Marc Scott Zicree

Books

The Twilight Zone Companion

The Twilight Zone Companion - available from Amazon

THE TWILIGHT ZONE COMPANION

When I graduated UCLA in 1977 with a degree in Painting, Sculpture and Graphic Arts, I knew I wanted to be a writer-producer working in TV. But to that date, my only paid writing work had been attending the Clarion Writers Workshop in 1975 and selling writer-editor Damon Knight, one of my teachers there, my short story “Leader of the Club” for an anthology he was editing.

The biggest problem of all was how to learn how to write and produce television when there were no courses in the subject. The three shows that made me want to write for TV were STAR TREK, THE OUTER LIMITS and THE TWILIGHT ZONE. I decided to read up on TWILIGHT ZONE to learn my trade – then I discovered virtually nothing had been written about the show, certainly no books on the subject.

I realized I’d have to write the book I wanted to read, to learn what I wanted to learn.

I was twenty-two years old, with only one short story sale. It was two years after Rod Serling’s death, and I’d heard that his widow Carol had already turned down major journalists who’d wanted to write about Rod and the Zone. I knew if I approached her directly it would be a quick no.

So I started by interviewing a writer I’d met at a science fiction convention when I was sixteen and stayed on friendly terms with – George Clayton Johnson, writer of such great TZ episodes a “Kick the Can,” “Nothing in the Dark” and “A Game of Pool.” I then asked George to introduce me to others who’d worked on the show, so that I could interview them. He connected me with Buck Houghton and Jerry Sohl. And so it went, until I’d spent three months and had interviewed thirty people who’d worked on TWILIGHT ZONE.

Then I went to Carol Serling. By then, I knew a good deal about the subject and felt confident I knew how to approach writing the book.

I met Carol at her home in Pacific Palisades. Everything was exactly as Rod had left it, including his files, scrapbooks, 16-millimeter prints of THE TWILIGHT ZONE, Emmy and Hugo awards – even his Irish Setter. I pitched my idea to her. Not long after, she gave me her response – I had full access to all of Rod’s materials.

It was five years from the month I started the book until it came out – with twenty-five rejections over a two-year period. But then THE TWILIGHT ZONE COMPANION came out to rave reviews, an American Book Award nomination, half a million copies sold (and still going) and inclusion on the New York Times’ list of “ten science fiction book for the ages.”

I’m very proud of the book, and the lasting friendships it has spawned. We recently celebrated the 50th anniversary of the debut of the show. Not bad for a little program Rod was worried might not last a season…

What follows are two articles I wrote not long ago. The first is a 50th anniversary remembrance of THE TWILIGHT ZONE. The second is more of a rarity – a couple of years back, I learned that a fan of both TWILIGHT ZONE and PLANET OF THE APES, upon learning that Rod Serling had scripted both, re-edited APES into a half-hour black-and-white TWILIGHT ZONE episode, with Serling narrations culled from other episodes.

The fraudulent episode worked wonderfully well – so well, in fact, that I contacted the filmmaker and offered to write a bogus extra chapter of the COMPANION about this fictitious “lost episode.” It was great fun to write, and I hope you enjoy it, too.

Twilight Zone Magazine Article – 2009

Lost in the Twilight Zone (Planet of the Apes)

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magic_time

Magic Time at Amazon

MAGIC TIME

Some years back I had a thought – What if all the machines in the world stopped running (guns, too) and magic came back? Elaine and I ended up writing a pilot of what I called MAGIC TIME. This then spun off as a bestselling three-book series from HarperCollins (with a fourth book, MAGIC TIME – PARADISE ROAD, coming sometime in the future), unabridged audio books (the first read by Armin Shimerman), a radio play (also with Armin plus Christina Moses, the luminous actress who played Sulu’s daughter in “World Enough and Time”), artwork by STAR WARS genius Iain McCaig (designer of Darth Maul and Queen Amidala).

Get all three MAGIC TIME novels from Audible.com.

Audio Sample from MAGIC TIME  

Audio Sample from MAGIC TIME: GHOSTLANDS  

Audio Sample from MAGIC TIME: ANGELFIRE  

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love_gloria

Gloria

LOVE, GLORIA

I first knew I wanted to be a writer-producer working in television since I first read THE MAKING OF STAR TREK when I was thirteen. But my heroes – Rod Serling, Harlan Ellison, Theodore Sturgeon and Ray Bradbury among them – also wrote books, and so I’ve always divided my time between writing for TV and film and also writing books.

I sold my first short story at 19, began writing THE TWILIGHT ZONE COMPANION when I was 22, wrote the MAGIC TIME books in my forties and have just finished LOVE, GLORIA, a memoir of my mother.

I’d long wanted to write about my mother and have done so in fits and starts – in the commentaries I did for NPR, metaphorically in my BEYOND REALITY episode “Nightfall” and twenty years ago in a screenplay I was never able to lick.

Finally, in LOVE, GLORIA, I’ve written the story I wanted to tell – of how my mother learned how to love, after being institutionalized as a child from the age of 5 to 15 during the Depression.

My mother’s been gone for over twenty years now, but fortunately I interviewed her about her life on audio before her death. I highly recommend getting your loved ones’ stories down on audio or video while they’re still here. Once they’re gone, those stories are lost to the wind and dust.

Here are the first few chapters of the book. I’ll let you know the publishing details soon as they’re firm.

Love, Gloria – The First Three Chapters

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