True Review
Current Issue Number 74 Vol.19 No.3  February 2010

Twilight Zone:

TWILIGHT ZONE, 19 Original Stories on the 50th Anniversary, ed. by Carol Serling. TOR (, 2009, 445 pp., $14.99. ISBN 978-0-7653-2433-7

We can't help but remember how television greatly impacts our lives. My first memory of "Twilight Zone" on the old black and white TV came in an episode that gives me shivers: the one with the ventriloquist, down on his luck, who one day, sitting in his dressing room, watches as the "dummy" sits up and talks to him.

Wow, that was the stuff of nightmares!

Though I was never a "Zone" fan, I was always impressed, and still keep a special book club edition of the very first anthology with the best stories from the TV series. And it is hard to believe we are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the show – while the fan base remains strong as revivals of the TV series have occurred, twice already.

These are the best stories from this original collection:

• "Genesis" by David Hagberg. The Corporal, in the jungle of the Leyte island, understands his own mortality. It is his ability to see the significance of the true Twilight Zone that leads to his own survival.

• "A Haunted House of Her Own" by Kelley Armstrong. Tanya and Nathan are looking for a property as a haunted "honeymoon hideaway," with themselves as landlords. They discover a quaint Victorian house on a hill – the perfect retreat. Except it's not haunted – at least not until Nathan enacts his own dastardly deeds to make it so.

• "The Art of the Miniature" by Earl Hamner. Spencer Dowd, retired pharmacist, has only one love in his life – his bonsai garden. But Rusty the pool cleaner doesn't share that same love – which could prove costly when Rusty exacts his own form of carelessness on the tiny trees.

• "Puowaina" by Alan Brennert. Nani MacGillvray grows up in Hawaii at the end of the first Great War. She has a gift called "'ike papalua" or "twice knowing," the ability to foresee the future. The gift is pono – a very good thing. Or is it?

• "Torn Away" by Joe R. Lansdale. This East Texas town's police chief comes across what appears to be a vagrant in a man named Judah Wilson. Judah is trying to outrun a demon that has pursued him from a time long ago. Will Judah get help from the cop?

• "Vampin' Down the Avenue" by Timothy Zahn. Famous movie star Rusty Lanford is trying to outwit the ever-present paparazzi, but his fame and fortune prevent him from doing so. Until he meets Janick Winsley – who somehow, someway is simply invisible to cameras. Who is Winsley – and why is he willing to grant Lanford that terrible wish?

• "The Wrong Room" by R. L. Stine. Frozen food salesman Samuel Mechling reserves a hotel room at the 4-star Fraser-Carleton Hotel in downtown Atlanta, Georgia, only to discover what some would call a "salesman's hell" – no access to Internet, no cell phone service, no apparent contact with the outside world. Did he die? Is he in hell? Or is it something perhaps more sinister?

• "Ghost Writer" by Robert J. Serling. Speech writer Victor Deming believes the U.S. President should take some strong advice and use a speech prepared for a special occasion – except the occasion is anything if not special, even exemplary.

• "The Soldier He Needed to Be" by Jim DeFelice. Private Michael C. Brown, in the Afghanistan Campaign, receives a special gift of an iPod Shuffle, but he doesn't know from whom. The iPod becomes like a talisman, a lucky charm – even a guardian angel, turning him from a coward to a war hero, almost overnight. Who gave it to him? And what will be Brown's ultimate fate?

Andrew M. Andrews

Black Hills - Dan Simmons Warriors - George R. R. Martin & Gardner Dozois Additional Reviews Diving Into The Wreck - Kristine Kathryn Rusch The Jewel Hinged Jaw - Samuel R. Delaney

Boilerplate - Paul Guinan and Anina Bennett Swords From The Desert - Howard Andrew Jones Shades of Gray - Jasper Fforde Muse and Reverie - Charles de Lint Dinner at Mr. Jefferson's - Charles A. Cerami

The Raindrop's Adventure - Kimberly Kerr An Irish Country Christmas - Patrick Taylor Twilight Zone - Carol Serling Home For Christmas - Andrew M. Greeley Amelia Earhart - Lori Van Pelt

A Simple Christams - Mike Huckabee Puttering About in a Small Land - Philip K. Dick   Are You There - Jack Skillingstead The Fantasy Writer's Assistant - Jeffrey Ford


CYBERABAD DAYS, by Ian McDonald. Pyr/Prometheus (, 2009, 279 pp., $15.00. ISBN 978-1-59102-699-0

Seven stories in CYBERABAD DAYS are set in the year 2047 in India, including a Hugo Award winner and nominee.

THE THIRD SIGN, by Gregory A. Wilson. Five Star/Gale Cengage Learning (, 2009, 351 pp., $25.95. ISBN 978-1-59414-765-4

Calen Gollnet, resident of the country of Klune, watches as his world goes to war, as the peace made by the king and the arlics has become tenuous at best. But the armies are the least of his concern, as the Soul Wall appears. Prophecies are coming true - and what will the latest portend?

BY BLOOD WE LIVE, ed. by John Joseph Adams. Night Shade Books (, 2009, 485 pp., $15.95. ISBN 978-1-59780-156-0

There is a strange craving for these types of stories, felt by mostly teenage girls suddenly feeling the throngs of post-puberty. And there are plenty of authors to accommodate this strangeness, indeed.


THE SECRET HISTORY OF SCIENCE FICTION, ed. by James Patrick Kelly and John Kessel. Tachyon (, 2009, 381 pp., $14.95. ISBN 978-1-892391-93-3

I remember reading most of these SF classics when they were first published, with seminal work by Thomas M. Disch, Ursula K. LeGuin, Lucius Shepard, Connie Willis, Gene Wolfe, James Patrick Kelly, and many others.


THE VERY BEST OF FANTASY AND SCIENCE FICTION, 60th Anniversary Anthology, ed. by Gordon Van Gelder. Tachyon (, 2009, 475 pp., $15.95. ISBN 978-1-892391-91-9

Many of these I read collected in other anthologies, and some I read in the magazine itself. (I have subscribed to F&SF regularly from 1977-2007, and off and on since 2008.) Included are works by Ray Bradbury, Alfred Bester, Theodore Sturgeon, Kurt Vonnegut, Harlan Ellison, Damon Knight, Ursula K. LeGuin, Neil Gaiman, Ted Chiang, and others).

Next Time In True Review

A Sample Of Our Upcoming Reviews...

GASLIGHT GROTESQUE Nightmare Tales of Sherlock Holmes, ed. by J.R. Campbell and Charles Prepolec. Edge (, 2009, 311 pp., $16.95. ISBN 978-1-894063-31-9

TESSERACTS THIRTEEN ed. by Nancy Kilpatrick and David Morrell. Edge (, 2009, 317 pp., $16.95. ISBN 978-1-894063-25-8

THE BEST HORROR OF THE YEAR Vol. 1, ed. by Ellen Datlow. Night Shade Books (, 2009, 321 pp., $15.95. ISBN 978-1-59780-161-4