wrote fiction for PLAYBOY during the same period under the guiding hand of editor Ray Russell, himself a frequent writer of macabre fiction.

Flash-forward two decades later, to 1981 and Carol Serling Rod's widow has just launched a print magazine honoring her husband's memory. It turns out to be a gift for everyone who purchases the first issue, dated March/April 1981, as THE TWILIGHT ZONE magazine is yet another showcase for the best science/fantasy/horror fiction writers of the day.

It hit the mark. With contributions by Harlan Ellison, Ron Goulart, George R.R. Martin, Robert Sheckley, Joyce Carol Oates, and others, TZ was bolstered under the editorship of T.E.D. Klein and columnists Theodore Sturgeon and Gahan Wilson. Topped off with an interview of Stephen King by Charles Grant and readers had a heady dose of the type that made TZ legendary.

Interestingly, the magazine's design and format could have made it a companion publication to PLAYBOY. With the contributor's photos and accompanying text discussing the content of the issue, the squared-off, disciplined border lines and creative, stylized artwork it was very reminiscent of the format used by the men's magazine that nurtured the fantastic fictioneers of the fifties.

As for the stories themselves, most could be considered of the "quiet" variety that was popular during the period. The technique lends itself nicely to the style that the editorial direction that TZ was striving for. Also included in this issue is the added feature of a complete Twilight Zone episode TV script. All-in-all, a class act and an excellent inaugural issue.