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 Post subject: Twilight Zone Magazine
Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 31, 2013 3:28 pm 
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In the wake of Omni, which was marketed at super market check stands, TZ Magazine tried to catch that wave--and did for a short time. While it's circulation didn't match its Penthouse-backed rival, this bedsheet-sized publication is worthy of remembering.

One of its features was a log of TZ episodes (which later were expanded and put into book form).

Unpublished Rod Serling fiction also appeared.

The highlight of the magazine's run was a short story, "Your Three Minutes Are Up," written by my long-time mentor, George Clayton Johnson, about the death of HIS mentor Charles Beaumont. It's a moving and autobiographical short story wherein the protagonist, Mr. Johnson himself, receives a late night phone call from the dead Mr. Beaumont. (Jonhson wrote for Rod's teleseries, as did Beaumont. Johnson also wrote the short story, "Sea Change" for TZ Magazine, an odd opus revolving around the human hand, a theme in his "Logan's Run," novel which he wrote with William F. Nolan.)

A few years back, I was in the front row of a small ballroom at a SF con, when George did a live reading of this piece--years after it appeared in TZ Magazine. He broke down at the end of it and I embraced him while the crowd gave him a standing ovation.

The two men were very close. George had told me tales of Charles' writers' group and how Charles would pack them all into his VW bug and drive them "to the beach" as a form of punishment when someone in the group wasn't writing. A long lecture would follow--which would be followed by the culprit going back to writing.

There's also an interesting (to me) chain here: Ray Bradbury was Charles Beaumont's mentor who was George Clayton Johnson's mentor who is my mentor. While I've met Ray a number of times (and recited "Pillar of Fire" to him from memory in the lobby of the Pasadena Hilton) and George and I have socialized countless times, I wish I had met Charles, who died much too young. George's tribute to Charles is wonderous.


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Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 03, 2014 11:01 am 
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I used to love this magazine and have often contemplated grabbing a collection of them whenever I see them posted on E-Bay. Reading the stories, seeing the artwork got my creative juices flowing and made me eager for the next edition! Great stuff.


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Unread postPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2014 7:23 pm 
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Well, NYR94, the old Twilight Zone magazines were nice; some stories great, some not, many in the middle. But if you're thinking of using them as examples or inspriation of what to write on your own for magazines...no. Every science fiction and fantasy magazine speciifically states in its writers guidelines (or if not, practices it) that they do not want to see "Twilight Zone" type stories. What they are trying to get across to the new writer is that the "twist ending" popularized by O. Henry over 100 years ago is a cliche that modern readers will not like (and more importantly, modern editors will NEVER buy). If you want to write genre fiction, pick up current copies of Asimov's SF, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, or the top SF mag I've sold to, Analog.


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Unread postPosted: Thu Feb 06, 2014 9:19 am 
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Agreed, Jonny; I wasn't necessarily saying they inspired me to churn out some whack version of TZ fan fiction at all. As a writer, the stories would just rev me up to pound the keys. I agree totally that the TZ-type endings are a thing of the past--right up there with the "whole thing was a dream" plotline.


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Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2014 5:39 am 
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Sorry...I miss the twists. Brick back M. Night!!!! ;)

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Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2014 6:02 am 
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whitsbrain wrote:
Sorry...I miss the twists. Brick back M. Night!!!! ;)



Yeah, tell me about it. Man, that dude really fell off the face of the Earth, huh?


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Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2014 6:03 pm 
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His latest movies have been "The Happening", "The Last Airbender" and "After Earth". To say he needs to get his groove back would be an understatement.

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Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2014 7:53 pm 
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whitsbrain wrote:
His latest movies have been "The Happening", "The Last Airbender" and "After Earth". To say he needs to get his groove back would be an understatement.



I didn't mind "The Happening" and didn't dislike it as much as everyone else. I can see why it didn't do so well and wasn't popular, but I thought it was watchable.

I knew Airbender would be garbage and have no desire to see it, and I feel basically the same with "After Earth".

Its for reasons like this that I am not a big movie person.
I don't relish the thought of going out and wasting 2 hours of my life only to say afterwards......"that sucked".


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Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2014 12:24 pm 
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TZ DZ Fan wrote:

Its for reasons like this that I am not a big movie person.
I don't relish the thought of going out and wasting 2 hours of my life only to say afterwards......"that sucked".


TZ DZ fan


But are you okay with the endless TV shows that you invest dozens of hours in that never conclude at all? I would rather have a crappy ending than nothing at all.

For example (and I haven't watched these but searches show they had no conclusion):
Flash Forward, Tru Calling, Surface, Threshold, Earth 2, The Dead Zone, V: The Series, Invasion, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Jericho, Kyle XY, Farscape, Pushing Daisies, Dark Angel, The 4400, Nowhere Man, Journeyman, Carnivale, Sliders, Stargate Universe, The Event, and on and on...

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Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2014 4:22 pm 
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whitsbrain wrote:
TZ DZ Fan wrote:

Its for reasons like this that I am not a big movie person.
I don't relish the thought of going out and wasting 2 hours of my life only to say afterwards......"that sucked".


TZ DZ fan


But are you okay with the endless TV shows that you invest dozens of hours in that never conclude at all? I would rather have a crappy ending than nothing at all.

For example (and I haven't watched these but searches show they had no conclusion):
Flash Forward, Tru Calling, Surface, Threshold, Earth 2, The Dead Zone, V: The Series, Invasion, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Jericho, Kyle XY, Farscape, Pushing Daisies, Dark Angel, The 4400, Nowhere Man, Journeyman, Carnivale, Sliders, Stargate Universe, The Event, and on and on...


Correct.
Its much more about the journey, than the ending to me.
(I would rather have a crappy ending too btw, rather than none)

Just for kicks, I will address a few of the shows in that list that had supposed "non-endings".
"The Dead Zone" was a favorite of mine, and rest assured it absolutely had an ending. Now I will admit that its "open for interpretation", and it may not have been as definitive as some would like.
One HUGE reason that it wasn't up to peoples desires, is that it was indeed supposed to get another season, but the writer's strike at the time near the end finally extinguished it.
Thats also the reason "Journeyman" bit the dust. That was also shown an early cancellation due to the writers strike.

"Nowhere Man" was one of the more intelligent shows I have ever seen. I remember DrM had a bit of a gripe with it, but I think that was more because he had been exposed to those type stories much more so than I over the years. Perfectly understandable.

The others..... Flash Forward, Tru Calling, Surface, Threshold, Earth 2, V: The Series, Invasion, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Kyle XY, Farscape, Pushing Daisies, Dark Angel, The 4400, Carnivale, Sliders, Stargate Universe, The Event....

I watched The 4400 from day one, and enjoyed it. The ending I can't exactly recall, but I do remember being unhappy slightly.
The Event, Invasion,Terminator,Dark Angel, Kyle XY,Pushing Daisies Farscape.... all of these I either have not watched, or tried 1-2 episodes and gave up out of boredom.
Stargate Universe was brilliant at times, but then started spiraling down the toilet towards the end of season 2. When it ended prematurely I grumbled a bit, but wasn't exactly butthurt.

People griped about "Jericho", but what you more than likely read was the widespread panic after the end of the first season.
The second season (and ending) was filmed ultimately to appease the outspoken fans.

Carnivale is a favorite of Lazy's, and once it started "clicking" after a few episodes, I liked it. I remember the ending being one of those "open to interpretation" endings, but in my opinion thats different than not having an ending altogether. That show was a bit weird, and I don't think would appeal to everyone.
It may be one you should give a chance to, as it has some "weird" aspects, that "Fringe" also had early on in that show.
I can see you either really liking it, or hating it altogether I wouldn't be surprised either way.
To this day, I have to admit its one of the more unique story ideas I have ever seen on tv.

Maybe I'm just much more inclined to give any sci-fi series a chance because its pretty much a dying breed.
There are so damn few shows in the last 20 years that I consider "truly great" its sad.

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Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2014 5:36 pm 
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Jericho could've gone on further but it was lucky just to be brought back after cancellation to try wrapping it up decently for the fans.

Carnivale was supposed to be 6 seasons to completely tell Daniel Knauf's story. Unfortunately it never garnered enough ratings, though the fan base was very loyal. It was a very expensive show so I think the combination of high price tag and not enough viewership lead to it being cancelled after two seasons. So the ending, isn't technically "open for interpretation" because it was supposed to continue. HBO asked Knauf at one point if he would wrap it up in a 2-hour movie and he passed simply because it couldn't be done. There was so much story "48 hours worth" that it couldn't be condensed. The shitty thing is Hollywood has such a f@%ked up contractual agreement that Knauf can't even tell the rest of the story in any other forum. I also read there was potential discussion between Marvel and HBO to complete the story in graphic novel form but shite never worked out. That all just pisses me off. Clearly I would've liked to watch all of it played out because the production and cast and story were all pretty awesome, but at the very least I would've enjoyed a graphic novel series. Bastards.

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Unread postPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 3:43 am 
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lazyboyx51 wrote:
Jericho could've gone on further but it was lucky just to be brought back after cancellation to try wrapping it up decently for the fans.

Carnivale was supposed to be 6 seasons to completely tell Daniel Knauf's story. So the ending, isn't technically "open for interpretation" because it was supposed to continue.


SNIP

True.... I (and anyone that watched it could see) that it was left open for another possible season.

But honestly I didn't hate the ending, and wasn't totally dissatisfied with it. I can't really touch on precisely what happened for fear of spoilers, but I was cool with the way it ended. You didn't like it?
(try and remove yourself from being a huge fan of the show, and place yourself as more of a typical viewer)
I guess in some ways I was kinda "jones-ing" for more, but I accepted the ending.

Jericho on the other hand, well that was absolutely wrapped up. In fact the second season was essentially wrote to appease the fans outcry.
Now, again I'm risking spoilers.......... but that story was 100% completely wrapped up.
The fate of one particular character on the other hand, was NOT.

I know I posted some huge rant/diatribe on this before, but it seems more and more shows are going to these "half-assed" endings....(especially if its a show they aren't sure will be renewed yet when the "possible" finale airs)
This was exactly the case with Dead Zone. This was even pointed out in some of the commentaries.
I know its smart from a marketing standpoint, in the event another season is green-lighted.
But I can't say I'm a fan of the growing practice the last 5-10 years.


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Unread postPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 5:56 am 
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Well, you answered my question. I just can't stick with something that long. To this day, I have never made it through all 9 seasons of the X-Files. I am s-l-o-w-l-y making my way through Season 8 right now. I know it ends poorly, but I still haven't gotten that far.

I have restarted "Fringe" THREE separate times. I want to get through it, but I haven't got past the beginning of Season 3.

I never made it through the original run of "Twin Peaks". I started watching it again a few months ago. Now I'm half way through Season 2 (the final season) and it is a chore for me.

I've quit on "The Walking Dead", "The 4400", "24", "V","Flash Forward" and a few others.

It's my problem, I guess.

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Unread postPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 6:58 am 
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whitsbrain wrote:
Well, you answered my question. I just can't stick with something that long. To this day, I have never made it through all 9 seasons of the X-Files. I am s-l-o-w-l-y making my way through Season 8 right now. I know it ends poorly, but I still haven't gotten that far.

I have restarted "Fringe" THREE separate times. I want to get through it, but I haven't got past the beginning of Season 3.

I never made it through the original run of "Twin Peaks". I started watching it again a few months ago. Now I'm half way through Season 2 (the final season) and it is a chore for me.

I've quit on "The Walking Dead", "The 4400", "24", "V","Flash Forward" and a few others.

It's my problem, I guess.


Yeah, we just go for a slightly different format with our shows I suppose.
I must say I agree in that it would be far better for a great show to come along, and have 1-2 seasons of blockbuster episodes instead of dragging it out for 5-6 seasons then it gets to be alot of filler.
I guess much of the fun with me is getting to know the characters and relating to them as time goes on, at least thats some of it I suppose.

Don't feel alone on Flash Forward, and several of the ones you mention I guess as I too "gave up" on many of those.
I remember the 4400 dragging on in later seasons too, to be honest.
I watched the newer version of "V", and could barely tune in/watch online by the end.

And on the X-FILES note, I watched quite a few of them about a year ago, and once I got up to about season 5-6, it was just the same old shite for me.I don't even think I finished it to be honest, pretty damn sad huh. :(
I'm still bitter about that actually. I've heard so many great things on it over the years and "how could you have not seen it since you love that kinda shite" etc. etc. Maybe I just expected too much, Hell I don't know, but by the middle to later seasons I just wasn't into it anymore.

"Walking Dead", well thats still pretty fresh in my opinion. In fact I was pleasantly entertained this last episode. (which was the "mid-season" premiere/beginning to the last half of the season)

"Twin Peaks" got so many great reviews and had such a huge cult following, and I couldn't even make it to episode 2 honestly. B-O-R-I-N-G

I know in my heart it was time for "FRINGE" to end and I miss it dearly.....but I will say this. There were some BLOCKBUSTER episodes along the home stretch.
If you can make it to the last 6-8 episodes (and you can *GASP* deal with the slowly closing storyline) there were some great episodes.
I look forward to hearing your thoughts, if you ever do make it that far.
Like I mentioned earlier though, and as Lazy might attest, you might give "Carnivale" a try. Personally I think its got just that touch of weirdness that you might really like it. (or possibly just hate it too, not sure)


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Unread postPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 2:36 pm 
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I love Twin Peaks, but I am a fan of David Lynch and his weird quirkiness so I can buy into that style of show. I love the characters in the show, just as bizarre, and to the point of laughter at some of the ridiculousness. I preferred when it was rolling on the mystery of "who killed Laura Palmer" than some of the other hokey aspects of the town, but at the same time I enjoyed the eccentricities there. As opposed to say Carnivale where the entire show is strange and mysterious without the oddity, per se. Even the show The Killing was very good, I compare it to Twin Peaks, only darker and more serious all the time, but chock full of mystery. I enjoy the shows because of the ability to potentially go anywhere over an extended period of time; extrapolate while being gripping and not sluggish. I'm not a fan of the filler episodes.

And feel free to resume topic of TZ Magazine....

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Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 10:11 pm 
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whitsbrain wrote:
Well, you answered my question. I just can't stick with something that long. To this day, I have never made it through all 9 seasons of the X-Files. I am s-l-o-w-l-y making my way through Season 8 right now. I know it ends poorly, but I still haven't gotten that far.


It's my problem, I guess.


I got to break in on the movie vs. TV discussion.. since we all always end up talking about it everywhere. I quit somewhere around the third or fourth season. I wanted to get to the end but it was overload when you watch back to back to back. Many times I would think to myself after binge watching half a season..."I could have watched 20 random movies instead....
good or bad!

and we return you to tz magazine discussion.


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Unread postPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2014 4:03 am 
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lazyboyx51 wrote:
I love Twin Peaks, but I am a fan of David Lynch and his weird quirkiness so I can buy into that style of show. I love the characters in the show, just as bizarre, and to the point of laughter at some of the ridiculousness. I preferred when it was rolling on the mystery of "who killed Laura Palmer" than some of the other hokey aspects of the town, but at the same time I enjoyed the eccentricities there. As opposed to say Carnivale where the entire show is strange and mysterious without the oddity, per se. Even the show The Killing was very good, I compare it to Twin Peaks, only darker and more serious all the time, but chock full of mystery. I enjoy the shows because of the ability to potentially go anywhere over an extended period of time; extrapolate while being gripping and not sluggish. I'm not a fan of the filler episodes.

And feel free to resume topic of TZ Magazine....


I was planning of picking up episodes of the original version of The Killing myself, glad someone else here liked it. Since you're a big Twin Peaks fan, I wanted to ask you. What did you think of the cliffhanger ending to the second season and subsequently, the series? I thought it kind of stunk for fans and should've just been resolved since they already revealed who Laura Palmer's killer was. I read that Lynch said at a convention a few years ago that is there is fan interest, be might continue the story so that fans get a definitive ending.


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Unread postPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2014 10:12 am 
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Anthony wrote:
lazyboyx51 wrote:
I love Twin Peaks, but I am a fan of David Lynch and his weird quirkiness so I can buy into that style of show. I love the characters in the show, just as bizarre, and to the point of laughter at some of the ridiculousness. I preferred when it was rolling on the mystery of "who killed Laura Palmer" than some of the other hokey aspects of the town, but at the same time I enjoyed the eccentricities there. As opposed to say Carnivale where the entire show is strange and mysterious without the oddity, per se. Even the show The Killing was very good, I compare it to Twin Peaks, only darker and more serious all the time, but chock full of mystery. I enjoy the shows because of the ability to potentially go anywhere over an extended period of time; extrapolate while being gripping and not sluggish. I'm not a fan of the filler episodes.

And feel free to resume topic of TZ Magazine....


I was planning of picking up episodes of the original version of The Killing myself, glad someone else here liked it. Since you're a big Twin Peaks fan, I wanted to ask you. What did you think of the cliffhanger ending to the second season and subsequently, the series? I thought it kind of stunk for fans and should've just been resolved since they already revealed who Laura Palmer's killer was. I read that Lynch said at a convention a few years ago that is there is fan interest, be might continue the story so that fans get a definitive ending.



I liked the ending, but yes, it was not fun knowing that it was essentially canceled. The problem was that it was a second storyline -- apparently ABC was pissed that the first season ended without clearing up who killed Laura Palmer. I am not in that boat - I liked that you let it linger, leave it as a cliffhanger to return in the second season. However, the powers that be wanted that storyline wrapped up early on once the second season started. So, it kind of killed the show right there. The episodes following the "big reveal" were ultimately filler, IMO, and silly. Then we get the second storyline, introducing us to Dale Cooper's former partner Windom Earle, played superbly by Kenneth Welsh. Once that began, I felt like the show was getting good again, but of course it was eventually canceled anyway. I like the movie also; gives background to Twin Peaks and Laura Palmer. If they decided to continue the story where it left off in some fashion, I would definitely take part in whatever medium they choose.

Regarding The Killing, I have never seen the Danish series, only the American version.

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Unread postPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2014 2:50 pm 
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1. Interesting topic on{ television vs. movies}, TZ DZ I too am not much of a movie person, I go to movies due
to friends dragging me along;yet, I do enjoy watching movies online if they are sci fi or comic book related, time to time.

2. Some of the shows mention are great, I am a huge Farscape fan, it had a sad ending then they made Farscape: the Peacekeeper wars, that continued it. I loved Nowhere man, I love that kind of platform, like the Fugitive or Kung Fu ( David Carradine vehicle), the Pretender, etc.. of a lone person going from one locale to another, Nowhere Man was entertaining for me. I do not remember its ending, I shall seek it out, yet as TZ DZ mentioned, it is the journey that entertains. I agree with this sentiment.
X- Files had some fine episodes, yet it was a hard show for me to get into. I did enjoy the X-files Movie. Sliders was great fun for me, Quantum Leap too, even with :SPOILER: the ending that came from left field. I recently watched all of Voyagershttp://www.imdb.com/title/tt0083500/. Wish there were more episodes. Supernatural is ongoing, and I am enjoying this journey, I am in the camp of TV usually is better than movies.

3. I love the O. Henry/Twilight Zone endings, I am hoping that Bryan Singer will release a new TZ anthology shows http://screenrant.com/twilight-zone-cbs-bryan-singer/.

4. Taking a cue from SVB, I am going to get back to the main topic, The Twilight Zone Magazine, I was a fan of this periodical, there were some good stories, and it had some TZ scripts, I hope there is a new TZ magazine on the horizon, or maybe an online version. Love to see it have fan fiction in it. And of course tributes to Mr. Rod Serling and his body of work.

Zone regards,
Z

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Unread postPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2014 2:52 pm 
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Unread postPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2014 3:04 pm 
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To Mr.Z:

I, too, would welcome a revived Twilight Zone magazine, but only as a professional magazine. No pro zines run fan fiction and rightly so, lest the lack of skill and editorial filtering becomes obvious and detracts from the extremely hard career work pro writers do to compete for the extremely few slots open in any mag. Analog, which I've sold to, gets 500 fiction submissions a month and can only publish a half dozen--or even less!--per issue. Fans have fanzines; if they become serious and want to compete, I welcome them on that basis.

And if you like TV shows like The Fugitive, lone man v. Powers That Be, try The Invaders and the underrated and seldom seen "The Immortal" with Barry Sullivan.


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Unread postPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2014 3:29 pm 
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JonnyDuffy,

Thank you for your reply. I am glad I am not alone in wanting a Zone magazine. Yes, definitely a professional version is desired. Yet, I would not be totally against a fan run magazine, in the interim. I am impressed that you submitted work to Analog magazine, keep up the great work, I wish I had more discipline to sit down and write more. One day I shall.

I shall have to seek out The Invaders, and The Immortal ( I have sadly never heard of it), thank you for intorducing me to this.

Z

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Unread postPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2014 4:19 pm 
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No sweat, Mr.Z! Clevland Amory, chief critic for TV GUIDE made the observation, "In The Fugitive" a man runs because he is innocent of a crime, in "Run For Your Life" a man runs because he is dying, in "The Invaders" a guy runs to escape evil aliens and in "The Immortal" a man runs for the best reason of all--he will live forever."

P.S. I have SOLD to Analog Magazine and many other SF mags. I continue to Submit to them when I have appropriate material or they ask me for a story.


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Unread postPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2014 6:20 pm 
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JonnyDuffy,

Great observation by Clevland Amory.

Congrats on selling!!! Any plans for writing for television? Would that interest you?

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Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 8:34 pm 
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Mr.Z:

I've written a few scripts for TV and Film; been paid for many (called an "option" in "The Industry").

I sold a teleplay to Showtime's OUTER LIMITS, purchased by Joe Stefano with a nod over his shoulder by Leslie Stevens, who had years before inducted me as an honorary member of his secret society sometimes called "The Steersmen." Showtime canceled the show before my teleplay finished production for broadcast.

Direct to video has been "kinder" to me, with over 300 sales and payments, few, however, in the SF genre. I'm currently in talks with a producer for a very dark Western teleseries, along the lines of Deadwood with some SF elements.

I've sold over 4500 pieces to magazines.

Thanks for asking.


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Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 11:48 pm 
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JonnyDuffy WTG, that is Awesome, bravo. Glad to have you on board here, keep up the great work.

:D

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