Jerome Bixby

Drexel Jerome Lewis Bixby (January 11, 1923 – April 28, 1998) was an American short story writer and scriptwriter. He wrote the 1953 story "It's a Good Life" which was the basis for a 1961 episode of The Twilight Zone and which was included in Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983). He also wrote four episodes for the Star Trek series: "Mirror, Mirror", "Day of the Dove", "Requiem for Methuselah", and "By Any Other Name". With Otto Klement, he co-wrote the story upon which the science fiction movie Fantastic Voyage (1966), television series, and novel by Isaac Asimov were based. Bixby's final produced or published work so far was the screenplay for the 2007 science fiction film The Man from Earth.

He also wrote many westerns and used the pseudonyms Jay Lewis Bixby, D. B. Lewis, Harry Neal, Albert Russell, J. Russell, M. St. Vivant, Thornecliff Herrick and Alger Rome (for one collaboration with Algis Budrys).

Jerome Bixby
BornDrexel Jerome Lewis Bixby
January 11, 1923
Los Angeles, California, United States
DiedApril 28, 1998 (aged 75)
San Bernardino, California, United States
Pen name
  • D. B. Lewis
  • Harry Neal
  • Albert Russell
  • J. Russell
  • M. St. Vivant
  • Thornecliff Herrick
  • Alger Rome (in collaboration with Algis Budrys)
OccupationNovelist, short-story writer
GenreScience fiction, western
Notable works
Worlds of tomorrow 196312
Bixby's "The God-Plllnk" was the cover story of the December 1963 issue of Worlds of Tomorrow


Bixby was the editor of Planet Stories from Summer 1950 to July 1951, Jungle Stories from Fall 1949 to Spring 1951 (a magazine which featured stories of Tarzan-imitation Ki-Gor and, briefly, Sheena, Queen of the Jungle), Action Stories from Fall 1949 to Fall 1950, and founding editor of Two Complete Science-Adventure Books (from Winter 1950 to July 1951) and of Two Western Romances from Summer 1950 to Summer 1951 (by which time it was retitled 2 Western-Action Books). All these titles were published by Fiction House, which also published corresponding comic books for which Bixby also wrote and edited.

His best-known television works include four original Star Trek episodes, including 1967's "Mirror, Mirror", which introduced the franchise's concept of the "Mirror Universe"; and 1969's "Requiem for Methuselah", about "Flint", a 6,000-year-old man. His 1968 Star Trek episode "Day of the Dove" is also much respected by some Star Trek fans and others. The fourth episode he scripted is "By Any Other Name".

His short story "It's a Good Life" (1953), adapted as a teleplay for The Twilight Zone by Rod Serling, is arguably his best-known work, in his original prose and in audio/visual adaptations. It was popular enough to be revisited in the 1983 Twilight Zone film, and famous enough to be one of many Twilight Zone episodes parodied by The Simpsons, this one in the Halloween 1991 episode "Treehouse of Horror II".

Bixby also conceived and co-wrote the story for the 1966 film Fantastic Voyage,[1] [2] [3] [4] Bantam Books obtained the rights for a paperback novelization based on the screenplay and approached Isaac Asimov to write it.[5]

Jerome Bixby's last work, a screenplay The Man from Earth, was conceived in the early 1960s and completed on his deathbed in April 1998. In 2007 it was turned into an independent motion picture executive produced by his son Emerson Bixby, directed by Richard Schenkman and starring David Lee Smith, William Katt, Richard Riehle, Tony Todd, Annika Peterson, Alexis Thorpe, Ellen Crawford and John Billingsley.

Bixby wrote the original screenplay for 1958's It! The Terror from Beyond Space, which was the inspiration for 1979's Alien. The Star Trek: Deep Space Nine seventh season (1999) Mirror Universe episode, "The Emperor's New Cloak", is dedicated to Bixby's memory.


He died on April 28, 1998 in San Bernardino, California, of heart failure at age 75.[6]



  • Devil's Scrapbook (1964; reprinted as Call for an Exorcist 1974)
  • Space by the Tale (1964)
  • Mirror Mirror: Classic SF by the Famed Star Trek and Fantastic Voyage Writer (2014)

Short stories

  • "Tubemonkey" (1949)
  • "And All for One" (1950)
  • "The Crowded Colony" (1950) [as by Jay B. Drexel]
  • "Cargo to Callisto" (1950) [as by Jay B. Drexel]
  • "The Whip" (1951) [as by Jerome D. Bixby]
  • "Vengeance on Mars" (1951) [as by D. B. Lewis]
  • "Page and Player" (1952) [as by Harry Neal]
  • "Ev" (1952) with Raymond Z. Gallun
  • "Nightride and Sunrise" (1952) with James Blish [as by Jerome Bixby]
  • "The Second Ship" (1952)
  • "Sort of Like a Flower" (1952)
  • "Angels in the Jets" (1952)
  • "Zen" (1952)
  • "It's a Good Life" (1953)
  • "The Slizzers" (1953)
  • "Share Alike" (1953) with Joe E. Dean
  • "Can Such Beauty Be?" (1953)
  • "The Monster" (1953)
  • "Underestimation" (1953) with Algis Budrys [as by Alger Rome]
  • "Where There's Hope" (1953)
  • "One Way Street" (1953)
  • "Little Boy" (1954) [as by Harry Neal]
  • "The Holes Around Mars" (1954)
  • "The Good Dog" (1954)
  • "Halfway to Hell" (1954)
  • "The Draw" (1954)
  • "The Young One" (1954)
  • "Small War" (1954)
  • "Mirror, Mirror" (1954)
  • "For Little George" (1954) [as by J. B. Drexel]
  • "The Battle of the Bells" (1954)
  • "The Murder-Con" (1954)
  • "Our Town" (1955)
  • "Laboratory" (1955)
  • "Trace" (1961)
  • "The Magic Typewriter" (1963)
  • "The Bad Life" (1963)
  • "The God-Plllnk" (1963)
  • "The Best Lover in Hell" (1964)
  • "Lust in Stone" (1964)
  • "Sin Wager" (1964)
  • "Kiss of Blood" (1964)
  • "The Marquis' Magic Potion" (1964)
  • "Natural History of the Kley" (1964)
  • "The Magic Potion" (1976)


  • Day of the Dove (1978)


Star Trek Episodes
Men into Space Episode
  • "Is There Another Civilization?" (1960) (writer)
Twilight Zone stories


  1. ^ Menville, Douglas Alver; Reginald, R. (1977). Things to Come: An Illustrated History of the Science Fiction Film. Times Books. p. 133. ISBN 0-8129-0710-8.
  2. ^ Fischer, Dennis (2000). Science Fiction Film Directors, 1895–1998. McFarland. p. 192. ISBN 0-7864-0740-9.
  3. ^ Maltin, Leonard (2008). Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide (2009 ed.). Penguin Group. p. 438. ISBN 0-452-28978-5.
  4. ^ "Full cast and crew for 'Fantastic Voyage'". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved November 23, 2009.
  5. ^ Asimov, Isaac (1980). In Joy Still Felt: The Autobiography of Isaac Asimov, 1954–1978. New York: Avon. p. 363. ISBN 0-380-53025-2.
  6. ^

External links

Algis Budrys

Algirdas Jonas "Algis" Budrys (January 9, 1931 – June 9, 2008) was a Lithuanian-American science fiction author, editor, and critic. He was also known under the pen names Frank Mason, Alger Rome (in collaboration with Jerome Bixby), John A. Sentry, William Scarff, and Paul Janvier.

By Any Other Name

"By Any Other Name" is the twenty-second episode of the second season episode of the American science fiction television series Star Trek, first broadcast February 23, 1968, and repeated May 31, 1968. It is episode #51, production #50, with screenplay by D.C. Fontana and Jerome Bixby based on Bixby's story, and directed by Marc Daniels. The title is taken from a line spoken by Juliet in William Shakespeare's play Romeo and Juliet: "that which we call a rose / By any other name would smell as sweet", a line quoted by Captain Kirk during the episode.

In this episode, beings from another galaxy commandeer the Enterprise in an attempt to return home.

Curse of the Faceless Man

Curse of the Faceless Man is a 1958 independently made American low-budget black-and-white horror film, produced by Robert E. Kent, directed by Edward L. Cahn, that stars Richard Anderson, Elaine Edwards, Adele Mara, and Luis van Rooten. Science fiction writer Jerome Bixby wrote the screenplay. The film was theatrically released in the US by United Artists as a double feature with It! The Terror from Beyond Space.

The film's storyline concerns a Roman gladiator, buried alive in Pompeii during the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD, who returns to life in modern times to find the reincarnation of the woman he loves.

Day of the Dove

"Day of the Dove" is the seventh episode of the third season of the American science fiction television series Star Trek, first broadcast November 1, 1968, and repeated June 17, 1969. It was written by Jerome Bixby and directed by Marvin Chomsky.

In the episode, an alien force drives the crew of the Enterprise into brutal conflict with the Klingons.

Fantastic Voyage

Fantastic Voyage is a 1966 American science fiction film directed by Richard Fleischer and written by Harry Kleiner, based on a story by Otto Klement and Jerome Bixby. The film is about a submarine crew who shrink to microscopic size and venture into the body of an injured scientist to repair damage to his brain. The original story took place in the 19th century and was meant to be a Jules Verne-style adventure with a sense of wonder. Kleiner abandoned all but the concept of miniaturization and added a Cold War element. The film starred Stephen Boyd, Raquel Welch, Edmond O'Brien, Donald Pleasence, and Arthur Kennedy.

Bantam Books obtained the rights for a paperback novelization based on the screenplay and approached Isaac Asimov to write it.

Because the novelization was released six months before the movie, many people mistakenly believed the film was based on Asimov's book.

The movie inspired an animated television series.

Hydra Club

The Hydra Club was a social organization of science fiction professionals and fans. It met in New York City during the 1940s and 1950s.

It was founded October 25, 1947 in the apartment of Judith Merril and Frederik Pohl on Grove Street in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of New York. As nine founders were present, the club took its name from the legendary nine-headed monster, the Hydra.

Among its members were Lester del Rey, David A. Kyle, Frederik Pohl, Judith Merril, Martin Greenberg, Robert W. Lowndes, Philip Klass, Jack Gillespie, David Reiner, L. Jerome Stanton, Fletcher and Inga Pratt, Willy Ley, George O. Smith, Basil Davenport, Sam Merwin, Harry Harrison, Jerome Bixby, Groff Conklin, Bea Mahaffey, Murray Leinster, Jack Coggins, and J. Harry Dockweiler.An article by Merril about the club in the November 1951 Marvel Science Fiction was accompanied by Harry Harrison's drawing caricaturing 41 members:

Harrison's caption adds, "The remaining twenty-odd members showed up too late at the meeting."

It's Still a Good Life

"It's Still a Good Life" is the thirty-first episode of the science fiction television series 2002 revival of The Twilight Zone. The episode was first broadcast on February 19, 2003, on UPN. It is a sequel to the original series episode "It's a Good Life". Bill Mumy and Cloris Leachman reprise their roles from the original episode. Anthony Fremont's daughter, Audrey, is played by actor Bill Mumy's real life daughter Liliana Mumy. It was written by Ira Steven Behr (based on characters created by Jerome Bixby), and directed by Allan Kroeker.

It's a Good Life

"It's a Good Life" is a short story by American writer Jerome Bixby, written in 1953. In 1970, the Science Fiction Writers of America selected it for The Science Fiction Hall of Fame, Volume One, as one of the 20 best short stories in science fiction published prior to the Nebula Award. The story was first published in Star Science Fiction Stories No.2. The story was adapted in 1961 into an episode of The Twilight Zone.

It's a Good Life (The Twilight Zone)

"It's a Good Life" is episode 73 of the American television series The Twilight Zone. It is based on the 1953 short story "It's a Good Life" by Jerome Bixby and is considered by some, such as Time and TV Guide, to be one of the best episodes of the series. It originally aired on November 3, 1961.

Night of the Blood Beast

Night of the Blood Beast is a 1958 American science-fiction horror film about a team of scientists who are stalked by an alien creature, which implants its embryos in an astronaut's body during a space flight. Produced by exploitation filmmaker Roger Corman and his brother Gene, it was one of the first films directed by Bernard L. Kowalski and was written by first-time screenwriter Martin Varno, who was 21 years old. It starred several actors who had regularly worked with Roger Corman, including Michael Emmet, Ed Nelson, Steve Dunlap, Georgianna Carter and Tyler McVey. The film was theatrically released in Dec., 1958 on a double bill with She Gods of Shark Reef.

It took Varno six weeks to write the script, the original working title of which was Creature from Galaxy 27. The story was partially influenced by the real-life Space Race and the Howard Hawks film The Thing from Another World (1951). Screenwriters Jerome Bixby and Harold Jacob Smith gave Varno uncredited assistance with the dialogue. With a budget of about $68,000, it was shot over seven days at the Charlie Chaplin Studios, Bronson Canyon and a television station on Mount Lee in Hollywood.

The Blood Beast alien costume was also previously used in the Roger Corman film Teenage Caveman (1958), which was filmed just two weeks earlier. Art director Daniel Haller, who built the rocket-ship and other props, slept at the sound stage between work sessions. Following dissatisfaction with his treatment by the Cormans, Varno pursued two successful arbitration cases, one of which was for underpayment. The other was in response to Gene Corman's original story writing credit, even though Varno claimed to have written the entire story himself.

The film was featured in a 1996 episode of the comedy television series, Mystery Science Theater 3000.

Planet Stories

Planet Stories was an American pulp science fiction magazine, published by Fiction House between 1939 and 1955. It featured interplanetary adventures, both in space and on some other planets, and was initially focused on a young readership. Malcolm Reiss was editor or editor-in-chief for all of its 71 issues. Planet Stories was launched at the same time as Planet Comics, the success of which probably helped to fund the early issues of Planet Stories. Planet Stories did not pay well enough to regularly attract the leading science fiction writers of the day, but occasionally obtained work from well-known authors, including Isaac Asimov and Clifford D. Simak. In 1952 Planet Stories published Philip K. Dick's first sale, and printed four more of his stories over the next three years.

The two writers most identified with Planet Stories are Leigh Brackett and Ray Bradbury, both of whom set many of their stories on a romanticized version of Mars that owed much to the depiction of Barsoom in the works of Edgar Rice Burroughs. Bradbury's work for Planet included an early story in his Martian Chronicles sequence. Brackett's best-known work for the magazine was a series of adventures featuring Eric John Stark, which began in the summer of 1949. Brackett and Bradbury collaborated on one story, "Lorelei of the Red Mist", which appeared in 1946; it was generally well-received, although one letter to the magazine complained that the story's treatment of sex, though mild by modern standards, was too explicit. The artwork also emphasized attractive women, with a scantily clad damsel in distress or alien princess on almost every cover.

Rampage (1963 film)

Rampage is a 1963 American adventure film directed by Phil Karlson and starring Robert Mitchum, Jack Hawkins and Elsa Martinelli. It features a musical score by Elmer Bernstein and was based on the homonymous novel by Alan Caillou, published in 1961.

Requiem for Methuselah

"Requiem for Methuselah" is the nineteenth episode of the third season of the American science fiction television series Star Trek, first broadcast on February 14, 1969. Its repeat broadcast, on September 2, 1969, was the last official telecast of the series to air on NBC; it was replaced by I Dream of Jeannie and The Debbie Reynolds Show. (Star Trek would immediately debut in syndication on the following Monday, September 8, a full three years after its debut.) It is episode No. 74, production No. 76, written by Jerome Bixby and directed by Murray Golden. It guest-stars James Daly as "Mr. Flint", and Louise Sorel as "Rayna Kapec" ("Kapec" is an anagram of Capek, after Karel Čapek, who introduced the term robot).

In the episode, the crew of the Enterprise encounters an immortal human.

Star Trek (Bantam Books)

James Blish and J.A. Lawrence adapted episodes of Star Trek for Bantam Books from 1967 to 1978. The short stories were collected into twelve volumes, and published as a series of the same name. A thirteenth volume (originally titled Mudd's Angels) incorporated two episode adaptations and an original novella. The adaptations were generally based on draft scripts, often containing additional plot elements or differing situations from the completed televised episodes.

A range of thirteen original novels, two short story anthologies, and a bestselling reference book on the Star Trek fandom followed. Bantam also produced a line of "fotonovels" that adapted popular episodes of the television series using images from the episodes.

Since 1979, the majority of Star Trek tie-in fiction and reference material has been published by Simon & Schuster imprint Pocket Books.

The Lost Missile

The Lost Missile is a 1958 American science fiction film which was originally slated to be directed by William Berke, who was also executive producer of the film. The screenplay was co-written by John McPartland and the longtime science-fiction writer Jerome Bixby, and starred a young Robert Loggia. When William Berke suddenly died as filming was set to begin, his son Lester Wm. Berke (who had come up with the original story) took over the direction.

The Man from Earth

The Man from Earth is a 2007 American drama science fiction film written by Jerome Bixby and directed by Richard Schenkman. It stars David Lee Smith as John Oldman, the protagonist. The screenplay was conceived by Jerome Bixby in the early 1960s and completed on his deathbed in April 1998. The film gained recognition in part for being widely distributed through Internet peer-to-peer networks, which raised its profile. The film was later adapted by Schenkman into a stage play of the same name.

The plot focuses on John Oldman, a departing university professor, who claims to be a Cro-Magnon (or Magdalenian caveman) who has secretly survived for more than 14,000 years. The entire film is set in and around Oldman's house during his farewell party and is composed almost entirely of dialogue. The plot advances through intellectual arguments between Oldman and his fellow faculty members.

Two Complete Science-Adventure Books

Two Complete Science-Adventure Books was an American pulp science fiction magazine, published by Fiction House, which lasted for eleven issues between 1950 and 1954 as a companion to Planet Stories. Each issue carried two novels or long novellas. It was initially intended to carry only reprints, but soon began to publish original stories. Contributors included Isaac Asimov, Robert A. Heinlein, Arthur C. Clarke, Poul Anderson, John Brunner, and James Blish. The magazine folded in 1954, almost at the end of the pulp era.

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.