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Rod Serling - His Life, Work, and Imagination

Rod Serling

His Life, Work, and Imagination

By Nicholas Parisi
Foreword by Anne Serling
Hardcover : 9781496817501, 558 pages, 74 b&w illustrations, October 2018
Paperback : 9781496846464, 558 pages, 74 b&w illustrations, March 2023

The definitive book on The Twilight Zone’s Rod Serling


Long before anyone had heard of alien cookbooks, gremlins on the wings of airplanes, or places where pig-faced people are considered beautiful, Rod Serling was the most prestigious writer in American television. As creator, host, and primary writer for The Twilight Zone, Serling became something more: an American icon. When Serling died in 1975, at the age of fifty, he was the most honored, most outspoken, most recognizable, and likely the most prolific writer in television history.

Though best known for The Twilight Zone, Serling wrote over 250 scripts for film and television and won an unmatched six Emmy Awards for dramatic writing for four different series. His filmography includes the acclaimed political thriller Seven Days in May and cowriting the original Planet of the Apes.

In great detail and including never-published insights drawn directly from Serling’s personal correspondence, unpublished writings, speeches, and unproduced scripts, Nicholas Parisi explores Serling’s entire, massive body of work. With a foreword by Serling’s daughter, Anne Serling, Rod Serling: His Life, Work, and Imagination is part biography, part videography, and part critical analysis. It is a painstakingly researched look at all of Serling’s work—in and out of The Twilight Zone.


"To say that this book makes a significant contribution to Rod Serling research and scholarship would be a tremendous understatement. Thoroughly and exhaustively researched, this is the first book to tackle the entirety of Rod Serling’s writing life and career. It contains a mountain of fresh material extracted from a wide range of sources. It also impressively and definitively establishes the record, from Serling’s earliest known writing to his last. "

- Mark Dawidziak, author of Everything I Need to Know I Learned in the Twilight Zone: A Fifth-Dimension Guide to Life

"Fans of The Twilight Zone will rejoice, but this book is far more than a love letter to that series. It should be read by everyone, especially those who wish to see how the creative process can develop and grow over even a short lifetime. "

- Ann VanderMeer, World Fantasy Award–winning coeditor of The Big Book of Science Fiction

"Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone was the bread and fishes of my early years and one of the major forces leading me to the fantastic as a favorite writing theme. Nick Parisi’s Rod Serling is a wonderfully written and meticulously researched work about one of the premier minds in twentieth-century speculative art. A great study of a fascinating man. "

- Jeffrey Ford, World Fantasy Award–winning author of The Twilight Pariah and A Natural History of Hell

"If you’re any kind of a Twilight Zone fan, you’ll love this book. . . . [Parisi] has access to an incredible wealth of Serling-related material [and]he puts all that research material to excellent use. . . . And best of all, he writes in a clear, readable prose that’s never pedantic, as books like this can sometimes be. Recommended."

- Charles De Lint, the Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction

"I will be forever grateful to Nick for this exceptional work, and I am absolutely certain that my dad would have been as well."

- from the foreword by Anne Serling

"Highly recommended (and I mean, super ten-stars, five-diamonds, Gold-Seal highly recommended), this expansive, richly detailed, entertaining book examining the life and work of Rod Serling."

- Christopher Heard, author of Dreaming Aloud: The Life and Films of James Cameron